26 May, 2008

Willie Randolph not leaving...yet

Willie Randolph has been hearing the buzz that he is about to be let go for weeks now. That buzz has grown more loudly as the Mets continue to struggle through their May schedule. A four game sweep at the hands of the division rival Braves seemed to signal that the end was near for Randolph.
While things seem to be crashing down around Willie he still holds the second best career managerial winning percentage in club history at .545 (Davey Johnson, .588). He has a good public relationship with his players, and strong ties to the community. All of that doesn't help at all when you're managing in the mecca of baseball with an enormous payroll, and floundering. Fans are breathing fire because this team has underachieved over the past two seasons.
While Randolph has shown that he has the ability to manage, he has not proven that he knows how to deal with the media. Some of his recent remarks speculating about media racial prejudices and criticism of the team owned broadcasting network have only worked to further blemish Willie's public persona.
Willie Randolph has always been a class act both on and off the field. He is a wonderful statesman of the game and a talented manager. He will flourish as a manager in the majors in future years; but sometimes a move can be beneficial for both a team and the manager. Willie can begin anew in a less media-scrutinized environment. The Mets can hope that a new manager will light a fire under a team that has looked lifeless going back to last August. The writing is on the wall and both parties might be better off to end things sooner, rather than dragging things out.

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