The Mets announced at 3:15 am Eastern time that they fired manager Willie Randolph, pitching coach Rick Peterson, and first base coach Tom Nieto. The move was completely expected after multiple media reports over more than a month. Mets bench coach Jerry Manuel will take over on an interim basis, Triple-A manager Ken Oberkfell, and pitching coach Dan Warthen, and scout Luis Aguayo will join the Mets major league staff.
There have been a variety of reports about what Omar Minaya may do to shake this team up. It seems that the latest hot story in the mainstream media is that Willie Randolph will be retained as manager for now, but several coaches could be fired as soon as this week.
Pitching coach Rick Peterson and first base coach Tom Nieto are the two coaches named in the stories that appear to be on the hook for the Mets’ troubles this season.
Somebody has to be the scapegoat for this disappointing season, so why not the coaches?
I’ve wanted Peterson to go since shortly after the 2004 non-waiver trading deadline deal that sent Scott Kazmir to the Rays for Victor Zambrano. The reports were that the trade was made mostly on a recommendation by Peterson that he could “fix Zambrano in ten minutes”. That trade has hurt the Mets for years.
I have no idea what Nieto did to land on the chopping block, but Peterson sure deserves to be there.