This Day in Baseball History

Such promise back then in 2004 when the Mets named Yankees coach Willie Randolph as their new manager. Coincidentally, on this day in 2004 the Phillies hired Charlie Manuel as their manager.

Can an argument be made the Mets acted too hastily with Randolph?

Randolph seemed destined for the Milwaukee job, but that went to Ken Macha. Randolph turned down an offer to coach in Washington under Manny Acta, which probably was a good thing. There could be other jobs.

9 thoughts on “This Day in Baseball History

  1. Hard to tell – it’s the same old what have you done lately Willie. Apparently he wants to be on the top of the ticket without doing time in the trenches – (no, the Yankee jobs don’t really count, they were just making room for ‘family’)

    Much as I hate to say it about Willie – a really good guy – you can’t always start at the top. And that’s true in any field.

  2. I think he’s a solid manager who makes some odd decisions, but nothing that would preclude him from getting another shot somehwere.

    I just don’t know if he has the temperment to do it in NY. Now, I know he was a part of those crazy Yankee clubs, but he was a secondary guy..let’s not forget that. Quite a bit different than being front-and-center as the manager.

    He may get a bad rap in some sense just because it didn’t become obvious that he was being undermined in his own clubhouse until AFTER the firing. You heard things here and there about some players chafing with him, but it wasn’t until his dismissal where the whole Bernazzard story broke.

  3. Willie was still the right guy for the job in 2005. His biggest failure was his stubborness. He never showed any growth or willingness to change. Good managers understand this.
    This in the end was Willie’s downfall.

  4. At the time the prevailing thought was that Willie had been unfairly passed over for several manager jobs because he is black. It was thought that his chance was overdue. I think he was good at first, at least in the motivational area but they really didn’t perform for him after 2006.

  5. I think he tried to come in here and be the new sheriff. It was needed after the bumbling Howe regime. He even made Piazza shave his whiskers. In 2006, every button he pushed seemed to be the right one. His one big mistake that year was pushing Cliff Floyd to play everyday with his injury history. When he needed him in the playoffs, Floyd was a helpless gimp. the first half of 2007 was great and then something happened. Players were loafing, his calls to the bullpen were backfiring and then the collapse. Willie became more and more defensive. By 2008, It became clear he lost the team. I was there in San Diego when they got swept in 4 games by the pathetic Padres. That should have been the end, but Omar gave him a few more weeks before doing the inevitable. Was it a bad move to hire him. No. he was very successful his first 2 1/2 years. The 3 year extension was a mistake. I will be interested to see how his next managerial stint goes. Im sure he will get another chance somewhere.

  6. He was one of the worst managers in the last 20 years. His bullpen management as well as his paronoia , sensitivity and flat out arrogance killed the team. He couldn’t manage his way out of a paper bag. If they fired him earlier in the year or after the ’07 season they likely make the playoffs. He loved his vets too much and he was always putting the young players down. The players stopped playing for him a year before he was fired. Blah blah he’s second in winning percentage in Mets history yeah so Buddy Harrelson is third and nobody clamored for him to get another job.

  7. I really don’t want to make this into any race issue, but…

    I’m sure Wilpon was anxious to give Willie a chance to manage because of the color of his skin, in the same way that his beloved Brooklyn Dodgers gave Jackie Robinson a chance to break the color barrier. Not that he wasn’t the “best man for the job,” at the time, but no one can tell me that the Jackie Robinson factor had nothing to do with the hiring of Willie.

  8. I agree Steve. I don’t think it was a major factor, but it was one nonetheless. Also don’t forget, he was the FIRST African-American manager in the history of NY baseball too.

    As for the no. 6 comment…I’m not going to sit here and sing the praises of Willie Randolph, but calling him one of the worst managers of the last 20 years is a tad harsh.

  9. Willie Randolph never should have been hired to begin with. If anything Willie acted hastily.