Management To Assess Randolph By June 1

The Wilpons do care about more than making money!

Dan Graziano reports in today Star Ledger that sources are reporting that Willie Randolph will be evaluated by June 1.

A person familiar with the Mets’ thinking, who requested anonymity because he was relaying details of private conversations, said Mets management is planning a reevaluation at the end of this month.

The offseason acquisitions of Johan Santana, Ryan Church and Brian Schneider improved the roster, and if the team hasn’t found a way to assert itself in the division by June, the Wilpons will look seriously at whether a change is necessary in the manager’s office.

Now, this same person said that, unless the Mets fall completely out of the race, Randolph is likely to last through this season. GM Omar Minaya likely will stick up for him, and there’s no clear-cut candidate, inside the organization or out, waiting to take Randolph’s place midseason.

But the Mets’ underwhelming on-field performance of the past 11 calendar months has ownership wondering if Randolph is the right man to manage their team, and it’s a question they have good reason to ask.

If you read MetsBlog regularly, you would have seen me ranting and raving about Willie Randolph’s performance over the last few seasons, even in 2006. I just don’t think he has what it takes to be a manager from a personality or a strategic standpoint.

The “past 11 calendar months” that Graziano refers to dates back to June 1, 2007. As you are probably familiar by now, from that date, the Mets played 2 games below .500 for the rest of the 2007 season. Thus far in 2008, the Mets are 2 above .500.

The cumulative result is that they have been a .500 team for the last 5 seasons of regular season baseball.

The smart money is on Randolph sticking around because if Willie gets canned, Omar is next in line should things not improve under a new manager.

I have been waiting a long time for writers to start realizing that Randolph just isn’t cut out for this job.

Where Randolph comes up short is in his failure to recognize what kind of team he has and manage accordingly. Randolph is a decent man who cares deeply about his team and his job and believes strongly in himself. But he’s also stubborn, and that’s what has him in trouble.

Randolph came from the Yankees, where the championship teams of the late ’70s and the late ’90s were packed with hard-nosed winners. He believes he shouldn’t need to motivate or fire up big-league players, because his teams never needed that.

In principle, he’s right. He shouldn’t need to remind major-league players that it’s important to raise their games in big spots, or not to take games or at-bats off.

But unfortunately for Randolph, his players are soft.

Randolph sees incapable of making adjustments. Whether that means riding a hot bat coming unexpectedly, assessing an in-game situation, or realizing when one of “his guys” needs a mental break. I don’t think this will change by June 1. Willie has not grown as a manager and there’s no reason to expect this to happen now.

There are 23 games between now and June 1. If the Mets play .600 ball over that stretch and win 14 of those games, is that really going to change what has transpired over the last few years? It is obvious to me that Willie is not the right guy for this job.

While I am glad that Mets are taking notice of the situation, all they really are doing is “reevaluating”. At the end of the day, nothing will change.


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