FanPost

Willie Randolph

Maybe Willie Randolph is a better strategist than we give him credit for being.  He doesn't bunt or hit and run too much, and in general he puts the best guys out there.  Sure, it took him about a month to officially give Milledge the job over Green, but Randolph never really had to announce that Milledge was the starter because injuries to Alou, Beltran, etc. afforded Milledge plenty of at bats.  In this way, Milledge got at bats while Randolph reminded him that he had to continue to work hard and fit into the clubhouse if he wanted to stay in the lineup.  Now that the outfield is healthy, and Milledge has shown he can play, Randolph announced that Milledge would be playing right.  Everybody wins.

Randolph also seems to be handling the LoDuca/Castro situation similarly.  Castro has clearly been outperforming LoDuca, so Randolph has been extra cautious with LoDuca.  This allows LoDuca to maintain his status as the starter while Castro still gets tons of at bats.  Both egos remain intact, and the Mets generally get the benefit of the better player being in the lineup.

It drives me nuts when Randolph defers to "proven veterans" with little/no upside over young players who seem to be better.  But we have to remember that Willie Randolph isn't managing a fantasy baseball team - he's working with real people with real egos and personalities.  The baseball season is long, and if Shawn Green ends up with 50 or 60 extra at bats because Randolph wants the Mets' players to feel like they have some job security, over the long haul the Mets may perform better because of that job security than if Randolph yanked Green from the lineup as soon as Milledge came up from the minors.

So overall, I feel like Randolph handled the whole Milledge/Green situation pretty decently despite all my complaints over the last month.  I guess there's a reason he's the Mets' manager, and I'm not.

(I reserve the right to retract this post the next time Randolph uses Scott Schoeneweis to pitch to a right handed batter in a key situation.)

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

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