NEW YORK — Mets manager Jerry Manuel announced Wednesday night that, due to the urgency and gravity of the financial crisis on Wall Street, the New York Mets will be suspending their pennant race.
“This is just too important,” Manuel said. “It’s time to put country first.”
It’s unclear what “suspending” even means in this context, but Manuel hinted that it would likely include not playing the four games remaining on the team’s schedule.
Informed that Milwaukee intended to play the remaining games on its schedule, Manuel noted that he was “saddened that the Brewers do not share my ostentatious love and devotion to this great country.”
“But,” he added, “even if they win out, we’ll still be tied in the loss column.”
Asked if this wasn’t just a crude stunt attempting to stave off a repeat of last season’s late-September collapse, Manuel bristled.
“The finanical crisis is very grave,” he said. “If swift action is not taken to restore faith in our financial system, then this will begin to affect the daily lives of ordinary Americans. It may become impossible to get a mortgage, or a car loan, or to pay your center fielder $18 million to hit a lousy .280. And do you people realize what it’s going to cost us to sign Francisco Rodriguez this winter? Decisive action is needed to restore faith in our financial institutions and our bullpens.”
Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella, whose team is scheduled to play the Mets tonight at Shea, said he had no intention of suspending the final game of their season series.
“This is the big leagues,” Piniella said. “You have to be able to deal with more than one thing at once.”
Piniella, whose team has already clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, did agree to send Cubs slugger Alfonso Soriano to Washington to assist congressional leaders in finalizing the details of the bailout agreement.
(Update: Fixed spelling of Lou’s name. Didn’t fix the unfair shot at Beltran, but yeah, he’s actually having a great year.)