The fact that the Mets have been playing uninspired baseball for almost a year may not be Willie’s undoing…
The fact that the Mets have been a .500 team for almost a year may not be his undoing either. The truth of the matter is that Willie’s own mouth may be what catapults him out of hi job as the manager of the New York Mets.
There has been such a public outcry against comments Willie Randolph made to Ian O’Connor of the Bergen Record on Sunday, that even Randolph’s attempt to diffuse the situation before yesterday’s game did little to put out the flames of the growing controversy.
Willie Randolph took aim at SNY and the media in general for what he called a "racist" intent to make him look bad.
"Why isn’t SNY shooting me when I’m ready to go down the dugout clapping my hands and patting guys on the butt, schooling them during the game? I’m on the top step every game. Why don’t you show that side of me so people can say, ‘Wow, jeez, Willie’s fiery’?"
"You watch any manager in baseball, you see him look like a bump on the log sitting there. They don’t move, they don’t talk. I’m as animated and as demonstrative and as involved and as intense as any manager in baseball. Is it racial? Huh? It smells a little bit."
Today, the talk on sports radio is all about the Mets, yet not a word of it has to do with baseball. Even Willie Randolph’s most loyal supporters are backing away from him now.
The word around the Mets’ clubhouse is that the Wilpon family is fuming over the comments, and that the situation may be played out in the next few days, with many fearing that Willie’s days are numbered.
Ed from Mets Fever points us to a comment from Mets Beat Writer, John Delcos who said,
"I have been writing for awhile now that I couldn’t see them firing Randolph. However, I’ve been told ownership is really hacked off at him on this race thing. Of all teams, the Mets are the most up front when it comes to this issue. But, what Randolph said is insulting."
The bottom line is that Willie Randolph has guided this team to the best record in the National League since 2005. He has taken over a team that was demoralized and not very good, and transformed them into contenders. In a perfect world he should be judged by what he has done as a manager. However our society is less than perfect, and when a manager interjects race into the conversation, he must then be ready to face the firestorm that he initiated.
I hope this will somehow boil over, but the media loves this stuff. It’s not going away anytime soon.