Craig Ruttle/AP
New York Mets' general manager Omar Minaya, left, and Willie Randolph

Mets Blasted for ‘Cowardly’ Midnight Firing

June 17, 2008 05:40 PM
by Denis Cummings
The New York Mets have been criticized for their handling of the long-awaited firing of manager Willie Randolph.

30-Second Summary

On the evening of Monday, June 16, the Mets were in Anaheim to play the Angels. When Mets manager Willie Randolph returned to the team hotel after a 9-6 win, General Manager Omar Minaya told him that he had been fired.

A Mets press release issued at 3:18 a.m. EDT announced the firing of Randolph, as well as pitching coach Rick Peterson and first base coach Tom Nieto, ending weeks of speculation about Randolph’s job.

Many believe that the Mets were justified in firing Randolph, but they object to the manner in which they did it, and are expressing sympathy for the outgoing manager. Writers almost universally used words like “disgraceful,” “shameful,” and “cowardly” in their summations. “Only the Mets, who have lost their way, could make a manager firing look so unjustified,” wrote The Daily News’ Bill Madden.

Randolph’s job had been in jeopardy since the end of last season, when the Mets blew a seven-game lead with 17 games left. As the $138-million team got off to a poor start this season, the Mets have had several opportunities to fire Randolph but repeatedly chose not to.

They may have hoped that the West Coast firing, which occurred after the New York newspapers had been printed, would fly under the radar. “If you’re a Mets fan, that should make you sick,” wrote Newsday’s Jim Baumbach, “Because that means they care about their image more than their performance.”

The maneuver has clearly backfired: the Mets are getting far more media attention and face far more criticism than if they had fired Randolph in New York. They have, according to the New York Post’s Mike Vaccaro, “conspired to botch this firing worse than any firing has ever been botched. Ever.”

Headline Link: Randolph fired overnight

Reactions: 'There is no bigger Willie Randolph fan than Omar Minaya'

Opinion & Analysis: ‘Disgraceful. Utterly, completely, disgraceful’

Background: Randolph’s tenure

Biography: Willie Randolph

Reference: Official Web site of the New York Mets

Related Topics: Joe Torre, Carl Ware


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