METS NAME JERRY MANUEL INTERIM MANAGER
OBERKFELL, WARTHEN, AGUAYO JOIN COACHING STAFF
ANAHEIM, Calif., June 17, 2008 – The New York Mets today named Jerry Manuel interim manager, replacing Willie Randolph. Manuel, in his fourth season with the Mets, had been bench coach since 2006. The Mets also named Ken Oberkfell, Luis Aguayo and Dan Warthen to the coaching staff. Rick Peterson and Tom Nieto have been relieved of their coaching duties.
Mets General Manager Omar Minaya will hold a briefing with the media Tuesday, June 17 at 2:00 P.M. PT (5:00 P.M. ET) in the media room at Angel Stadium. Mets Manager Jerry Manuel will meet with the media immediately thereafter.
Because nothing says "I'm proud of the decision I just made" like announcing it at 3:18 in the morning!
Okay... I have a number of questions here, all of which fall under the broader umbrella of "What the fuck are the Mets doing?"
First of all, why would you send this out literally in the middle of the night? Because everyone sane and normal is asleep, there is no mention of this story on mets.com, espn.com, the NYTimes, MetsBlog, or anyplace else I've seen so far, leading me to wonder if I am perhaps just losing my mind. This may be the first time in my entire life I actually break a news story (well, if you can consider publishing the contents of a press release to be "breaking a news story") not related to funny names, at-bat songs, or facial hair.
But honestly, late hour aside, I find the timing of this completely bewildering. Why would you fire Willie Randolph NOW, after a win, at a time when the Mets have won four of their last six games, and when by most accounts Randolph was handling the intense pressure very well? If Omar Minaya and/or the Wilpons weren't actually waiting to see how the team performed before making a decision, what the hell were they waiting for? Why not fire him weeks ago, or indeed at the end of last season? At the very least, why make Randolph and his coaches fly to California first, if nothing he did there was going to make a difference? Why put him and the team and the fans and the beat writers through weeks and weeks of this if, as now seems clear, they were going to fire him no matter what?
Yeesh. What a mess.
Maybe something happened in the last day or two that I'm not aware of. Otherwise, this has to be one of the most incompetently handled personnel decisions since the days of George Steinbrenner vs. Billy Martin.
...Ah, there we go. The story is up on Mets.com. They managed to get it up before 4 AM, too -- classy!