New York Mets: Top Five Candidates To Replace Willie Randolph

Pro Football NYCSenior Writer IMay 24, 2008

I like Willie Randolph. He's a soft-spoken gentleman with a storied history in baseball and New York, and he exhibits class at every turn.

But his tenure as Mets manager is nearing its end. With a $138 million payroll—

the highest in the NL by $20 million—he has failed to take this team to the next level.

In fact, it appears they are regressing.

If the Mets don't turn this season around by June 15, he will most likely be

Here are my top five choices to replace Willie.


Jerry Manuel (10-1)

Jerry has shown that he can manage in the bigs. The current Mets bench coach has a strong rapport with players. He managed the White Sox for six seasons and won 500 games. The only detriment to hiring him is that it will not be a big enough shakeup to effect much change.

Gary Carter (6-1)

He's available. Right now he is managing a non-MLB affiliated team in Florida. He has worked as a manager in the Mets farm system. Carter has an abundance of enthusiasm and will certainly change some attitudes in that clubhouse. He is well-respected as a Hall of Famer and the fans love him. His only problem is that he went into Cooperstown as an Expo, not as a Met. Will the Wilpons be able to see through that?

Bobby Valentine (4-1)

The Mets would love to see him land at JFK right now, but he's currently the Emperor of Japan. It would take a boatload of cash to lure him away, but he would turn this team into a champion. With Bobby comes the Bobby V package. Are the Mets ready for that again? I am. This time around, though, it will be different. Bobby V will want more power, which means Omar will take a hit somewhere.

Lee Mazzilli (3-1)

Do you really think the Mets hired Mazzilli to sit in a studio forever? I don't. He is on the Mets payroll for a reason, and that reason may come to a fruition very shortly. His only managerial experience was his short-lived stint in Baltimore, which was a difficult situation to say the least.

Ken Oberkfell (2-1)

The former Cardinal 3B has been the Mets AAA manager in Norfolk and now New Orleans. He has done an outstanding job and is being groomed for the big chair. He has a good relationship with many players on the club already, having managed them in the minors. He's not the sexy pick others might have, but to me,  he's the best candidate.


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