Congratulations to the Daily News for getting the priveledge of posting Willie Randolph’s personally written article.
Willie did not rip the organization to shreds. Here are some excerpts from his exclusive interview.
Three and a half years and 555 games after it began, my dream of bringing a championship to the New York Mets officially expired a few minutes after midnight in Suite 1602 of the Westin Hotel in Costa Mesa, Calif. You’ve heard of Black Friday? Well, this was my Black Tuesday.
That was then. Now, on Black Tuesday, we’d just beaten the tough Los Angeles Angels, playing one of our best games of the season. Mets VP Tony Bernazard came into my office. "Omar wants to see you in his room when you get back to the hotel," he said. "Okay," I replied. There had been a slew of stories in recent days that a couple of my coaches, Rick Peterson and Tom Nieto, were about to be fired. All the stories were leaked by "Met front-office sources."
As Omar went on and on, looking very uncomfortable, this weird chill started to course through by body. I could feel myself going cold. He kept talking, almost stammering, and the chill got worse. Suddenly, it occurred to me that maybe he was talking about me. Maybe I was the one about to get whacked. Finally, I stopped him. I looked right at him. "Omar, are you firing me?" I asked. He looked away for a minute and then met my eyes. "Yeah, I’m going to make a move," he said. "It’s a hard decision, but I have to make it."
"You don’t have to say anything more, Omar," I said. "I came here to win, and if you don’t feel I’m the guy to get that done, then it’s your right to make a change. I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity you gave me. I want you to know that." I stood up and shook his hand, told him I wished him and the team well. Then he handed me an envelope, a little parting gift, and told me to make sure I reviewed it with my agent, Ron Shapiro. It was a copy of my Met contract that basically says I better not say anything detrimental about the team, or I might jeopardize the rest of the money I have coming to me.
I thought I’d at least get to the next Yankee series, or the All-Star break maybe. Heck, just Sunday night, before we left to fly to California, Omar and I had a heart-to-heart near the trainer’s room. I said to him, "Listen, I know you are under a lot of pressure, that there’s stuff going on. If you feel you want to do this now, go ahead and do it. "But don’t make me get on the plane if I’m not the guy you want." OMAR GRABBED my hand and told me not to think like that; things were still being evaluated. I gave him every opening, but for whatever reason he didn’t want to take it. Maybe he just hadn’t decided, I don’t know. But when I got on the plane, there was no way I was thinking that I was one game away from termination.
I won’t lie to you. I don’t like the way the Mets handled my firing. I think it was pretty weak. I think I would’ve deserved better if my record had been 0-555, not 302-253.
*** How do you feel about Willie going public with his own article? Please go read the entire lengthy article at the Daily News. Also, I know many of you are sick of reading about Willie, but news is news. As long as more news comes out of this, I feel we must continue to bring it to you. I read every comment that is posted both on the blog posts and in the live chat box. I’ve read dozens of your emails. I know how many of you are sick of this. Please understand that if we want to be taken seriously, we must continue to provide all the Mets news as it unfolds. This story still has legs as they say in the industry. We still continue to post other Mets news as well. Good news. Positive news. Please bear with us. ***