Hands up who didn't see this coming? Thought so.
Hands up who saw it coming after a 9-6 win over the LA Angels? Thought so too.
Bizarre timing is the main topic of discussion among the press after Mets GM Omar Minaya pulled off what the New York Post called a "midnight massacre" with the dismissals of manager Willie Randolph, pitching coach Rick Peterson and first base coach Tom Nieto. Erstwhile White Sox skipper Jerry Manuel takes over the 'politans.
Don't expect this to do anything but add fuel to the fire for the "Fire Gibby Firsters." You look at a New York Mets team that is a game below .500 at 34-35, and then across the aisle to a struggling Blue Jays squad at 35-36. Both were expected to compete this year, both are battling the stigma of underachievement that plagued their 2007 campaigns.
Perhaps the most notable difference is that the Mets were actually closer in the early season playoff races than the Blue Jays are. The Mets sit 6.5 games back of NL East-leading Philly, and have won two straight against a first-place AL team, while the Jays sit eight back of the Red Sox and have lost two straight, as well as coming off a series loss to a last-place AL team.
The key difference for the Gibby brigade is that the Jays have not faced anything close to the internal squabbles and conflicts that have made the Mets into an unteneble situation. Billy Wagner criticising his teammates for not speaking to the media, and Randolph's own accusations of racism being the guiding force behind press criticisms of his management didn't exactly make things hunky dory in the clubhouse. Sure, Gibbons has had his spat with Frank Thomas this year, but that's not exactly something G.M. and mastermind J.P. Ricciardi could himself deflect blame for.
But the overall situation is that with Seattle canning Bill Bavasi and now Willie Randolph's forced departure, the argument that it is too early to consider a shakeup will be less and less valuable, and hopefully less prominent as well. The Blue Jays will not look out of character by considering a shakeup at this point, as the floodgates are open.
Get ready for a whole new set of Jays Talk callers, folks.
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