Willie Randolph: We New York Mets Barely Knew Ye
First, with all due respect and with full acknowledgement that a personal attack in order to prove a point is an ad hominem action and pointless, I still contend Omar Minaya, the general manager of the Mets, can be clownish. First let's take a long look at Willie Larry Randolph http://bit.ly/a0r6Hg Copyright © 2000-2010 Sports Reference LLC. All rights reserved.
On second thought let's just give you the facts :
• Spent 11 seasons on the coaching staff of the Yankees as third-base coach (1994-2003) and bench coach (2004)...was a part of 10 playoff teams, including four World Series championships (1996, '98, '99 and 2000)
• Managed the New York Mets from 2005-08, compiling a record of 302-253 (.544)
• Won the National League East division title in 2006 and led the Mets to the NLCS
• Ranks second among Mets managers to Davey Johnson (.588) in all-time winning percentage
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Omar fired Willie June 16 or 17 of 2008 when some of his great acquisitions failed to produce and he needed a scapegoat to protect his job. He fired pitching coach Rick Peterson and first base coach Tom Nieto at the same time but these two are not germane to my story.
Omar was hired in 2004 for the 2005 season and subsequently hired Willie as his on-the-field general. The team did not make the playoffs that year but did improve from 71 wins in 2004 to 83 wins in 2005. Omar also brought in Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran that year in 2005.
In the 2006 year Willie, Omar and the Mets won 97 games and the National League East. Minaya also acquired closer Billy Wagnar and first basemen Carlos Delgado.
He unfortunately also traded away some prospects after losing the NLCS in 2006. These prospects included starting pitchers Heath Bell, Royce Ring and relievers Henry Owens and Matt Lindstrom. Later we traded Brian Bannister.
The shame of it all, these players might have been helpful in 2007 when the Mets choked in the stretch. They finished with a record of 88-74. Oh yes, he also acquired Johan Santana in January of 2008. To reiterate, Willie was gone in mid-June 2008. Okay all theses changes led to us missing the playoffs in 2008 with a record of 89-73. We then missed the playoffs in 2009 with a record of 70-92.
Now with the homework done we can move on to the point. I realize that after going to the NLCS and with the intense scrutiny in New York, it is always necessary to show the fans that something is happening to make things better. This might just be me "spitballin," but missing the playoffs and the team taking a precipitous swoon after a manager firing is not the way to do it. I failed to mention the Mets had been playing flat but had won on the day Omar fired Willie and the team continued to play flat to worst than that after the firing.
It seems that Willie's tough hands on the reigns were the only thing holding this team together. I sincerely believe the Mets had turned the corner when they fired Willie and the firing led to a less than stellar performance from the team. In any case, Willie's gone and the team is floundering. HMMM...I wonder what would have happened if the team's owner Fred Wipon had fired Omar and kept Willie? Well to that question we will never know. So let's look to the future. Has Omar's clownishly quick trigger doomed the Mets to mediocrity? I say yes.
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