Talking Strategy with Mets' Manager Jerry Manuel

And Tolstoy. . .

If that's the case, there's no more fertile ground for growth and development than the Mets' bullpen. The relief corps' ERA is around 6.60, the highest in the majors since the All-Star break. And the bullpen's collapse, of course, is precisely what sunk the team last September. Has he found any alternative, I asked, for the recent strategy of "bullpen by committee"? "There is no committee," he quietly informed me. "I am the committee, I make the decisions, and I don't use a Ouija Board. I base my decisions on who is sharp at the particular time."

So what's your best bet right now? I wanted to know. "Patience," he said without a blink.

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Which may be a wonderful quality in a manager, but it's in short supply right now with Mets fans. If Jerry Manuel doesn't produce better numbers soon, Mets fans will be happily supplying him with all the fertilizer he can handle.

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