While Omar Minaya (shown above, right, with the Mets’ new interim manager Jerry Manuel) insisted yesterday the firing of Willie Randolph was his move and his alone, Randolph tells the New York Times’ William Rhoden, “I have my doubts.”

On Sunday, Randolph said, he asked Minaya to pull the trigger if that™s what he had in mind. œI actually asked him, Randolph said, œI said: ˜Omar, do this now. If you™re going to do this, do this now. I know you™ve got a lot of pressure on you, but if I™m not the guy to lead this team, then don™t let me get on this plane.™ I did say that to him.

Minaya said he had not made up his mind until Monday, and even if he had done so Sunday, he said, there was too much to coordinate: putting a new manager in place and flying the coaches from their minor league teams to California. But the major reason seemed to be Minaya™s reluctance to make a good friend ” and his hire ” walk the plank.

œI know the perception is that the way it was handled was disrespectful, Minaya said, referring to the midnight meeting after Monday™s game. œThe reason it was handled quickly was out of respect for Willie.

Asked if he thought œshabby was too strong a word to characterize his treatment, Randolph chuckled and said, œThat™s not strong enough.

Though hardly impressed with the Mets’ media manuevering in the dark, Metsradamus surveys the events of the past 48 hours and asks, “what did you expect?”

If the Wilpons do this to Willie Randolph, a supposed member of their baseball family, imagine how they’ll treat you. Well, you don’t have to imagine, between tiered pricing and $8 beers and waiting every last minute during a rain delay to sell those beers before announcing the cancellation of the game. So you already know that it’s a business.

Oh, players like Tom Glavine will tell you that he originally signed by the Mets because the Wilpons were all about family … but then they let this happen. Because to the Wilpons … who are the one common thread woven through the likes of Al Harazin, Jeff Torborg, Bobby Bonilla, firecrackers, bleach, marijuana in peanut butter jars, Mike Piazza to first base, Shane Spencer and Karim Garcia instead of Vladimir Guerrero, and all of the underachieving, dysfunctional clubhouses we’ve been graced with over the last 20 years … letting Randolph twist in the wind before firing him in the middle of the night is just murder by numbers at this point.

In somewhat more pleasant news, The ‘Lil Wilpons of Coney Island defeated the Staten Island Yankees last night, 3-1, to open the 2008 NY-Penn League campaign for both clubs. Cyclones manager Edgar Alfonso is thought to be in ownership’s good graces until at least tomorrow night, but these things ought to be monitored on a daily basis.