The Corner

Re: Willie Randolph

K Lo: Yeah, the timing of the middle-of-the-night firing was peculiar. In a more important sense, though, it wasn’t: It comes on the heels of a season in which a team with high hopes experienced a historic collapse (blowing a seven-game lead with 17 games to go), as well as a start to this season that also has disappointed. Perhaps the writing was on the wall when Randolph accused his critics of racism:

Coming off an uplifting, two-game sweep at Yankee Stadium in mid-May, the first black manager in New York baseball history created a stir by suggesting in a newspaper interview that he was portrayed on Mets broadcasts differently than a white manager might be.

Randolph brought up the race issue as he detailed the way he’s been shown by SNY, the team’s TV network.

“Is it racial?” Randolph was quoted. “Huh? It smells a little bit. … I don’t know how to put my finger on it, but I think there’s something there.”

A couple of days later, Randolph apologized to Mets ownership, SNY and his players “for the unnecessary distraction” he’d created.

Randolph is a talented coach and manager who will find another place in baseball eventually. If I were the Mets management, I might have stuck with him a little longer. But his dismissal was based upon his team’s lackluster performance in its most recent 80 games or so. Entirely defensible, no matter what time of day or night.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.


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