Sports Outside the Beltway

New York Mets fire Manager Willie Randolph

Bench coach Jerry Manuel has taken over on a interim basis. From AP-

ANAHEIM, Calif. – After weeks of speculation that his job was in jeopardy, Willie Randolph finally got fired by the New York Mets while most fans were sleeping.

Randolph was let go in the middle of the night Tuesday, 2 1/2 months into a disappointing season that has followed the team’s colossal collapse last September.

Bench coach Jerry Manuel takes over on an interim basis for Randolph, who led the Mets to within one win of the 2006 World Series. They got off to a strong start again last year but plummeted down the stretch and have been unable to rebound.

A preseason favorite to win the NL pennant, the $138 million Mets (34-35) had won two in a row when Randolph was dismissed early Tuesday morning — making him the first big league manager to get fired this season.

Pitching coach Rick Peterson and first base coach Tom Nieto also were cut loose in an enormous overhaul that was revealed in a fact-of-the-matter news release at a stunning time — about 12:15 a.m. PDT, nearly two hours after New York’s 9-6 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.

Did Randolph get a bum deal? He hadn’t been without controversy of late. Randolph made some comments on television a month ago that caused him trouble. A team full of overpaid stars that is struggling to play .500 ball plus the general impatience of New York sports fans and management were more likely to be the reasons for Randolph’s dismissal. I think the odds are 50-50 or better that Randolph lands another managing job in the majors.

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