The whole Willie Randolph situation couldn't have gone any worse for either him or the New York Mets organization.
Here was a guy who was just a game away from the World Series in his SECOND year managing the team. How many other managers can say that, especially given the state of the Mets when he came on board?
Now, the historic collapse that occurred last year is a bitter pill to swallow still and relegated the Mets to act in panic mode this past off-season.
As good as Johan Santana is, I don't think pitchers are worth THAT much money; however, teams with high payrolls always come with high expectations. Whether they are realistic or not is another story, but that's a whole different ball of wax.
I for one am not going to lay the blame at the feet of Willie Randolph. Instead, the blame should be on the guy who still has a job: Omar Minaya.
Minaya was the one who put these pieces together and decided to ignore a lot of the details and not do his due diligence on these signings and trades.
Whether it was re-signing Kris Benson, or signing Pedro Martinez or Carlos Beltran, trading for Carlos Delgado, Johan Santana, and Oliver Perez, there was one clear message: Win Now.
Well, it appears their now was a couple of years ago when they were in the NLCS.
Pedro can't stay healthy, Delgado's bat looks slow, Santana reportedly is losing some zing on his pitches, and Minaya's recent signing (Moises Alou) should be on the fast track to getting his AARP card by now, since being on the DL provides so much free time.
My question to Mets' fans is this: is it really Willie Randolph's fault that all the things happened?
My guess is that he really didn't have much of a say in bringing these pieces to New York, yet he worked with what he had. The average age on this team (according to ESPN) is 30.7 years, but some of these guys are playing older and maybe Delgado isn't his real age for all we know.
The point is this: I feel really bad for Randolph because he is a very classy guy and I do believe he will get another job managing in the majors soon.
As for Minaya, he is now working without a safety net. If things don't turn around, it will be him that makes the walk to the unemployment line.
The way Minaya handled this situation was very despicable by not having the gumption to tell Randolph to his face that he had been fired, rather announcing it by press release at 3:14 a.m. EST. This will stick with Minaya for awhile and may even prevent him from getting another job because of it, if the Mets do decide to fire him.
Perhaps this will teach Minaya a valuable lesson: common courtesy is a universal language.