Last night, on Mike & The Mad Dog's 5:05 regular Wednesday spot with Willie, he did what he should have done after The Collapse last year -- he apologized. To ownership, to the fans, and to the players. And he sounded sincere and he sounded agonized and he sounded curiously resigned.
Apology accepted, Willie, at least, from THIS fan.
Actually, it may be a good thing that he sounded resigned, because despite the heartfelt and what I thought was effective apology, and despite the fact that I feel for Willie, I truly do, I believe that it's in the best interests of the team for one of two things to happen. And I'm going to say, before I elaborate, that I believe the first has no basis whatsoever in reality, so the second is probably what should happen.
The first scenario involves everyone surrounding the Mets, ownership, coaches, players, fans, and media wiping the slate clean with Willie, and allowing him some leeway and latitude to get the Mets ship righted. And having a little patience.
I believe this scenario has the same chance of happening as does, say, George W. Bush of becoming a flaming liberal, Rev. Al of finally getting it, and Hank Steinbrenner of keeping his trap shut for even one New York minute. Once the proverbial cat is out of the proverbial bag, Willie dear, it just is too hard to put it back. And your apology is something that should have been done long ago, like after last season, and is water under the bridge at this point. Whether or not any of what you said is even true, it doesn't matter anymore. The fact is, you have basically ruined it for yourself in this town, and that, combined with the fact that the Mets have played .500 ball for about a year now, isn't going to get you any brass, or other, rings.
Which brings me to scenario #2. I'm going to make my case that Willie should be relieved of his duties. Nothing personal, Willie, and truly, it doesn't make me happy to say it, but all things considered, I think it's time for you to move on. They say in baseball that winning cures everything. Well, I submit the opposite is also true, that losing makes everything worse. So let's look at the facts, shall we?
Fact #1: the team has played little more than .500 ball for the last year. As I said above.
Fact #2: after around May 15 last year, the team did not play with any energy, sense of purpose, or game plan for the rest of the season, which brings me to:
Fact #3: Willie presided over the worst late-season collapse in baseball history.
Fact #4: the team has played thus far this year with even less energy, sense of purpose or game plan than it did most of last year, if that's even possible.
Fact #5: Willie has thin skin, and has proven he can't handle New York. What does that say to the players? It hardly inspires leadership.
And Fact #6, and the most important one: the team is not winning under Willie.
So in conclusion, members of the jury, I submit that Willie Randolph's time here should come to a rapid end, and that it's time for the Mets to move on.