It's Mets For Me: Off-Beat, Tangentially Relevant Mets Ruminations

Off Base Since 2005! Mets commentary from the counter-intuitive to the unintuitive and all the intuitives in between. ** "Through the use of humor and gross inaccuracy...a certain truth can be gained." Rob Perri ** (pester me or follow me @itsmetsforme on twitter)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Willie: "I'm no genius. I'm just trying to lead my club."

Is there a Vast Media Conspiracy Directed at Willie?

Willie Randolph is getting it from all sides--even his brother is taxing the poor guy (click link for title quote too). I've never been a big fan, but in this post I advance the thesis that it is possible the hog piling on Willie has gotten out of control. Bloggers would probably reject the idea that they are being led by the nose by the "old" media, but it seems clear that the media is nurturing stories where none yet exist. And far more respectable bloggers than I are calling for heads to roll.

Willie was not fired for last season's collapse, but now it seems that the team's mediocre start is leading people to see the malaise as cumulative. There are even reports that Willie is about to be evaluated. Dan Graziano thinks Willie needs to learn to manage a bunch of losers:

But unfortunately for Randolph, his players are soft. His players are the types who don't raise their games in big spots, who do take at-bats off. His players coast through long stretches of the season, assuming their talent will carry them through without any extra effort or emotion on their part. His players are not self-motivators, and they are a group that might respond well to being scared every now and then.

Willie is shrugging most it off, but draws the line at the claim that he has lost his players:

Randolph was dismayed last week that closer Billy Wagner criticized the team, preferring him to have done it behind closed doors.
Randolph said: "I'm as close to my players and my players respect me as much as any team I've ever been around.
"That's dangerous when you start saying things that you don't know about, just because you're searching for things to talk about. That's very, very dangerous. If it's true that's one thing, but if it's not ... ."

Meanwhile, all the sudden the greatest active managers in Mets history are getting some serious play in the press. Davey Johnson is getting some love. The Daily News ran a great interview with Johnson where he reminisces about the 80s Mets clubs he managed to glory or near glory.

At 65, Johnson says the big leagues have burned him out ...
Lookin' good now, eh?
Meanwhile Bobby V has a freakin' documentary devoted to him (linkage appropriated from CSTB) and the column inches to go with it. So what gives media? Did the invitation to Willie's birthday party get lost in the mail? What are the viable options? Bobby V., with his "progressive and creative baseball mind and his Veeckian flair for showmanship," was banished to the land of the rising sun and he isn't coming walking through that door folks.

Before we throw our heads back to bay for blood we should stop to consider a few questions. Do we really want Willie to start flipping burgers (see below) instead of toasting subs? We're being primed for a serious shakeup at the managerial level, but is chaos and a voyage into the unknown what's best for this team? If the Mets are under-inspired, then any manager firing would have to be timed perfectly to motivate unless we want to kiss this season goodbye. And the Wilpons are no lock to show good timing or discretion when it comes to selecting new management. It says here, if Willie was going to be fired, the time to sack Willie would have been after the collapse, not while the team is in the middle of an identity crisis and could probably go either way. I'm not saying that Omar should stand pat, or that I think Willie is the ideal manager, but I am saying that constant flux is not a hallmark of solid organizations. Finding a good plan and sticking to it is what we wanted Omar to do in the first place, remember?



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