Friday, May 23, 2008

The Clock is Ticking on Willie

The Wilpons have called for a meeting with Willie Randolph this Monday when the Mets return to New York. Omar Minaya has flown out to Colorado to presumably prep Randolph and view the team up close to help his recommendation to ownership on whether or not to fire Randolph.

Now if you're Minaya, it is going to take a lot to fire Willie. Once Randolph is gone, the blame for any continued mess falls squarely on Omar. However, if the Mets lose their series or get swept, it's going to pretty hard to convince Jeff Wilpon to keep Willie since he wanted to fire him after last year's collapse.

If Willie was to go, who would be the Mets next Manager? The pool of candidates would be a lot greater in the offseason than midseason. Still, here are a few:

Jerry Manuel -- The Mets bench coach, Manuel has previous major league managerial experience. In a 6-season managerial career, Manuel compiled a .515 winning percentage with 500 wins and 471 losses in 971 games. He led the White Sox to four 2nd-place finishes but only one playoff appearance when he led the White Sox to a 1st-place finish in 2000. The problem is his demeanor is too similar to Randolph.

Lee Mazzili -- Mazzilli was manager of the Baltimore Orioles from 2004 to 2005. He was first base coach to the New York Yankees from 2000 to 2003 and bench coach in 2006. He was 129-140. Mazz was a popular Met, but his managerial track record is questionable.

Ken Oberkfell -- Oberkfell, the Manager of the Mets AAA affiliate, was named 2005 Manager of the Year by Baseball America. He is known as being a player's Manager and a great communicator. He reportedly is great at getting to know each player's personality and managing accordingly. Could he better relate to Reyes? He probably is not the fiery type some fans are screaming for like...

Larry Bowa and Jim Fregosi -- Some fans are looking for a kick ass Manager looking for a completely different style. Fans hear how Bowa pushed Robinson Cano and hope he would have the same effect on Reyes. The monkeys are a bit skeptical of the long term effects of such a move since neither has been very successful. Still as a stopgap to jump start the team, either might work.

Bobby V -- Fans and media members either love him or hate him, but no denying he's usually the brightest guy in the room. Bobby got a lot out Mets teams that weren't very talented. Who makes a World Series with an outfield of Benny Agbayani, Jay Payton and Timo Perez? Still the monkeys remember the last year of Valentine's run when he couldn't get Roberto Alomar to stop sliding headfirst into first base. Bobby V is better with younger teams that he can mold. The Mets need to clear out that clubhouse a bit before they go back to the Bobby V well.

So, what would the monkeys do? Give Oberkfell a shot on an interim basis than reevaluate after the season when a greater pool of choices becomes available.

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