The thing that sucks the most when a manager gets fired is that he’s not invited to the press conference. He doesn’t get to say good-bye to his team. He doesn’t get the opportunity to dispute anything the general manager says while he’s standing at the podium telling the audience it wasn’t personal and that it was just business.
Today, Willie got a chance to say a few things and clear the air a little from his home in New Jersey. It was his way to get some closure and begin the process of moving forward. He spoke out about a variety of things.
About Being Fired - “I thought he was talking about whacking a couple of my coaches (on Sunday). That’s why I was stunned. I didn’t think it was going to happen. At the time, I felt the way he was talking to me, that I was pretty secure for the time being."
About The Timing – "I didn’t deserve to be fired that way. It’s not the way I would have handled it. I can’t control how things are handled. All I can control is how I handle myself. Bottom line… it is what it is."
His Players – "I still think about David and Jose and Marlon and Easley and those guys – those are my guys. I lived and died with those guys for four seasons. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs. We’ve had a lot of heartache."
The Season - "This all happened way, way too early. We all know baseball is a long season, a marathon, so for me, it was a little abrupt. You can talk all you want to about expectations and stuff and this team didn’t play up to its capabilities, but I felt like we were going to start to do that. I wish I had the opportunity to see it through, that’s all."
His Future – "Right now, I just want to enjoy life, enjoy my family, and have a good time. I haven’t thought that far yet. I’d like to do it again. I’m not ready to retire. Once you get a taste for managing, it’s pretty cool."
Thanks to Colin Stephenson of the Star-Ledger for transcribing the full interview on his site.