My colleague, and fellow Met fan, turned to me at work and said, "Andrew, you're not going to believe what happened in today's Mets game."
The Mets played the Arizona Diamondbacks yesterday afternoon, and blew a four-run lead, despite a brilliant performance by Johan Santana. Ten strikeouts, three hits and a shutout through seven innings was not enough to convince Mets manager Willie Randolph to keep the two-time Cy Young Award winner in the game, despite the fact that the bullpen has been used constantly.
Sure Santana gave up two hits in the seventh, but he fanned the last batter and looked like he could go all the way. But it's Willie Randolph's world we're talking about here, where no starting pitcher gets a complete game.
It's time for him to go.
Let him go back to the Yankees, where he can be a third base coach. He does not know how to manage a pitching staff. He's completely clueless. Worse still, the players don't respect him.
I've been giving Willie a free pass, up until now. Randolph is so concerned with presevering his starters, yet he works his bullpen to death. True, the Mets have some injuries and age, but they are playing badly on the field. When they need to rely on their ace to complete the deal, Randolph virtually hands the game away.
Met fans have been waiting all year for a perfomance like this from Santana and Randolph snatched it from them, right under their nose.
Owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon met with Randolph several weeks ago and told their manager to "just win." This came after the Mets skipper made accusations that the criticism of him on the Mets network, SNY, was racially based.
It seems to me that the only race-baiting was being done by Randolph to put the Mets owners in a position where they, nor Met General Manager Omar Minaya, could fire him.
The Mets could be motivated to keep Randolph through next year, when they open their new park, Citi Field, where they are honoring a player who never donned a Met uniform, the late, great Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson, the man who integrated major league baseball.
It will be lovely that the Mets, who have a black manager, the first for a Major League Baseball team in New York, will simultaneously be honoring Robinson's role in baseball history. But does it really serve the Mets' best interests?
Robinson deserves all the accolades he gets, and his No. 42, retired by baseball, is a fitting tribute to the great man. But he never played for the Mets and it seems ludicrous, to me, that he should be honored in this way.
The Mets deserve better than Randolph, but what do you expect from an organization that is the most underachieving in baseball.
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