May 02, 2008

It's Time!! It's Time!! It's Time to Call For Mazzone!!!

Okay- having said that it's not time, in my opinion, to fire Willie- at least not just yet, perhaps the first "shot across the bow" should be the replacement of pitching coach Rich Peterson with former Braves (and Orioles) pitching coach, Leo Mazzone.

Mazzone had just a bit of success (LOL) with the Atlanta Braves during his 15 year tenure, and didn't really have much talent or time over in Baltimore, so it's unfair to judge him by those 2 seasons.

Here's one of the biggest differences between these two, in my opinion; Glavine, Maddux and Smoltz, until recently, have spent very little to no time on the disabled list, and have always been in great condition both mentally and physically. They are three hall-of-famers, and possess immense natural talent, but Mazzone did a great job honing their skills and working with them, and they've had great careers. With Peterson's "big 3" of Mulder, Hudson and Zito, only Hudson is having an impact (with the Braves, ironically), while Zito, he of the $130 million contract, is lost and has been demoted to the bullpen, while Mulder is still recovering from injury over a year later. While Zito has never been "unhealthy" at least physically, he's a mess right now and di indeed have his only major success under Peterson. Mulder and Hudson, however, did not have nice things to say about Peterson in the book "Aces" and those "three" certainly haven't had quite the success that the Braves' "three" have.

Furthermore, Mazzone has long been a proponent of keeping his starters stretched out by having a diligent throwing program between starts, and his starters tended to go deeper into games than most other teams starters did. Under Peterson's watch, our starters have not been known for being "innings-eaters."

Finally, under Mazzone's guidance, every year the Braves seemed to develop an entirely new set of bullpen arms, usually without a dominant closer (until Smoltz' tenure), and these pitchers never reached the same heights elsewhere as they did under Mazzone's watchful eye.

It's not like Willie chose Peterson- Omar did - but now it's time that the Mets had a better hand guiding pitchers, especially the bullpen, and I believe that Leo Mazzone is just the man to make it happen. Granted, Peterson signed a 3-year contract extension in 2007, but if a new maanger comes in, more than likely he'd have his choice of pitching coaches anyway. Perhaps Mazzone stands a better chance of fitting in with a new manager, were it to happen, while giving Willie some of the stability and game management skills that he brought to the great Braves manager, Mr. Bobby Cox, while perhaps letting a bit of Cox's wisdom rub off on Willie! What do you think??


Robert Milelli said...

Personally, i dont think it is willie's fault and he shouldn't go anywhere. They give him one amazing pitcher and expect him to work miracles with the rest of the team. In all honestly, we still have the same type of team as last year, and playing exactly that way. It's not randolphs fault, it is the players. However, the constant trouble we face is the bullpen. This is why I agree we fire Peterson. He is overhyped and never was any good. The 3 pitchers in Oakland made a name for Peterson, which wasn't deserved. This guy ruins the bullpen. I say get rid of him.

David Rubin & Jonathan Elfenbein said...

Especially today, throwing Sanchez in there again, huh? They have no rhyme or reason to their bullpen use, and the sad thing is that they have become extremely predictable- and NOT in a good way, unfortunately! Peterson has not really elevated anyone- Perez still has some of the same problems he came with, Maine is struggling but is such a battler, Pelfrey STILL has no off-speed stuff and so batters wait on his fastball, and so we are right back where we were! Today, though, Willie made more of his questionable decisions, such as not starting moises alou today, bringing in the wrong relievers at the wrong time, not scratching out for every while we are in agreement about not firing Willie yet, and while I've said he should stay for the season, at this point, if there was SOMEONE NOT named Jerry Manuel who could become a valid candidate, then if things stay the way they are, get rid of Willie at the end of May or thereabouts...