Are The NY Mets ‘Playing’ Willie What’s Missing

Updated: April 22, 2008


Willie Randolph is

FUMING according

to some reports for


by Mets brass

It seems Mets senior front office staff were FAWNING over Nationals manager Manny Acta, former Mets coach, at batting practice during Washington’s recent trip to Shea Stadium. Reports in Sports Illustrated, New York Newsday and elsewhere are that Willie Randolph took affront to such fraternizing with the “enemy.”

Worse he saw it as a “signal”

Taken in isolation that might seem strange. But is it. Willie interpreted it as a signal added to the low level whisper that if he does not produce a Championship at least a National League Title this year even more after last year’s collapse he may be a Goner.

Maybe Willie is getting spooked

too easily especially if the

object of his WORRY

is Manny Acta

Willie’s Mets did a number on the Nationals this last week at Shea – sweeping them in their three game series – combined with the fact the Nationals who were hopeful at the start of the season with their new stadium and new look are now stumbling early. But most of all Willie this is Manny Acta’s SECOND season managing the Nationals. The idea that the Mets will dump Willie and that Acta will abandon DC after just over one season – if his contract even allows it – is very FAR fetched.

For Acta the youngest manager in the Majors this year at 39 and by definition with so much “promise” ahead of him to ditch the team that gave him an opportunity to manage first after just one season would leave would drop his credibility to ZERO with all the MLB Owners. In fact it would probably be a career destroyer.

It is just as preposterous from the other side of the Coin. Imagine the Mets stealing away the new manager of another team after just one season and maybe more ridiculous believing that he can do so much better and that expectation will be immediate. Which returns the subject to Acta. Imagine him being DUMB enough to accept that tension filled assignment.

But there is a larger issue here

one that is very credible and

why this Box is here today

Willie Randolph specifically and African Americans in general have every reason to be nervous about the “double standard” in Baseball. In which African Americans in every aspect of the game have to live with the concern they don’t have to be as good as everybody else nowadays to play, manage or have an executive position. Black Americans have to be BETTER simply to try and do as well as Others for themselves.

The Mets went through a disastrous series of WHITE managers before they FINALLY turned to Randolph who was widely cited as the best coach in baseball who had NEVER been asked to manage. Over the last 5 years before being named Mets manager two seasons ago Randolph had been interviewed again and again to make other clubs look “good” for considering (sic) an African American but never choosing him.

What is missing here !!

What is missing is an Association of African Americans for Baseball which would include not only Black players, Black managers, Black executives, and Black league officials as few as there are of each but other every bit as importantly influential African Americans inside and outside of Sports who would act as an energetic SUPPORT group when an African American in Baseball seems under siege.

So while Randolph may have nothing to fear from Manny Acta, his job may well be under assault if the Mets don’t win BIG this year. Now if that is clearly NOT his fault and if any reasonable individual would conclude that if he were Joe Torre or someone like that …

… that after 3 seasons and having vastly improved a failing franchise that a White or even a Latino manager would NOT be fired under similar circumstances, then Randolph should know even more the Mets should know Willie is NOT going meekly because a lot of good people are willing to QUESTION the Mets logic. And put them under the same microscope Mets brass would put Willie Randolph.

The problem is there is

NO such group in Baseball

or in any Sport for that matter

but the fact is in a situation

where the decision could go

either way that kind of

POSITIVE pressure can


something Willie may

not need now but

might in the Fall

William Rudolph DON’T WORRY WILLIE …… YET