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Is taking blame Manuel's endgame?

Yesterday was not a good day for the Mets, and more specifically, Jerry Manuel, who took full responsibility for a lackluster 5-2 loss to the Nationals. As I talk about in today's column, Manuel put the bulls-eye squarely on his back after Game Six of this season, which is the second and last of his two-year contract. The clock is now ticking on the manager.

Even Jeff Francoeur said afterward that the team seemed to be "going through the motions" and that is a troubling statement at the end of the first week -- with 156 games left. What do the Mets need to motivate them anyway? They're coming off a brutal 70-92 season, the jobs of the manager and GM are on the line. Isn't that enough?

And yet, the Mets drop the first two series against a pair of NL East rivals -- the Marlins and Nationals -- and the 2-4 record currently has them in last place as they prepare for this week's tough trip through Colorado and St. Louis.

Again, it's only six games, but the Mets do not have the luxury of time. Or at least Manuel and Omar Minaya don't. Who remains on the team after that will be the next guy's problem. 

New York Sports