Willie Randolph is long gone. There are certain people who still can’t get over him. But it’s not what you think. Believe it or not, there are some who blame Randolph for this collapse. Chief among those is Mets CEO Jeff Wilpon. According to ESPN 1050 radio, Wilpon said this season’s team overachieved and last season’s team underachieved. In other words, it’s Willie’s fault. It’s truly an unbelievable assertion when you think about it.
The Mets had a 3 1/5 game lead over the Phillies on September 10. It’s unfathomable that someone could blame Randolph for the Mets going 7-10 over their last 17 games. This isn’t an issue of race. If that were the case, Jerry Manuel wouldn’t be on the verge of getting a new contract. This is an issue of respect. It’s obvious that Mets upper management is still hung up on last season’s collapse.
They proved it when they dumped him in the middle of the night on June 17.It‘s perfectly understandable if last season’s failure still stings, but Randolph has been gone for three and a half months and the team made a complete about face since. Carlos Delgado transformed himself into a MVP candidate and Johan Santana pitched like a Cy Young winner, all under the rule of Manuel. So to blame Randolph for this latest September collapse is just denying the truth; this Mets team was flawed. GM Omar Minaya didn’t make any moves in the off-season to bolster the bullpen. Even at the trade deadline he didn’t make a move to bring in a major reliever. The Mets paid for that one as Scott Schoeneweis and Luis Ayala surrendered consecutive home runs in Sunday’s 4-2 loss.We can’t forget about the disaster that was the Mets outfield. In hindsight and foresight, counting on Moises Alou was a colossal mistake. There were the nights when the Mets outfield was set up like this: Marlon Anderson in left, Carlos Beltran in center-field and Endy Chavez in right. We won’t even get into the revolving door at second base. How about the Mets scoring five runs in their final three games? Willie’s fault? Please.The Mets need to take a good look in the mirror.