Thursday, April 24, 2008

Willie Randolph's treatment by Mike and Chris on WFAN

Mike and Chris on WFAN are well aware Willie Randolph has been prevented from doing his job by Mets management. It's been written about by Bill Madden (NY Daily News 9/23/07, 10/03/07, and others), eg. If anything, Randolph did a much better job than anticipated: Bill Madden, 10/3/07: (I remember Willie telling Cliff Floyd not to lallygag his way back to the dugout and Floyd stopped doing it). sm
  • Mike and Chris even brought the subject of Willie's authority up with Minaya last year asking about Tony Bernazard's presence in the clubhouse. I recall Minaya saying Bernazard was in the clubhouse to "help." WFAN's invention of, "Gee, Mets fans don't like Willie Randolph" isn't the same thing as debating for a week whether Joba should pirouette on the mound.
  • It's much too personal. The only way this makes sense is if water is being carried. One hears teams use baseball writers to manipulate various situations.
  • Radio is a personal medium, so the idea is more distasteful.
The main complaint from callers I heard was Willie reminded them of Joe Torre drinking tea. A firing offense, apparently. With this evidence, Russo would subsequently say, Wow......Mets fans don't like Willie Randolph... over and over. Making it conventional wisdom. And think how much this helps Mets' players.
  • Chris and Mike themselves have not come up with any real faults, but are "damning with faint praise." Encouraging calls from the unknown and unwashed is standard procedure, but in this case seems pandering to Mets ownership.
  • Since the station will do whatever it wants, the only way a listener can protest is to avoid its advertisers.
The conversation that should be taking place about Willie Randolph if any is that he's not allowed to be manager, players can't "play for him" when Bernazard beats him to players' lockers. Randolph had done his job too well. (This must have scared Fred Wilpon and the monster he created, Jeff Wilpon). Bill Madden: 10/3/07: That Randolph, despite his Brooklyn roots, community involvement and popularity in New York, has never been held in the same esteem as other successful managers is evidenced by the fact that Wilpon and GM Omar Minaya Henderson was one of the game's greatest players and he combined that with an engaging personality. But as a coach, his contributions have been minimal.
  • Around the clubhouse, he is jokingly referred to as the card-playing coach, and those close to the situation say
Randolph has had to bite his tongue every day when he arrives at the clubhouse only to see Henderson playing cards with the players. anyone more disappointing (to use Wilpon's word) than Reyes these past six weeks?
  • We also hear that Mets brass is regretting not giving Manny Acta the manager's job three years ago. That chatter grew louder last week when Acta's Washington Nationals were pounding the Mets 12-4 and 9-8 in the first two games of their series in D.C. One can only imagine what Randolph must have thought

seeing Mets assistant GM Tony Bernazard openly fraternizing with Acta for nearly an hour before the Mets' games in D.C. in August and then again last Wednesday.

  • As it is, Bernazard spends way too much time in the Met clubhouse, which is supposed to be the manager's domain.

But as former Mets manager Bobby Valentine - who complained bitterly to ownership about then-GM Steve Phillips constantly holding court in his clubhouse - can attest, around the Mets that's just not the case."...

P.S. A team forced to work in an environment such as the Mets have created would have a hard time winning. (sm)
  • *If links to NY Daily News default to current issue, try putting the article's headline in google.

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