If Willie Randolph had managed yesterday, what do you think would have happened? Let's review yesterday's game a bit.
After Jose Reyes pulled up to first base a little limp and was removed from the game, he ignored his manager and flung his helmet into the dugout. Carlos Delgado made another error and chased after the ball in his typical lazy manner. Damion Easley committed a mental error by not covering second base on a pickoff play. The Mets showed little passion in trying to mount a comeback.
People would have been screaming for Willie's head. That now sympathetic figure would be getting crucified. The only complaint about Willie having to fly to California would have been that the plane didn't continue on to Alaska. Nobody would have blamed the Wilpons for firing him. So many things are a matter of timing.
OBERKFELL BEING GROOMED?
The monkeys had endorsed Ken Oberkfell as their managerial choice a few weeks back when the Willie Watch started (see May's column "The Clock is Ticking on Willie"). Ownership and Minaya felt they wanted someone who had witnessed the team firsthand to take over so Manuel got the nod. Some bloggers and columinst have mistakenly painted Oberkfell as more fiery than he actually has been in his managing career. Oberkfell, however has been able to get the most out of his players and has been very strong in communicating with them. Oberkfell will be strongly considered for 2009 if Manuel is unable to turn things around. The monkeys are a little surprised though that Oberkfell didn't get the bench coach position.
This guy will be worth watching. One of the international signees that the Mets have added in the past few years, Flores was already on many top 15 prospect lists before even playing a professional game. In his debut for Kingsport in the rookie league, Flores went 3 for 5 with a homerun ... and he's 16 years old. Too bad we couldn't fast forward his career. He sounds like he could be the young righty replacement for Eight Belles the monkeys have been seeking.
In case you missed it yesterday, good interview with Jayson Stark from ESPN regarding the firing.