Jun 16, 2015

Remembering Mets History: (2008) Mets Fire Manager Willie Randolph

JUNE 17, 2008: In a move at the time that was looked at as classless by the Mets front office, Manager Willie Randolph was let go as manager. In the wee hours of Eastern Standard time, after the Mets had beaten the Los Angeles Angels 9-6 in Anaheim, the decision & official announcement was made.

The Randolph era came to an end after three and one half years. Willie’s record was 302-253, the second-highest winning percentage in franchise history, trailing only Davey Johnson.

In Randolph's first year at the helm 2005, the Mets had played better than they had in four years, finishing over .500 in third place. In 2006 they won their first N.L. Eastern title in 18 years and fell one game short of the World Series, losing the NLCS to the St. Louis Cardinals.

2007 was a disappointment as they blew a seven game first place lead with just 17 games left to play. They were still in it, but lost on the final day of the season. The 2008 Mets were struggling in June, playing under .500 (34-36) in fourth place at the time of Willie’s firing.

Along with Randolph, pitching coach Rick Peterson, & bullpen coach Tom Nieto were also dismissed. Randolph was still owed $2.2 million on his salary.

In a press conference the next day, GM Omar Minaya, announced Mets bench coach Jerry Manuel, would take over as interim manager. The axing of Randolph came less than a week after Minaya had told reporters Randolph had the support of the teams ownership. 

Things didn't change, in the long run they gor much worse. Under Jerry Manuel the Mets would play much better at first but still miss out on the playoffs, losing again on the last day of the season & the final game ever played at Shea Stadium.  In 2009 Randolph was named bench coach for the Milwaukee Brewers and Jerry Manuel was named Mets manager. After three losing seasons he was fired after the 2010 season.

from centerfield: where were you when the Met's fired Willie Randolph? I was in the Vatican Museums in Rome, Italy!

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