Beginning The “Willie Watch”

Mets manager Willie Randolph before a Mets/Devil Rays spring training game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.Image via WikipediaWillie Randolph appeared to have such a sense of frustration with the team after losing the home series to the Brewers. I was also surprised that he was hinting at criticism of Oliver Perez after his second start of the season, which went very well. It made me wonder if he’s just not getting his message through to the team.I like Willie and think he does a fine job managing the team. He’s taken criticism on the Mets blogs, predominantly for not playing typical National League style ball and mis-handling the pitching staff. Some of the criticism is justified and some definitely is not. That comes with being a manager.

Ken Rosenthal did a preseason column about managers on the hot seat this year and Willie was listed as number one. Certainly, “The Collapse” last season must have made the Mets front office at least consider firing him.

I’m not proposing that Willie should be fired now. That would be completely ridiculous. I am proposing that he needs to get this team to achieve it’s potential by the All-Star game. If not, maybe he should be fired.

In my mind, the manager’s job is to get his team to play up to, or exceed, it’s potential. For example, I don’t think John Russell should be fired if the Pirates don’t make the playoffs. They don’t have the players to do that. Willie Randolph’s situation is vastly different though. The New York Mets team has the potential to make the playoffs. They could slightly exceed their potential by winning the World Series based on odds-makers pre-season estimation.

I decided to put up a poll on the right side of the page to find out what you think. I’m concerned that Willie isn’t getting the team to play up to it’s potential. It may not be his fault, it may be the players. But you can’t fire all of the players. You can fire Willie though. Keep in mind that it would be costly for the Mets to do so. He’s owed $2 million this season and $2.25 million next season guaranteed. The Mets have an option for 2010 at $2.5 million.

Go ahead and vote on the right side and let me know what you think.

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