I fell asleep during the 8th inning of last night’s Mets/Angels game, with the Mets leading 8-6. When I awoke at about 4:30 AM EST, the TV was reporting Willie Randolph and 2 coaches were fired. “Wow”, I thought, “I must have missed a heckeva 9th inning”
Yogi Berra, 3 winning years in 4 and a World Series appearance – fired.
Davey Johnson, most successful manager in Mets history, winning 59% of his games and a championship – chewed-up, spit-out, then canned.
Bobby Valentine, a World Series and then the door.
The Mets seem to be happier as losers, with Casey Stengal or Joe Torre, than they are as winners. Look at Randolph vs. Torre as Mets managers. Torre managed 151 more games than Randolph (even though 1 season was a strike shortened 1981), but still won fewer games.
Record as Mets manager: Torre 286-420 .405.
Randolph: 302-253 .544
So yes, Randolph deserved to get fired – he was successful.
Another question. Last year the Mets collapsed at the end of the season, and lost the title. Did this cost the Mets their Willie? Bill James, in his latest book Bill James Gold Mine 2008 lists the 5 biggest collapses by James’ reasonable method. Let’s take a look at how the managers fared after the collapse:
1951 Brooklyn, Chuck Dressen managed 2 more seasons and won NL title each year, before quitting over contract duration.
1964 Phillies, Gene Mauch managed Phils for 4 more years, wining records each season.
1978 Red Sox, Don Zimmer managed 2 more good seasons in Boston.
1914 Giants, John McGraw continued to manage the Giants for 18 more years.
And the 2007 Mets, the only team of the 5 to dump their manager. That’s fine, I am sure the Mets would have fired John McGraw too, if he won for them.
Photos: top Torre/Randolph- from the Gothamist.
bottom: Sporting News