A Dignified Manuel Emerges from a Crushing Defeat

June 13, 2009

Mets manager Jerry Manuel could have easily been caught off-guard last night when he was called upon to address the New York media and explain the unexpected turn of events that transpired on the last play of the game. In case you haven’t heard, Mets second baseman Luis Castillo botched a routine pop-up in the bottom of the ninth inning with runners on first and second and two outs. At the height of the play, the Mets were up by one run and had the game firmly in hand. When the dust finally settled, two Yankees had crossed the plate, Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez was horrified, and the Mets were looking at a three game losing streak. Since then, Castillo has accepted his misadventure and has humbly apologized for instigating what is being tagged in some social circles as “the drop heard ‘round the five boroughs.”

Castillo’s impromptu press conference prior to today’s game may have ultimately cleansed the emotional second baseman of his improbable feat. The inspiration for it may have stemmed from his skipper’s inspiring words. As usual, Manuel handled himself gracefully after the game and seized the moment with his mellow constitution. Likening his post-game reaction to that of a sermon on the mount, the Mets manager presented himself again as the great pacifier.

“It will definitely be a battle again for him [Castillo],” said Manuel with confidence in his breath, “Not only for him but for us.”

As Mets fans were reduced to utter tears, Manuel’s surefooted demeanor became the support system that he had hoped would hold them over.

“We win together, we lose together,” he added. “We’ll have to fight through this. We have enough time to overcome it.”

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