Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes that today is Jerry Manuel's one-year anniversary as Mets manager. Manuel has gone 88-67 at the helm, producing what has to be one of the most-complained-about .568 winning percentages in baseball history.
Manuel took over for Willie Randolph 69 games into last season and guided the Mets to a 55-38 (.591) record after they went 34-35 (.493) under Randolph. Of course, they faded down the stretch and ended up missing the playoffs by one game, so Manuel's tenure was viewed as more failure than turn-around.
This season has been similar in that the Mets currently sit a half-game out of the playoff picture at 33-29 and fans criticize Manuel constantly. Meanwhile, from a non-New Yorker's point of view he has the team in the thick of contention despite a ton of injuries to everyone from Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes, and Brian Schneider to Billy Wagner, Oliver Perez, J.J. Putz, and John Maine.
He's certainly been far from perfect and Mets fans have plenty of room to complain about specific issues and faults, but in the big picture Manuel has won 57 percent of his games with a somewhat flawed and now injury-wrecked roster, which is good for the second-highest winning percentage in franchise history behind only Davey Johnson.
Or as Sherman so aptly puts it: "Manuel is a gregarious, self-confident man with a ton of baseball knowledge. I sense an excellent manager in there. I just wonder if he will ever have enough time or the right team with the Mets to prove that."