June 17, 2008

Mets fire Willie Randolph in the middle of the night

Filed under: News, Sports — Tags: , , — skeptisys @ 8:34 am

Joe Torre Willie Randolph Mets Yankees managers

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”

Did Willie deserve to get fired?  The best argument for keeping him is that he was a very successful manager.  But the Mets routinely fire their best managers:

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

Expectations?  Year before Randolph took over Mets were 71-91.  Year before Torre, 86-76.

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.

Willie Randolph 1977 Yankees baseball card

Photos: top Torre/Randolph- from the Gothamist.

bottom: Sporting News


  1. You make a compelling case, and I like Willie Randolph a lot. Really, I do.

    But the Mets fan in me felt like he had to be fired after last season’s collapse (which I may have thought over had you posted this then), and nothing that happened early this year made me change my mind.

    Now that o.g. Jerry Manuel has the Amazin’s back in first place, I can’t muster much sympathy for an ex-Yankee like Randolph.

    Comment by Elmo Valo — July 24, 2008 @ 11:58 pm

  2. I blamed the collapse on Glavine, as the closest Brave. As a Mets fan, I am thankful it was the Phillies and not the Braves who overtook them.
    I agree with you that Jerry Manuel does appear to be a good replacement. I can’t figure out how he got the 2000 ChiSox to the best record in the AL by 4 games. His top 3 pitchers were Parque, Sirotka, and Baldwin! His starting lineup had Mark L. Johnson, Herb Perry, and Chris Singleton.
    Now, ff only we could have a Tatis/Bonds platoon….

    Comment by skeptisys — August 4, 2008 @ 10:19 am

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