Former Mets skipper Willie Randolph, apparently a budding Joel Sherman after all these years, gives readers of the New York Daily News the inside scoop behind the Firing-Slept-Thru-By-The-World :
Anyway, when I walked into the room Omar asked me to sit down. He sat right across from me. He started talking about how the team was underperforming, how it needed to turn around.
He said it was time to make some changes, and I waited for him to talk about whacking Rick and Tommy, but he just kept talking, for a minute or two, maybe longer, about how the team was better than it was playing, about all the stories that were out there and the cloud hovering over the team.
As Omar went on and on, looking very uncomfortable, this weird chill started to course through by body. I could feel myself going cold. He kept talking, almost stammering, and the chill got worse.
Suddenly, it occurred to me that maybe he was talking about me. Maybe I was the one about to get whacked.
Finally, I stopped him. I looked right at him.
“Omar, are you firing me?” I asked. He looked away for a minute and then met my eyes. “Yeah, I’m going to make a move,” he said. “It’s a hard decision, but I have to make it.”
We started going back and forth a little about everything, but this wasn’t a time for any heated postmortems.
“You don’t have to say anything more, Omar,” I said. “I came here to win, and if you don’t feel I’m the guy to get that done, then it’s your right to make a change. I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity you gave me. I want you to know that.”
I stood up and shook his hand, told him I wished him and the team well. Then he handed me an envelope, a little parting gift, and told me to make sure I reviewed it with my agent, Ron Shapiro.
It was a copy of my Met contract that basically says I better not say anything detrimental about the team, or I might jeopardize the rest of the money I have coming to me.
Coming in Sunday’s New York Daily News, Willie Randolph’s “Jeff Wilpon : Baseball’s Most Underrated Young Executive”.