MIckey Mouse Organization to Willie and Jacket: Go To Disneyland
Mets brain trust gathers to decide organization's future.
WANTED: Accountable, Proactive GM
The organization has now completed its latest "Dance of the Dangle" (see Howe, Art) and has fired Willie and the Jacket in Anaheim of all places. And, as in most everything this organization does, it's hard not to be a little pissed off at the way the organization went about its business. As noted in the media, Sterling seems always to be caring what everyone thinks, particularly the media and the fans baying for blood, not caring about sound baseball moves. The whole Willie era seems now like it was guided by bad baseball sense. But it has become increasingly evident that Willie was only part of the problem with this complacent club. I won't be surprised if many people's sympathies have not shifted to Randolph, even if I was surprised at how mine did. Willie's firing depresses me. And it saddens me that Willie won't get to coach the all star game.
Perhaps he could go as Clint Hurdle's bullpen manager or umpire relations coach (sorry, had to get that last shot in)?
For example, it's an open secret that assistant GM Tony Bernazard and Randolph have serious problems with each other. But rather than settling this tension months ago -- either by firing Randolph, reigning in Bernazard and keeping him clear of the work with the major league team, or insisting on a peace between the two men -- the Mets have let this fester. This kind of thing has been a recurring cancer for the organization, and ultimately, it is Fred Wilpon, the team's owner for decades, who is responsible."
What does it say about Met executives if their decisions are colored by stupid criteria? If the plan can't be sticked to, then what does that say about the plan? The core of the team is rotten, or at least you can say that not one of the multiyear Metsies is having a decent year by their standards. It may be that Willie could not motivate these sad sacks, and if anything is going to work, the team needs a serious shake up--more a tweaking of the roster than a cosmetic yet distracting coaching change.
Fixing the roster is Omar's department, and I have thus far been unimpressed with his sense of urgency during a season when his moves have not panned out. For better or worse, Omar put this team on the fast track to succeed immediately, raising expectations immensely. The performance of benches and pens, in my experience, tends to vary wildly from year to year, yet Omar stayed with most of the same crew of older spare parts on the bench (so much the better if they're catchers!) which became a problem when the spare parts penciled into the daily lineup went down and these guys are now the regulars. The relief corps has been no relief; the pen has now been bad for quite sometime, even allowing for the winter when I assume they were not so bad. No Met lead seems safe. The pen lacks a single fire baller outside of Countrytime, and this band of aging mostly lefties spends the bulk of its time trying to find its confidence or consistency. Omar's addiction to the aged--overtly bad with his puzzling (yet widely fan supported) signings of Alou and El Duque, and more subtlety bad with his commitments to Delgado and Castillo--has not only drained the team of any periphery productivity (outside of its core offensive players and star pitchers) but also clogged the paths of any youngsters who might come up and give the team a spark, however brief (who wants to play "waiting for Moises?").
Perhaps the appointment of an interim manager will be coincident with a winning streak, though I wonder how in Hades Oberkfell and Manuel will coexist. This situation is nearly as ponderous as the retaining of Sadly Alomar as the third base coach when he seems better suited to handling the teams' laundry. Meanwhile I will grumpily head down to Anaheim tonight to catch the new Mets.