This morning, I said all I thought I’d say on the Willie Randolph firing. Then I watched the Omar Minaya press conference. Here are some more random thoughts:
– I do think Minaya was deeply loyal to Randolph and wanted to give him every chance to succeed. Other GM’s might have whacked Willie last year or at several low points in 2008. Minaya gave his manager as many chances as he could…probably too many.
– By waiting so long, Minaya undermined his manager and also his own credibility. It seemed to me the media was not buying Omar’s reasoning for how he came to let his manager and several coaches go. Consequently, the “When will Willie get fired” debate is over” but the “When will Omar get fired” debate may be starting.
– I was struck by how many times Minaya said that he was the decision-maker. He makes all baseball operations decisions, we were repeatedly told. Minaya also revealed he was not aware of the “Fire Willie” hum going on in the media for the past few weeks and months. Was he that disconnected? Or is he that coy?
– On the other side, Willie didn’t get to make too many decisions. He inherited his pitching coach. His chosen hitting coach (Down) was fired. He had no choice in hiring Jerry Manuel, his eventual successor. And I don’t think Willie had much say in re-signing Castillo, or Alou or alot of other player moves. It’ll be interesting to see if Willie gets a chance somewhere else and if he can assemble a team and staff of his own design.
– Manuel handled the press conference very well. If he’s smart, he’ll get himself thrown out of tonight’s game in a raging fury, then take his coaches out for a big steak dinner.
– If Willie ends up a Yankees coach this season, it’ll be really bad.