Monday, June 16, 2008

MSM Musings: Clueless!

Richard Justice lays the hammer to the Mets in the Sporting News online today. By day he's a Houston Astros beat writer, but by night he apparently beats on franchises that seem to lack direction, especially from ownership.

Although the column jumps back and forth between his points and struggles to achieve any continuity, Justice takes a number of shots at Fred Wilpon for letting this sad drama drag on. From the article: "The Mets have become a joke, and that joke begins with the people who are evaluating Willie Randolph. When the Mets beat the Rangers on Friday, Randolph's job was spared for at least a day. No manager should be evaluated in this day-to-day, move-to-move way. But it's clear to anyone in the free world that the Mets already have their minds set on firing Willie Randolph. To allow him to continue to work under impossible circumstances is both cruel and dumb. But that's the Mets. This organization has a history of infighting, and the leadership of the franchise is too weak to stop it. Everything that's wrong with the Mets begins with the boss, Fred Wilpon. He should have -- and could have -- taken care of the in-house tension a long time ago."

Hard to argue with that. One day the Mets are firing Randolph, the next day they aren't. Then they're firing coaches instead, then it's Randolph and the coaches, then it's different coaches. The latest buzz is that it's pitching coach Rick Peterson and first base coach Tom Nieto facing the ax. It doesn't make a ton of sense for either man to be fired - Peterson was here before Randolph and has done good work with the Mets' pitching staff, while Nieto is a first-base coach who has little to no influence on the team. If the Mets were going to fire anybody, it should be Sandy Alomar, Jr., who has had an abysmal year as the third base coach.

Justice's support for Randolph is too strong; anyone who doesn't think Willie is a poor game manager is either lying to you or not paying attention. He also gets himself into a huff about the suggestion that Keith Hernandez should be the next Mets' manager, as if it's not a well-known fact that Mex has no intention of leaving the broadcast booth for a job that demanding. But Justice knows one thing - the problems with this organization do not end with the manager. The problems go all the way to the top.


Joeywalnuts said...

Check your media guide there Jackie. Jeff "Ricky Stratton" Wilpon is credited with running the day-to-day operations of the ball club and the business end sine '02. It is he, not Fred, I choose to finger as the culprit of the disasterous trade of Scott Kazmir. How does he sign off on that trade? How does he allow for the trade? And if they were that hell bent on trading him, how do they not get more? Lest we forget Kaz Matsui and the move of Reyes to 2nd base to make room for him. Another debacle. Under Jeffey, we've seen the institution of Met 7 packs, forcing fans to buy tickets to games they don't want in order to get to games they do. And of course the ingenious gold, silver and bronze games. Next year they move into Citi Field, a ball park that pays homage to another team! Walk in the front door, for Christ sakes, you'll be greeted by a Brooklyn Dodger! We have a life time of Jeffy in charge to look forward to, a man who is not decisive, nor apparenlty confident. How does Willie come to the ball park Sunday and wonder aloud, half joking and half serious, if he's getting on the plane that night? How does Jeffey let it get to that point? But this is life with Ricky Stratton in charge. A ball club that every day grows more and more inhospitable to their fan base, a cold corporate money machine with no sense of history nor a shred of imagination. Once Shea is gone, this team will just be a shadowy reflection of the people'team they once were.

tim said...

If someone from half way across the country has taken the time to tell us that something has to be done to fix this problem then I think it is time.

Yes, Willie is a bad manager, Petersen's influence has worn off on some and yes Nieto is a scapegoat. Alomar Sr. has to go just out of general principle. But I've been thinking lately about how these firings won't really change the way things go on the field) I think the Wilpons should leave Willie and the coaches (other than Alomar and maybe even Hojo) and just fire Minaya and Bernzanard. You're going to have to do it eventually.

I think the reason why this has gone on this long is because the truth of the matter is that Willie is Fred's guy, not Omar's, and it could very well be that Omar has been trying to get rid Willie for a while now but the Wilpon;s would not have it, so he put together a roster that was doomed for failure. I think Willie will be managing this team next week, next month maybe even next year, because truth be told, since August of 2006 Willie has had to rely on Omar to fill in the gaps the team has had because of injuries, whether it was being ill-prepared after losing Sanchez, Pedro, Duque and Glavine or trading away good arms for bad outfielders (Ben Johnson and where is Newhan), or stocking the bench and triple A with old men and also rans. He maybe a terrible manager but Omar has shown himself to be a sham.

Forget Willie. Omar must go!

By the way Joe, Ricky Stratton, that's fantastic!

Christine said...

The day to day-- "Will the Mets fire Willie?" is very bad for the team and its image. It makes them look like they have no idea what they're doing. The fact that Willie would keep his job if they win 2 in a row is very sad and laughable.