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June 17, 2008 at 9:02 am ET
11 Comments
Bad Form

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.

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11 Responses to “Bad Form”
  1. Dave says:

    Willie’s firing COULD have been handled better but in the end he’s gone and we can all stop the Willie Watch 2008.

    I love the Yankee fans who come in all high and mighty about how the Mets mishandled the firing of Randolph. Uh, hello? George Steinbrenner wrote the book on handling managers poorly, and by the way his son, your current owner, is a certified moron after his DH comments.

  2. Dick Weed says:

    This shows you the Mets can’t get anything right.Does anyone wonder why they don’t win,don’t look any further than this situation.I am ashamed to be a Mets fan.

  3. Jeff says:

    Dave,

    Where are these “high and mighty Yankees fans”? Don’t see any in here. Why would we care how Willie was fired?

  4. BC says:

    As usual, a good article Brad.

    @Dave – Stop worrying about what you think the Yankee fans might possibly be thinking about speculating about your team and the firing of its manager. I think we all know they’re more concerned about their rotation right now.

    Everybody else, on the other hand, thinks it was a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant move.

    Hallelujah, holy shit. (where’s the Tylenol)

  5. Brad Bortone Brad Bortone says:

    Dave – Liked your piece, too. I guess I thought Willie deserved a little better, considering where they were when he took over for Howe. But, if this was done to make an emphatic point, I’m sure the point is taken. The question is, “what now?”

    Richard W. – I think we’re all a little ashamed that it came to this. Especially since they effectively promoted the same guy they just fired. Manuel is a little too chill for this bunch. Oberkfell would have made more sense to me.

    BC – Thanks for the compliment. Best quote of the day. Bar none.

  6. Greg says:

    “running away with an average division”??

    What is so average about the NL East? They probably have 4 of the top 5 teams in the NL. At the very least it’s 4 of the top 7.

  7. Brad Bortone Brad Bortone says:

    And of them, how many are *serious* threats to make waves in the postseason?

    Just the Phils. One team does not a good division make.

  8. Greg says:

    anyone that reaches the postseason has a chance

  9. Brad Bortone Brad Bortone says:

    Agreed…but cream rises. Ask the 2007 Rockies, 2006 Tigers and 2004 Cardinals.

    This aside, the comment about the division was made out of frustration re: these ridiculous Mets. I’ll tackle the rest of this division another day. Today is all about making heads or tails of last night’s ninja termination.

  10. Mike says:

    Mets came up small here. Not very classy at all.

  11. coops2001 says:

    The mets management are showing how disjointed they are by annoucing it at 300 am. Or maybe they are huge golf fans and didn’t want to overshadow Tiger’s sudden death win.

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