Mets-Yankees: Willie Randolph, the Umps, and the Non-Home Run in New York

Dan SiegelSenior Analyst IMay 18, 2008

In the top of the fourth inning on Sunday night at Yankee Stadium, Carlos Delgado hit a three-run home run down the left field line, giving the New York Mets a comfortable 6-0 lead over the New York Yankees.

However, a quick wave of the arms by the Yankees and their fans gathered together an aging, pot-bellied group of zebras (aka the umpiring crew) to give little thought (maybe that was all their miniscule cerebrums could handle) to overturning a game-changing play.

Did the umpires go down the left field line to look for any physical evidence?

No.  They clearly decided to ignore the idea that the ball may have left a marking on the foul pole (which it did), or that the foul pole left a marking on the ball (which it did), or consider the large bounce the ball took as a result of hitting a large metal pole.

Clearly the Yankees, who made minimal effort to present the case that the ball may have gone foul, have never done anything dishonest, or couldn’t have been unclear as to where the ball went.

There is more to this story than the umpires’ lack of executive functioning, however.

Sure, instant replay would have been nice, but MLB isn’t employing it right now, so it couldn’t have changed anything.

No, the other big element to this story is the lack of arguing on the part of Mets’ Manager Willie Randolph.

Third base coach Sandy Alomar Sr. was the first of the Mets’ personnel to argue the call.  This made sense, as he had a good view of the ball and was already on the field.

Randolph was next, but barely got out onto the field and returned to the dugout seemingly satisfied with the umpiring crew’s willingness to take three runs away from his team without any sort of investigation.

As Delgado’s at-bat continued, the home plate umpire warned the Mets’ dugout about their continuing to argue. 

However, it wasn’t Randolph who was warned and subsequently ejected.

It was bench coach Jerry Manuel.

Yes, that’s correct folks.  The bench coach got thrown out for arguing the call—not the player who hit the home run, and not the manager of the team who gave no thought to standing up for his coaches and players—who were in need of a lift after some clubhouse michegas.

Why did Randolph not show a little more fortitude in arguing the call?

The only explanation this writer can come up with is that Randolph did not want to humiliate himself in front of the Yankees and get thrown out of the stadium he loves so much and in front of the organization he loves so much.

Maybe Randolph is trying to do as poor a job possible as Mets’ manager while Joe Girardi is struggling as Yankees’ manager, so that when Hank Steinbrenner prematurely fires Girardi, he can get Willie away from the Mets. They should be glad to let him go, if General Manager Omar Minaya, COO Jeff Wilpon, or owner Fred Wilpon have not yet sent him packing.

Kudos to Jerry Manuel, one of the few homo sapiens currently donning a Mets’ uniform, for actually showing some pride in the orange and blue and giving a rat’s behind about his team and his job.  


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