We all knew it was coming. We could set our watches by it.
But why did the Mets’ management wait until now? Why did Willie have to win 3 of 4 to get fired? Why did they fly them 5,000 miles from home, tailed by a looming Omar Minaya with a cloak and scythe, only to send them back with their heads hanging in shame?
I’ll tell you why:
Because this is how the Mets’ management plays ball. And it’s the real reason the Mets are floundering around .500 instead of running away with an average division.
Make no mistake – Willie Randolph isn’t the right man for this job. He never really was. He is far too passive to be leading a clubhouse full of egos and fragile personalities. He wafted smoke where these men needed fire. He gave reassuring pats on the back when asses needed to be kicked. We needed brute, honest strength, and he gave us limp tales of fortitude and resolve.
Willie was very much into excusing the past instead of explaining it, and making promises that no one believed they could live up to in the first place. Randolph’s post game mantras of “…we battled,” “quality innings,” and “positive signs” were never going to work with the NY faithful. Too trite…too loose…too meaningless for anyone who ever picked up a ball or watched a game.
Then came the talk of racism, and inexplicable squabbles with the media. I mean, I could go on, but why bother?
It was time for Willie to go.
I won’t get into Peterson and his moronic “zen” approach to throwing strikes. Pitching is mechanics and mental strength. For every great Johan performance this year, we’ve had to endure countless men trying to find their emotional centers instead of changing pitch location. One look at Oliver Perez’ million dollar arm and ten-cent head, and you’ll see just how poor the coaching really was.
What did Tom Nieto do again? Yeah, I don’t know either.
In the end, we all know that the real blame lies in the front office — the men who deemed it appropriate to sign a broken second baseman to a ludicrous four-year deal, when a young, healthy Orlando Hudson will be a free agent next season. These are the men that continue to pay large sums of cash to Moises Alou, Orlando Hernandez and Pedro Martinez – three guys who have played somewhere between 15-20 games this season. Total.
These are the men that may have sacrificed the Mets’ tomorrow for a today that never happened.
Moving forward, we’re going to have to endure a team in transition. The sacrificial lambs that were Randolph, Peterson and Nieto were telling omens for the rest of the underachievers: Perform, or go. There’s a good chance the Amazins will become the Rebuildins come July, and unless your name is Wright, Reyes or Santana, no one is safe. The timing is bizarre, to say the least, but knowing Mets’ management, this is precisely the shakeup they wanted to drive some fear into a clubhouse that desperately needs it.
Welcome to the summer of your discontent, Mets fans. It’s gonna be a hell of a ride.