Tagged: Willie Randolph

Scapegoat Willie

Despite all the rumors, the firing of Willie Randolph was still a shock.  It came immediately after a Mets win, a win that meant the team had won three of its last four.  It came after a weekend where Willie pushed all the right buttons – sometimes his team performed (see: Robinson Cancel), sometimes it didn’t (see: the entire bullpen).  Willie made plenty of mistakes over the past three and a half years, mostly in his handling of the bullpen, but I have no reason to think that a change of
_39394938_manuel_getty203.jpgmanagers is going to make Carlos Delgado younger, or all the players on the DL healthier.

One thing is encouraging, however.  In his press conference today, interim manager Jerry Manuel said he would stretch the starting pitchers out to 120 pitches, and assign defined roles for the relievers.  While I agree with Dallas Green when he said, “The reliever’s role is to get outs,” in this day and age, pitchers are used to a certain routine before they enter a game.  They need to know when they are coming in so they can stretch and warm up properly.  Yes, pitchers are divas, but there’s really no getting around that now.  I really believe that assigning roles to the relievers will help.

But I don’t believe it will be enough.  The Mets players have to step up.  Will they play for Manuel?  Playing for Willie’s job didn’t seem to be enough.  Will they be even less motivated now?

The Jerry Manuel era begins tonight, and we will find out if it’s a change for the better, or simply more of the same.

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Picking Up Where They Left Off

The Mets have picked up in 2008 exactly where they left off in 2007.

  • Jose Reyes isn’t hitting
  • El Duque, Pedro Martinez, Duaner Sanchez, and Moises Alou are hurt, and nowhere near coming back
  • The bullpen can’t get anyone out
  • Luis Castillo is looking like he is on the decline, and his knees are bugging him again (Gee, it would have been nice to have Ruben Gotay around right about now, huh?)
  • Oliver Perez is still flaky – he hasn’t allowed a run in two starts, but at the end of his last start today, he was barely even throwing the ball in the general direction of home plate
  • Despite his great Spring, John Maine now looks more like Burt Young than Cy Young
  • Their opposition is making big plays in the field, and coming up with clutch hits.  The Mets aren’t
  • Willie Randolph is actually getting WORSE at handling the bullpen.  Why did he double-switch in Jorge Sosa today just to take him out the very next inning?  You double switch in a pitcher when you want to get multiple innings out of him.  Willie’s been in the National League long enough. He should know how to handle pitchers by now.

It’s early, but there is no reason to think the Mets haven’t gotten over their 2007 collapse.  Maybe it wasn’t a collapse, maybe it was just the Mets playing as well as they can.  Maybe they’re just not that good.

Johan Santana must be feeling very lonely right now.