Two sterling examples of sportsmanship and decency in the sports world late (and very late) Monday night–well, maybe not. In typical NY Mets fashion, they waited until 3:15 AM Eastern Time to drop the axe on manager Willie Randolph. It’s not that Randolph didn’t deserve it after guiding the talent-laden team with the highest payroll in the National League to barely a .500 record and being at the helm of one of the greatest collapses in baseball history the last couple of weeks of last year when they let the Phillies catch them for the NL East crown and a playoff berth. But to have him fly 3000 miles across country to start their road trip and can him after defeating a good LA Angels club and winning 3 out of the last 4, that’s pretty pathetic.
Apparently team owner Fred Wilpon was passing the buck and saying it was all GM Omar Minaya’s fault, and Minaya was nowhere to be found when the press release was issued in the dead of night. Willie was a great Yankee and a class guy but clearly not able to get the most out of his Mets players, especially in a season where Johan Santana was added to that lineup of All-Stars. His dismissal had been rumored for weeks, but it’s hard to believe the Mets did it this way. My sister Jolie bleeds orange and blue and is a diehard fan–for her sake, I hope this change helps them get their shit together and start playing like they’re capable of.
And how about that surly SOB coach of the Florida State Seminoles baseball team? Beaten by their arch-rivals, the Miami Hurricanes, 7 – 5 in an elimination game at the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, his defeated team and the Miami players lined up in a classy gesture to shake hands after the final out was made. Miami Coach Jim Morris also went out to home plate to participate in this ritual of good sportsmanship. Except that FSU Coach Mike Martin stayed in the dugout, turned his back, and walked away. Way to set an example for the kids you moron! While I feel bad for your players over the years, I can’t say I’m not just a bit amused that in 14 or so visits to the College World Series, FSU has never taken home the crown. In the immortal words of Alex Chilton and Big Star, “you get what you deserve.” Of course, that may mean the cellar for the Mets.