Top 10 Reasons Willie was Fired
So we know the story by now, Willie Randolph was unceremoniously let go by the New York Mets in the most disgraceful of ways, having been flown cross country to manage a game his team would win, only to fire him in the middle of the night.
This just didn’t sit right with me, so I decided to ask around and find out why exactly this went down the way it went down.
Plus, my anger and frustration about the whole thing needed to be balanced with something to laugh about.
If you live in the New York area, you should be able to appreciate most of the references.
10. After losing out to Emmitt Smith for a spot in the latest Just for Men advertisement, he was offered a spot in a new Giuseppe Franco Procede commercial, but declined, which must have ticked off team brass that had set up a meeting between the two.
9. During his final meeting with team management, he was asked what his ultimate goals were for this season, and upon revealing they included “going to Disneyland”, he was granted his wish. (Randolph was fired with the Mets in Anaheim)
8. Knowing that a possible firing was imminent, an opportunity fell into the laps of ownership with their trip out west, knowing that Joe Torre was now managing in Los Angeles, Willie was convinced to fly cross country by being promised a chance to spend all of his free time with Joe.
7. When catering in from Subway for post game meals, Willie was told the sub’s would no longer be freshly toasted, upsetting the manager and causing an even greater rift between himself and his superiors.
6. Management found out Willie was an avid Soprano’s fan, and so after Jets head coach Eric Mangini was given a cameo in a final season episode, Willie wasn’t pleased. To appease their manager, they executed a Soprano’s style hit on him, having Omar Minaya fly out despite assuring his manager everything would be fine. Omar was originally against the idea, but when Stevie Van Zandt was unavailable (Silvio Dante), Omar took matters into his own hands.
5. Was told that should the phrase “the Yankee way” be uttered one more time, his job was as good as gone. At that moment, Jose Reyes popped his head in the room, smiling ear to ear thanking Willie for a gift he found in front of his locker, a DVD set featuring the 1996-2000 Yankee Championship teams. After Jose quietly tip-toed out of the room, management took one look at Willie, and the rest as they say, is history.
4. In a private meeting with ownership, he was asked to comment on his working relationship with GM Omar Minaya, and said while he felt the two worked well together, suggested that it would be in the best interest of both him and the organization to hire Isiah Thomas. Management considered the idea, but decided Isiah would probably end up creating too many off the field distractions, something they believed Minaya wasn’t capable of.
3. After watching an episode of Celebrity Apprentice following Sunday’s doubleheader, Willie joking commented to owner Fred Wilpon that “it’s a good thing we’re not on that show, because you’d have probably canned me months ago”. After an awkward pause, Wilpon politely told Willie to enjoy his flight.
2. Was told he’d be given job security if he agreed to manage the rest of the season wearing the Mr. Met costume, but refused only because he was afraid of the racial connotations he would expose himself to wearing a giant white baseball for a head. When he said he’d sooner manage wearing a Mickey Mouse costume, making the decision to fire him minutes from Disneyland too poetically appropriate to pass up.
1. Was told for the final time that he would not be released from his contract during the season to audition for American Idol, and upon Willie being visibly displeased with this decision for the 4 consecutive year, management told him they had come up with a compromise, but refused to elaborate saying “lets put it this way, you’re definitely going to Hollywood”.
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