6/24/2005 04:32:00 PM
�BURNING YOUR BRIDGES�
thingI was concerned about how Willie Randolph would react to the onslaught of media for this weekend Mets-Highlanders series. I wanted Willie to once and for all put his Highlander allegiance behind him and become a full fledged member of the Blue and Orange family. Well, it looks as though Randolph has done that. From the quotes I read this morning, Willie sounds like a man who had a lot to get off his chest:
["I never really had an idea that I would ever manage them, really," Randolph said. "It crossed my mind, but because the organization never gave me a good feel of where I was there, I just never really thought it would happen, very honestly. . . . Joe [Torre's] run has been great, and after he signed the [three-year contract] extension, I always thought that Joe was going to be there as long as he wanted to be there."]
I never thought the Highlanders would offer Randolph the job either and quite frankly the Mets took them off the hook by hiring him as I always felt that Lee Mazzilli, Don Mattingly or Bucky Dent were the guys ahead of Randolph. What a public relations disaster it would have been to overlook not only a very qualified coach but also an African American for the job and he was a �True Highlander� which to the team�s fans means everything. Mazzilli is still looked at as a Met and Mattingly. Always a fan favorite but does not seem to enthralled in the job and he never played for a Highlander winner that would leave Dent and Randolph. How could you take Bucky Dent to manage the Highlanders over Willie Randolph?
Randolph goes onto say that the Highlanders wanted him to take over the job at Columbus but Willie being a Brooklyn guy knew a set up when he saw one:
Randolph also talked about the Yankees' asking him to manage in the minors.
["They mentioned that," Randolph said. "But it was a real bad offer. It was almost like a set-up offer, one of those offers that you could refuse. It was something they mentioned to me about three or four years ago.
"Here I was, in the process of making like half a million dollars in World Series checks and stuff and they wanted to cut me like to some unbelievable minor-league salary. And I was like, what am I, stupid? . . . I'm going to take something like that with, again, no guarantee about where you're going to be?
"Like, OK, well, just go down to Columbus, and you might get lost in the shuffle, but just take that shot. I said, no, I think I'll just continue to teach Derek Jeter and those guys how to play. I think I'll just do that for a little while longer. I'm not sure if I can trust that you guys are going to look out for me here."]
Shows you what a loyal organization they�re running in the south Bronx, doesn�t it?
Then Willie gave the Highlander fans a bit of slap about that stupid �Who�s Your Daddy� chant they give Petey. Last time they chanted it at Highlander Stadium was in the closing moment of the teams colossal choke job against the Old Town Team when Petey made a relief apperance:
[They'll (Yankee fans) try to be cutesy and think that they're original with that, 'Who's your daddy?' stuff. I don't know if (Martinez) cares really," Randolph said, looking ahead to Martinez's matchup with Mike Mussina tonight.]
I�m reading this story about Swarmy Steve Phillips when he was at the Mets GM helm on how he felt he had to go out and grab big name players at the trade deadline. I found this paragraph very interesting and it also had me thinking about how Omar Minaya is running the organization:
["I think New York is different from other places," Phillips said. "In New York, everything is so public, and when the team's plans are made public, that increases the expectations and the pressure to deliver a deal."]
When Swarmy Steve was running the show at Shea there were more leaks from the front office than the Shea Stadium plumbing. You know that Minaya is busy working the phones and trying to work some deals to strengthen the team but he has a loyal staff that wouldn�t say shit if they had a mouthful. Loyalty, it�s a beautiful .
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