On Thursday, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal — undoubtedly tipped off by someone in the Mets front office — suggested that Willie Randolph’s decision to allow Mike Pelfrey to start the 9th inning Wednesday evening, followed by summoning Billy Wagner after Stephen Drew’s leadoff single, would be the manager’s final error in judgment. ESPN’s Buster Olney wonders, “since when did the Mets start paying Billy Wagner $10.5 million to have him work in custom-made save chances?”

Think about how nuts this thinking is: If Randolph had summoned Wagner with a 3-2 lead and nobody out in the ninth inning and Wagner had blown the save, then, in the minds of the unnamed Mets’ executives in Ken’s piece, Randolph would have made the correct decision — and somehow, calling on Wagner with a 3-0 lead and one guy on base in the ninth inning was the wrong decision.

Sure, that makes complete sense.

But it is not surprising that some in the Mets’ front office are thinking this way, because this is an organization with a long history of backstabbing and in-fighting, of executives battling on-field staff by leaking information to the media. This kind of stuff dates back to the days of Frank Cashen and Davey Johnson and Bobby Valentine and Steve Phillips, and only leadership at the top can settle this kind of garbage.

For example, it’s an open secret that assistant GM Tony Bernazard and Randolph have serious problems with each other. But rather than settling this tension months ago — either by firing Randolph, reigning in Bernazard and keeping him clear of the work with the major league team, or insisting on a peace between the two men — the Mets have let this fester. This kind of thing has been a recurring cancer for the organization, and ultimately, it is Fred Wilpon, the team’s owner for decades, who is responsible.

Hot Foot‘s Andrew Beaton reports the few hardy souls who sat thru last night’s rain delay at Shea were entertained by unidentified Texas Rangers sliding around on the tarp. Some people will do anything to avoid hanging out with Milton Bradley.

(UPDATE : My apologies. The Daily News confirms Milton was one of the Rangers’ tarp pranksters.)