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I hope every one is tired of this shit


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fter struggling for the words he never really found in a rambling 12-minute discourse about how disappointed everyone was at the way the Mets' season ended in such utter disgrace, Omar Minaya finally got around to confirming yesterday that Willie Randolph, who has two years and $4.25 million left on his contract, will be coming back as manager next season. Randolph, who had been standing off to the side looking very uncomfortable by at all, would later thank the Met GM for his vote of confidence.


In reality, though, this was about as much a vote of confidence as Randolph had for his bullpen on any given night the last three weeks of the season. Randolph isn't so naïve as to think he's coming back because Mets ownership really wants him or believes in him and the professionalism he's brought to the job. Because if it did we would have heard from the Wilpons by now. Instead, all we get from them is silence and statements about disappointment.


But then this is all part of the perfect storm that turned the Mets' season into disaster - a perfect storm of Randolph's authority being undercut by his bosses, combined with an aging starting rotation, minus a bona fide ace and plus a stopper who hit the wall in September, a bankrupt bullpen, and his wunderkind shortstop/team catalyst inexplicably going into a total funk.


In the offseason, it will be on Minaya to somehow bolster the rotation and find some quality arms for the bullpen. But the Jose Reyes meltdown along with the other periodic breakdowns of discipline (Reyes and Lastings Milledge not running out balls, Endy Chavez, Reyes and Carlos Gomez all attempting to steal third base with two outs) that reared their ugly head in September go to the deeper problem that threatens Randolph's ability to manage this team as he envisioned.


That would be Minaya's assistant GM, Tony Bernazard who, it would appear, is the real power in the front office. Before being hired by Minaya, Bernazard worked in the Players Association as essentially the union's liaison with the Latin players. Donald Fehr would hold meetings with the players in spring training, outlining all the elements of the Basic Agreement and then Bernazard would recite it all in Spanish (Carlos Delgado once referred to him as "the highest paid translator on the planet").


As such, many Latin players throughout baseball hold Bernazard in "second father" regard. I'm also told that all of the Mets' minor league Latin players have Bernazard's cell-phone number with the understanding they should call him any time if they encounter problems either off the field or with club officials.


What is unique about Bernazard's situation with the Mets is that no other assistant GM, let alone GM, spends as much time in the clubhouse - which is supposed to be the manager's domain - as he does. After Gomez was thrown out stealing third for the final out in the ninth inning against the Marlins in Miami on Sept. 21, Bernazard was immediately at the kid's locker after the game - which could not have been very settling to Randolph. But the fact is, once the Mets fired Randolph's only hand-picked coach, Rick Down, at the All-Star break, they sent a message to the players that the manager didn't have the juice they had perceived him to have. At the time, Minaya made a point of saying Down's replacement on the staff, Rickey Henderson, would be a good influence on Reyes. Right.

Until then, Randolph had attempted to instill discipline in Reyes by employing the "tough love" approach. But when a player knows he can go over the manager's head to a higher authority with a sympathetic ear, the manager's message starts to get tuned out. And while Bernazard may insist his open fraternization with Senators manager Manny Acta in Washington was no big deal, what kind of message do you think that was to Randolph's impressionable young Latin players?


Mets sources have told me that Bernazard pushed hard for Acta to get the manager's job before Minaya settled on Randolph. I have no doubt that if Acta were not under contract to the Nats the next two years, Minaya would not have had that press conference with Randolph yesterday. The same sources insist that, because Randolph had no previous managerial experience, the Met hierarchy expected he would simply do what he was told and go along with the program. They didn't want a manager who would exert his will. If they did, they would have hired Jim Leyland.


But it turned out, in Randolph, they got more than they bargained for. From the moment he stepped on the field in his first spring training two years ago, Randolph brought a professionalism not seen around Mets since Gil Hodges held forth in the manager's chair. The Mets, Randolph declared, were going to play baseball the right way; were going to play hard and play smart every day and they were going to conduct themselves as professionals. And for the better part of 2-1/2years they did, but we started seeing an erosion of all that these past few weeks - at the same time it had become increasingly clear that the Met hierarchy's support for the manager had eroded.


Now, with Minaya serving as its front man with the weak vote of confidence yesterday, Mets ownership brings him back, seemingly for all the wrong reasons. Is it doing it just because the majority of the media are saying Randolph doesn't deserve to be fired? Or because it doesn't want to eat the $4.25 million?


Instead of saying Randolph is our guy and we believe in him and his program, Met ownership says nothing. Instead of giving their manager some juice, they give him an unspoken ultimatum and a target on his back.





If this is true, which in all probability it is...shame on the Mets. This shit happened when

Al Leiter and John Franco was here and now it's continuing with this fucking guy. This shit

is really getting tiring to read as a fan. This is why Scott Kazmir was traded, why Bobby Valentine

was fired (he pushed the players too hard, lord knows you can't do that) and why Art Howe

had no chance managing here. Sooner or later this shit with the owners and general managers

must stop....I long for the days that Doubleday owned the team. I truly feel sorry for Willie

Randolph, it's obvious he is just a pawn.

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Yeah, all this news is upsetting. It's really too bad that the ownership doesn't realize what they have in a manager like Willie and step back and let him do his thing. He had the younger guys progressing with huge strides in the first two years, but instead of supporting his system, they just help undermine it. I guess they don't want to sustain a winning team.

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Yeah, all this news is upsetting. It's really too bad that the ownership doesn't realize what they have in a manager like Willie and step back and let him do his thing. He had the younger guys progressing with huge strides in the first two years, but instead of supporting his system, they just help undermine it. I guess they don't want to sustain a winning team.

Both you and Kid have the long and short of it. Nepotism, patronage, Latino chauvinism, all of them are serving to undermine Willie and his system. I knew the Mets would turn into a pure nest of vipers once Doubleday sold his half of the team. In my opinion the wrong owner left. I don't care what sport and/or level of sport you play in there is no place for that hotdog bullshit that Milledge and Reyes seem to specialize in. My God only to have a Barry Sanders on every team in every professional sport. He would score a touchdown and then hand the ball to the ref....no dancing....no spiking (no five yard penalties for him, LOL) and no bad mouthing of opponents, team mates, and/or league/team management. Of course he was villified by damn near everyone because he had the audacity to retire and actually stay retired. :P

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In 2005 when Willie was more in control this team played hard and gritty night in and night out. They did so for the better part of 2006 as well, somewhere along the lines that attitude ceased to happen. I do not think that Willie lost his edge. Fuck Tony Bernazard and the rest of the machismo motherfuckers. STay out of the clubhouse and tell the latin players they have a problem to speak to the manager, their English is good enough.

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  • 7 months later...

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