A Peck of "Fickle" Peppers

This New York baseball team's fans were shocked when they learned their manager was being axed -- a managerial genius who finally led their team back to the Promised Land known as the playoffs, but left without a World Series ring to show for it. Indeed, the same fans are now screaming, hooting and hollering upon learning of his replacement.

Of course, the man that was axed was Buck Showalter. His potential replacement? Joe Torre. The team? The Yankees.

What's that you say?

You thought I was referring to the New York Mets? My, my...how quickly fans forget.

Well, that's not surprising given Torre's run with the Yankees soon after that. Four World Series Championships in the past six years. Six consecutive playoff appearances. A guy who at one time was roundly criticized by the press for his poor handling of a staff led by Nino Espinosa, but now revered for his managerial acumen and leadership of men. Hey, who cares about what we all probably said about Torre then . . . he's won! And as for poor Buck, a man one would have thought (especially after listening to WFAN's Mike Francesca go off for several days after his firing) was THE Yankees, is now known best as the man who serves as the managerial equivalent of a James Bond stunt man: "Hey Bucky, would you please do us all the favor and, after you build up our organization and get us into the playoffs for the first time in years (or, in Arizona's case, EVER), just step aside to let a real manager handle the job? Oh, and thanks again, Buck. You've been great. I'll call you" Ouch! Bummer for Bucky!

But now, here we are several years later, living La Vida Loca all over again with the New York Mets. True, while Valentine was not necessarily the Met organization's "Favorite Son," there are still plenty of hot-headed Valentine apologists that feel if only he had been left alone to make trades, attend meetings, call up ballplayers, and run the entire organization, the Mets would have given the Yankees a run for their money. Right. My only guess is that these are the same fans who wanted to bury Bobby V for driving a Met favorite, Todd Hundley, out of town; grimaced while he did his best dugout impersonation of Groucho Marx; or turned red with embarrassment when he publicly attacked two of the most dependable New York Mets of recent vintage, Edgardo Alfonso and Al Leiter, for allegedly paying more attention to their contracts than to the team.

In other words, fans are fickle.

But that's the joy of being a fan, isn't it? After all, there are no consequences to what we say, so why not just say them? Apparently, Bobby V has taken a page from that book and is now spouts out a daily "op-ed" on what the Mets should have done, did to him, and are planning to do to others... just as a true-blooded Mets fan would!

But now that Bobby V has joined the rank and file among us, he's just going to have to wait in line like the rest of us to vilify Joe Tor-- er -- Bucky the "Stunt Man."

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