On Willie Randolph
Here’s little to say about the firing of Willie Randolph that will differ from every sports writer and blogger out there.
Still, I want to note that the team that has sucked more often than not was the result of GM Omar Minaya’s wheeling and dealing (or lack thereof). Last year’s bullpen was the culprit more often than not and he rebuilt only part of it this time. The elements that have not changed, Aaron Heilman in particular, remain the problem this season.
The other factor is that the Mets are aging. Perhaps not as fast as the Yankees but that has led to injuries for Pedro Martinez and Orlando Hernandez and the slowing bats belonging to both guys named Carlos. The one youth move they made, adding Brian Schneider as catcher, has been a bay step when clearly other steps have to be taken.
Willie Randolph may have been too laid back or made some questionable decisions game by game, but overall, he was liked and respected. He tamped down clubhouse dissent and kept people focused on the game. Was he a brilliant tactician? Not especially but he certainly wasn’t as clueless as previous Mets managers, like George Bamberger or Jeff Torborg.
Is Jerry Manuel going to change everything? Nope. Is the absence of pitching guru Rick Peterson going to make the bullpen throw strikes? Nope.
Are the Mets done for the season before the All-Star break? Nope.
But neither are they the team we fans want and expect them to be. While some trading may be necessary, my brother points out there have to be players the other teams want. It’s doubtful anyone wants Carlos Delgado and his fat contract or Moises Alou and his rapidly failing body.
The Wilpons have done a fairly poor job overseeing the situation. Perhaps their eyes have been glazed over the shininess that will be the new stadium. They need to look at their GM, heir player development and the entire organization and make the moves now to restore respect and luster before the shoddy team moves into their new digs next April.