Why Willie Randolph Was Given Good Will From Mets Brass

Brian HegtCorrespondent IMay 27, 2008

Many, in fact the overwhelming majority of New York Mets fans are calling for their fearless (certainly not feared) leader's tenure to end.

However, what are the reasons to fire him? Yes, the team looks like they have been playing with their heads in the clouds for the better part of the last calendar year. And yes, Willie sometimes should have an EKG machine installed in the dugout so his players know he in fact does have a pulse.

That being said, why did Mets management decide to back their current manager?

Well, the simple answer is that Omar Minaya and Willie Randolph did start about half a season apart. Minaya came on and replaced Dan Duquette slightly after the trading deadline five seasons ago.

Omar feels that he has something on the line to protect a decision that he made. Omar was given complete autonomy, unlike Duquette and Steve Phillips before him, and Omar instantly came in and knew Willie was his guy.


Furthermore, while Willie may not be the most fiery guy (understatement of the century), he is still a tremendous baseball mind. Willie was always a very cerebral player, and he is regarded as one of the top third base coaches in all of baseball under Joe Torre.

To Willie, the attitude that these players have shown is foreign to him. If Willie could put nine Willie Randolphs out on the field, this team would be in first place with no problem.

All of this being widely agreed, there had to be some external reasons as to why Willie was not fired yesterday.

Many have begun to speculate who the mid-season replacement would be.  Everything from Jim Fregosi to Charlie Manuel to Gary Carter and even Bobby V. While some of these options may actually be good fits (namely Bobby V), what will firing Willie actually bring?

Look at the issue in a common sense matter, all baseball set aside. The Mets are accused of being too comfortable in their own home and their own clubhouse, so why would a huge change like this make a drastic difference?

It can be argued that the Mets need a spark, but will firing a notorious players' manager on a very comfortable team lose the staples in the clubhouse like Wright and Wagner?

It is certainly not too late to turn the season around for the Mets. However, they do need a spark, but the Mets management proved that the jury is still out on what the spark should be.