It finally happened. After the beating the Angels 9-6 general manager Omar Minaya finally dropped the ax on manager Willie Randolph. The win was the fourth in six games so one has to believe that there was something else going on. Either Randolph was resistant to suggested changes from ownership or Minaya was just waiting for a final piece to be worked out before making the move. Either way it looks like this firing was previously planned but delayed for some reason. The move was announced at 3:14 AM eastern time last night so details are still a little sketchy.
The team also axed pitching coach Rick Peterson (as I had been suggesting recently) and first base coach Tom Nieto. As expected bench coach Jerry Manuel was promoted to manager. AAA New Orleans manager Ken Oberkfell, a member of the 1986 Astros team that nearly ousted the Mets in the NLCS, was promoted. He will probably be the bench coach. ‘Nola pitching coach Dan Warthen will fill the same role at the major league level and field coordinator Luis Aguayo will probably be the first base coach.
Randolph had been in trouble through most of the season. It seems like the team could not shake the feeling of the great fall of last season. Part of the problem was age, lack of depth and injuries, which are things that Randolph could not be faulted for (that falls on Minaya). But Randolph was not able to shake the doldrums of last years collapse off of the players despite the acquisition of Johan Santana. It was just a matter of time and that time came last night.