SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Padres Sweep Mets; Randolph Watch Back On?

Just wondering. The Padres are beat up, down several good starting pitchers, can't hit well, play in one of the best pitchers' parks in the majors, and they up and sweep the Mets. The Mets aren't playing to their talent level, but is that Willie Randolph's fault, or is it Omar Minaya's?

The talk will intensify on the New York airwaves tomorrow, but the Mets' front office should be very careful. Are they really sure that Willie Randolph is the issue? Or is it that outside a great nucleus, they're a "too old" team that is showing signs of the tentativeness that comes with age? Translated, is it the manager, or is it the players? And, if it's the manager, what type do you hire to replace Randolph, who (as "Baseball Prospectus" put it), isn't as good a manager as he was heralded in 2006 (when the Mets won the East) or as bad as he was criticized for the team's collapse in 2007 (when they folded their way out of the East crown and even the wild card in the last 3 weeks of the season)?

The Phillies are hot, and the Marlins aren't showing any signs of weakening yet. By no means, though, is the NL East a foregone conclusion, and the season is still relatively young. That said, when do the alarm bells go off in New York?

And, if they're sounded, who gets tossed overboard?

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