Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Just Sell, Baby!

The inevitable finally happened as the Mets fired Willie Randolph along with the Jacket and Tom Nieto. The way this went down though pretty much clinches what the monkeys have thought for some time. The ownership, particularly Jeff Wilpon (referred to as Paris Wilpon in some circles) is the cause of many of the Mets problems.

Before we get into that, we need to address the faux outrage some fans have about how this was handled. If you are one of those fans that continuously screamed that Willie had to go, calm down. Many of you were so anxious to dump Willie that if the Mets dropped him out of the plane during the flight to California, you would have been happy.

The monkeys' stance in earlier blogs was an acknowledgement that this was not all Willie's fault, but he did have to bear some responsibility and a change would probably do the team good. Not as good as acquiring a younger version of Eight Belles (Newbies to the blog should note that means Moises Alou). But we do take some offense to how this handled because it indicates a greater issue with how the organization is run.

By all accounts, Omar Minaya was a staunch supporter of Randolph. Is part of that support that Willie served as a target that shielded Minaya from blame at times? Perhaps that had something to do with it, but probably not everything to do with it. However, once the "organizational leaks" started flowing that the Mets were planning to fire Willie, the distractions were becoming too great to allow this to go on any longer. It is well known that Jeff Wilpon wanted to fire Willie after last year's collapse so he must be a prime suspect in these leaks. The other name that has been mentioned is Tony Bernazard who had an acrimonious relationship with Randolph. The only thing is these leaks have been going on since before Bernazard joined the organization. Someone leaked Rick Petersen's comment on the Kazmir conference call that he could "fix Victor Zambrano in 10 minutes." And that someone is probably the guy who was pushing for the trade. The guy who always pushes for the quick fix and panics ... Jeff Wilpon.

The monkeys question those who criticize Omar for drying up the farm system. The system was dry when he got here. His mandate was to make the fans forget the Kazmir debacle and put a winning team that could garner ratings for the new SNY Network ASAP. How was he to do that other than to sign free agents which cost the Mets the draft picks they needed to improve a barren farm system. Handcuffed by ownership to stay within MLB's slot guidelines, his only hope was to spend on the international draft which produces players 17 or 18 years old. The returns on those players are still unknown. Can you take Omar to task for not hedging his bets and getting better substitutes for an aging Delgado or Eight Belles? Yes, that is valid.

Jeff Wilpon's antics led to embarrassing timing of the firing. You can ask why Willie and his coaches had to fly cross-country when it seems ownership had made up its mind. The better question is why Jeff Wilpon undermines the authority of the people he hires? If he is going to interfere, it doesn't matter who the GM or the Manager is anyway. Now that the distractions are over, many fans want to yell to the Mets "Just Win, Baby." The monkeys want to shout to Jeff, "Just sell, baby!"

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