The guys over at IMG and Subway were kind enough to allow me to attend a Media Event through MetsMerized, where I got to meet Jared (“The Subway Guy”) and our former manager, Willie Randolph. Right off the bat, I took one look at Randolph and realized that he doesn’t seem to have aged at all — slap a Mets cap on the man and he looks the same as he did when we let him go ever so unceremoniously. Randolph presided over what was the most enjoyable time period of my Mets fandom to date, so I was very excited to meet him and talk to him a little.
The whole event was coordinated to promote Subway’s new sandwich bag, which has an insulated pocket to ensure the ultimate sandwich quality… I could be a company man, huh? Randolph and Jared were working together to promote said creation, so they made any sandwiches that the media requested and stuck around for interviews. So yeah, I was lucky enough to get a sandwich made by Jared and Willie Randolph, who proceeded to sign my new Subway Bag. At this point, I was already pretty happy.
But luckily for me, my afternoon wasn’t over. I had the chance to talk to Randolph for a few minutes, and wouldn’t you know — he still follows the Mets religiously. There was a rush of people looking for interview time and photos, so I didn’t get to ask him too much, but I loved the answers he gave me.
SR: Mr. Randolph, it’s a pleasure to be able to talk to you. I think I speak for a lot of people, myself included, when I say that we really do miss you around the Mets. Do you still keep track of the Mets in any way?
WR: Oh yeah, I definitely do. David Wright is one of my favorite people, and I got to coach him in the WBC, which was great. And I’ve been looking at some of the talent they have — they’ve got some good young talent coming up. I love Matt Harvey and guys like Hefner who are coming into form, they’re really enjoyable to watch. I’m looking forward to seeing what Wheeler can do as he starts to develop, and I think they have a nice core coming together very soon. I was lucky enough to build a relationship with a guy like David, who I think can nurture some of these young players along.
SR: I’m really glad to hear that you still keep tabs on the Mets — can you tell me what you think about their future and what direction they’re headed in?
WR: Well, I think they’re headed in the right direction, but from year to year, you have be willing to make adjustments to your situation. Right now, their offense is lacking, and they could really do with a power hitting outfielder. Outside of that, the shortstop situation is something that needs to be remedied, and the catching situation could use a little clarity. You know, you make small steps towards the future. It’s not always the best way to get things done, but that’s what they have to do right now.
SR: Thanks a lot for your time, Mr. Randolph. Before I step away, outside of Yankee Stadium, what was your favorite ballpark to play in?
WR: Actually, I used to love the old ballpark in Baltimore — Memorial Stadium. It was an old-school stadium, but for some reason, I always felt like I hit really well when I played there.
Willie was absolutely a gentleman throughout the entire event — and it shocked me to hear how aware he was of our situation. That’s a real New Yorker right there… It’s also refreshing to hear a baseball man that I trust say that we’re headed in the right direction — and saying word-for-word that we need a power hitting outfielder should be a wake-up call to Alderson. Hell, Alex Rios maybe?
We could always use a guy like Willie Randolph around our team to help create a culture of winning again. I want to thank IMG, Subway, and Willie Randolph and Jared themselves for their time and the opportunity.