I certainly was not surprised by the move to fire Willie Randolph and have even campaigned for it, however, how is it that the move I was yearning for has left me with an empty feeling? A feeling that the ownership and front office for the team I root for is lacking in class, is paranoid, and just might very well be clueless!
The way this situation was mismanaged affirms the results we have seen on the field over the past 175 games, dating back to last season, where this team actually has a record that is a few games under .500. It was easy for Omar to take this team from where they were in 2004 to where they were in the Fall of 2006. All it took was the open checkbook the Wilpon’s provided him with. What has proven much more elusive is how to close the gap between playoff contender to championship contender.
With an opportunity to set the record straight and send a message to the team and fan base, it seemed as though Omar was more intent on proving that this decision was solely his and assert his control over the baseball operation. He repeated this thought countless times during his rambling and sometimes incoherent press conference. He must be great one-on-one because he is not a polished public speaker and his constant stammering makes it clear that he is not able to adequately translate his thoughts into words. His Mike and the Mad Dog radio interview on WFAN after the press conference was even more painful to listen to.
Message to the Wilpon’s….if this is the way that the man you entrust with your baseball team is going to handle your team’s affairs, it’s time that you take some of his control away. It’s time for you to step in and begin vetoing moves he wants to make or the manner in which he wants to make them. How Willie Randolph went from villain to martyr is something that you have to examine very closely. The blood of this embarrasment is on your hands and you have your man Omar to thank for that. You better do something real quick because I’m sure that nothing will be more embarrassing than empty seats next year in your beautiful new stadium. This team is beginning to be hated right now and this team was put together by your man Omar.
The spotlight now shifts to Omar and the remainder of this season will be a referendum on him. He ridiculously fires Rick Down last year and brings in Rickey Henderson and Henderson is not even a part of the coaching staff this year (we all know the reason why….it’s the same reason that everyone questioned his hiring last year). He then attempts to clean house and start fresh with these firings but only half the staff is let go. With all of this time to prepare for the eventual move, Jerry Manuel was the best that he could do? He’s either clueless or there just may be something to the ethnic favoritism claims that continue to be mentioned. There are also the questionable baseball moves that he has made in trying to get this team over the championshio hump and his complete disintegration of a bullpen that has gone from the team’s strength to its weakness.
The bloom is off of the Minaya rose and the negative side of the ledger is beginning to fill in much more quickly than the positive side. This is your team Mr. Wilpon and the way the organization conducts itself off of the field is a direct reflection of you. Omar has embarassed you on the field and now he’s forcing everyone to question the class of your organization off of it. Don’t think that free agents will not be apprehensive about signing with a perceived Mickey Mouse operation. That’s a perception that you have to change and that can only change with the decisive leadership that your man Omar does not seem capable of providing. Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock……that’s the sound of the clock possibly running out on another lost season where expectations were so high and on the tenure of Omar Minaya.