The Mets gained four games on the division-leading Phils in the week since Manuel succeeded Randolph, and he wants his players to get on the good side of their disappointed fans by interacting more with them. The Mets might want to be careful about that one because they've been getting booed an awful lot.
"I don't know if that drains a team as much as it affects the individual," Manuel said in the New York Post of the booing. "But in saying that, we have to get to the point to when they boo one, they're booing all of us."
Philly fans passed that point long ago.
"And we have to understand that and stay close-knit and be able to deal with that as we go forth," Manuel added.
No doubt, winning at home would help.
"Historically, the teams I had in Chicago were always good at home," Manuel, who managed the White Sox for six seasons, was quoted as saying in the New York Times. "And, hopefully, that's what will happen here. This is a big homestand for us, obviously, with Seattle and the Yankees coming in. It's very big."
The Mets went into last night's game 20-14 at home. Manuel has said he'll rest key players on the road so they'll be fresh for homestands. In six seasons as the White Sox manager, his teams went 272-213.
Of course, it's much too early to gauge Manuel's impact on the Mets, but so far he seems to have a keen sense of how to use his bullpen, which allowed only two earned runs in 18 1/3 innings during the recent road trip.
Manuel is also trying to build team unity, insisting that the pitcher he's replacing remains on the mound until the reliever arrives. "Let everybody take some responsibility and pull for the next guy," he said.
The Diamondbacks arrived in Boston last night a mess. They'd lost 30 of their previous 50 games; their ace pitcher, Brandon Webb, has an 8.22 ERA in his last three starts; and they are averaging 3.9 runs a game since May 1, two runs a game fewer than they scored in April.
Nonetheless, Arizona is still in first place in the NL West because the second-place team - the Dodgers - is five games under .500.
And there is hope. The D'backs swept the Red Sox in their only previous trip to Fenway Park.
You've read all about it over and over again. Tony La Russa is a genius. The Cardinals manager proved it again Sunday in the 10th inning against the Red Sox. With torrid J.D. Drew at the plate and one out with a runner on third, the smart move is to walk Drew to set up a double play. La Russa decided to pitch to Drew, who struck out on a checked swing. The Cards survived the inning before losing in the 13th, but La Russa's genius tag stayed intact.
Colorado activated Clint Barmes from the disabled list. He had missed 27 games with a sprained left knee. Barmes was hitting .343 with five homers and 20 RBIs in 39 games. . . . The Astros sent Shawn Chacon to the bullpen. He was 2-3 with a 5.04 ERA in 15 starts.
This article contains information from the Associated Press. Contact staff writer Ray Parrillo at 215-854-2743 or email@example.com.