TransitGuy 1 Posted June 17, 2008 Share #1 Posted June 17, 2008 Newsday.com Mets' handling of Willie cowardly Jim Baumbach 8:13 AM EDT, June 17, 2008 Cowards. That's what the Mets upper management has become. Huge cowards who care more about appearance, public relations and their own personal reputations than the performance of their team. Fire your manager via a mass e-mail to the media at 3:11 a.m.? Yuck. You know what this reeks of? Someone made this decision days ago and agonized for hours on how to announce it to the public in the best way possible to keep the pressure off their own self. Is it Omar Minaya or is it Jeff Wilpon? It's one of the two. Today, we see firsthand Corporate America joining hands with a Major League Baseball team, 21st-century style. It used to be that teams did firings and announced negative news on Fridays, because the Saturday newspaper is the smallest and least read by the people who buy their tickets and paraphernalia. But in this day and age where news hits the Internet in minutes and the news cycle is endless, the Friday bad news game is meaningless. So what do the Mets do? They wait until their team heads to the West Coast, wait until their fans are in bed, wait until Randolph returns to the hotel and fire him then. This is not about whether this was the right move. Randolph probably deserves to get fired based on how much this team has under-performed for the past year-plus. But Randolph deserved better than how the Mets handled this, and so did the players and the fans. There is no defending the Mets management today. They screwed this up royally, and it's hard not to think they mishandled this mess for the past week simply to find the best way to make themselves look better. We don't know who to specifically point the blame to, but we will soon. Omar Minaya has never fired a manager before this morning, and he will be meeting with reporters at 5 p.m. eastern time to explain this. Forget about why Randolph was fired. The first question he'll have to answer why it was handled like this. Did the Mets know they were going to fire Randolph this past weekend? And did they intentionally wait for the team to head West to get away from their own fans and to go to a place where there will be five times fewer reporters? And why the ridiculous timing? Here's the sick part: By announcing at 3 a.m., the Mets undoubtedly figured they'd just miss the last deadlines for New York City newspapers, meaning there would be another 24 hours before the next day's newspaper is published. So this way maybe something else can happen in the world and they won't have to see their manager's firing plastered all over the back pages, because it's day-old news. And if you're a Mets fan, that should make you sick. Because that means they care about their image more than their performance. And what about Randolph?As the Mets upper management looked for ways this weekend to do this firing in a manner that served one purpose -- keeping the blood away from their expensive suits -- they in the process somehow managed to make Randolph into a bit of a sympathetic figure to their own fans. On Friday every Mets fan wanted Randolph fired, and that probably hasn't changed. But I got the sense watching Sunday's game that Mets fans weren't so eager to boo Randolph anymore, because Randolph knew he was a goner and so did the fans. It was almost as if they felt for him, maybe even respected the way he handled himself at a time when many others might have melted under his own impending doom. Any way you look at it, Randolph deserved better than being told he was fired at 3 in the morning Eastern time --- midnight West Coast time -- after a win over the Angels that came after a West Coast flight. Randolph didn't know he was fired until he came back to the team hotel after the win. Minaya was waiting for him to deliver the bad news at a place there was no reporters, no Mets fans, no Jeff Wilpon. Just as they designed it. What cowards. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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