Next Mets casualty could be Manuel

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The New York Mets deserve a new sponsor. How about Chico’s Bail Bonds?

After sleepwalking through another loss on Monday, this time to the mighty Arizona Diamondbacks, manager Jerry Manuel took the time to rip his players, and for good reason, too.

“We were a bad team tonight,” Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. “We didn’t pitch well. They had a couple of hustle plays on us. Very poor game. Very poor effort on our part. There has to come a time where there is some consistency. We are just not getting that.”

The mistakes included Daniel Murphy failing to cover first on a routine double play ball, which led to an error, and other mental mistakes. According to David Lennon of Newsday, Manuel took a few players aside after the game for a private “wake-up call.”

Lennon theorizes that more efforts like the one on Monday could cost Manuel his job, despite a statement of support from Jeff Wilpon in June.

With Omar Minaya taking most of the heat this season for the Mets’ lack of organizational depth – along with his news conference meltdown – the crosshairs could soon find Manuel, who is only signed through 2010.

The Mets have 10 players on the disabled list, including five former All-Stars. But even with the team out of contention, it still reflects badly on Manuel that they can’t muster a big-league effort over the final two months. The Mets already are 1-4 on this road trip.

One possible solution for Manuel to save his job? Pull a hammy.

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If you Twitter, and enjoy more than just the gloom and doom in Gotham, you can follow me at @bharks.

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.