It was time for the Mets to finally make their decision on Willie Randolph -- but not like this.
It had reached the point where the Mets really couldn't avoid firing Willie Randolph -- but not like this.
You wondered how the Willie saga could get worse. Well, it got worse, and now this is Omar Minaya's legacy with the Mets.
When Minaya himself gets fired -- and doesn't that seem all the more inevitable now? -- the secretive cross-country flight and post-midnight massacre will be the way he's remembered. The Mets GM made a move he was totally justified in making, and yet he did it in a way that made him look indecisive and undignified at the same time.
Minaya has to be fearing for his own job, and not just because the Mariners reminded us Monday that general managers also take the blame when overpaid teams underachieve. Mets ownership can't be happy with the way their team is being ripped this morning.
Is ownership at fault, too? Of course, but that doesn't matter. Owners don't get fired.
Managers do, especially managers who watch their team blow a seven-game lead with 17 games to play. The Mets could have fired Randolph on that evidence alone, and a baseball man who knows MInaya well told me that the GM wanted to do exactly that. The owners, who had just given Randolph a contract extension, apparently said no.
Too bad they did, for all involved. The Mets could have avoided the mess they made over the last couple of weeks.
And it is a mess, a bigger mess today than it was yesterday. And that hardly seems possible.