There has been much speculation these last couple of months whether Omar Minaya, Jerry Manuel and the rest of the coaching staff will be back next season. Even with Big Daddy Fred Wilpon’s assurances vocalized last month, the son of a funeral home owner has been known to change his mind – See the Bobby Valentine firing as a prime example. Well anyway if Team Wilpon does change their mind ( I believe their minds are wired into some sort of Borg relationship where they are tied into a single collective consciousness) I would lobby for them to do something bold – I say hire Orel Hershiser as either the Manager or the pitching coach.
As per Wikipedia
“Orel Leonard Hershiser IV is a former right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball. He is currently an analyst for Baseball Tonight and Wednesday Night Baseball on ESPN he was a Golden Glove, Cy Young Award, the NLCS MVP and the World Series MVP with the Dodgers.
He is known for his lanky frame and tenacious spirit, Hershiser was nicknamed “Bulldog” by then team manager Tommy Lasorda.
Hershiser was born in Buffalo, New York to Mildred I. Gillman and Orel Leonard Hershiser III. He attended Cherry Hill High School East in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, where he was the star pitcher on the school’s baseball team. He first caught the attention of pro scouts as a pitcher at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio where he was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
Hershiser was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 17th round of the 1979 amateur draft and was assigned to their farm team in Clinton, Iowa. He spent four more seasons in the minor leagues with San Antonio and Albuquerque before being called up to the major leagues.
Hershiser has served as a pitching coach for the Texas Rangers, and later in a front-office position with the same team, and as an analyst (both in print and in broadcasting) for ESPN.
In October 2005 Hershiser was a finalist to replace Jim Tracy as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, but instead opted to resign from his current job as the Texas Rangers pitching coach and join their front office as Executive Director. Grady Little was eventually hired by the Dodgers instead. As of October 2006 Hershiser was mentioned as a possible replacement for Ken Macha of the Oakland Athletics, however he was ultimately passed over for Bob Geren.
In early February 2006, after joining the front office of the Texas Rangers, Hershiser resigned from his Executive Director position.
Although he was not an overpowering pitcher, his fastball was in the 89-91 mph range in his prime. However he possessed very fine control, and his average velocity on his fastball was more than made up for with its tremendous sinking action. This caused batters to beat scores of balls into the ground, leading to easy outs. He complemented his sinker with a well-above average curve ball that would often freeze hitters or cause them to completely lose their timing. He also threw a quality slider that he would spot in on the hands of left-handed hitters, showing them something that moved in the opposite direction of his fastball. He also threw the odd change up and splitter, but mainly stuck to his tremendous sinker and curve ball. ”
I do believe Hershiser would be a good if not great fit as a manager for this teambecause he has a baseball mind – he was a thinking man’s pitcher ala a Tom Seaver or a Pedro Martinez – his head was always in the game. I remember in the ’99 N.L.C.S Orel was constantly sitting beside Bobby Valentine and the rest of the Mets coaching staff absorbing their wisdom and their strategies ( as well as making his own suggestions). He has experience as in the front office and has been seen as a viable managerial candidate for a few different franchises.
So okay lets play hypothetical here, Lets say Jerry Stays but Dan Warthen is canned. I believe Orel would slot in just fine as a pitching coach – like he did with the Texas Rangers. I think he could impart his pitching wisdon onto pitchers like John Maine and Mike Pelfrey and who knows maybe he has the solution to solving the enigma that is Oliver Perez ( no guarantees there lol)
Either way next year is going to be a barometer for seasons to come – they can either choose to use the status quo manager and pitching coach they already have and watch those seasons fade into obscurity or they can utilize a proven winner who might be able to inject new life into a listless organization
-The ball is in your court Mr. Wilpon (s)