It's going to be widely discussed today so there's no need for me to spend that much time on it, but just to weigh in: The Mets organization proved itself to be both classless and clueless in firing Willie last night (actually, this morning).
I heard a few interesting things on my way into work today on ESPN Radio that I wish I could have recorded and replayed here. I won't quote since I'm going by memory, but here's the gist of what I heard:
- Steve Phillips: The Mets organization works backwards in coming to executing a decision. They made the decision to fire Willie and then the worked backwards to figure out when to do it. They didn't want to do it on Memorial Day. Not on Father's Day, either. So they let Willie fly across the country and then whacked him AFTER he won, AFTER he spoke to the press, finally the press release was issued at 3:15am. So that was their plan, as pathetic as it was. They actually decided this was the best way to do this. Let that ruminate for a moment. The way this was done has made Willie a martyr, even in the eyes of the fans who wanted Willie ousted.
- Bill Madden: The way this execution took place was the worst, "undignified, astrocious" in his 30 years of covering NY baseball, and that includes all of the Boss' pathetic, ill-timed firings. His interview was amazing in its insight and brutality. He basically skewered the entire front office. He tossed a grenade on Tony Bernazard, the ass't GM. All of the Latin players seek out Tony, not Willie. Tony would hang out with buddy Manny Acta when the Mets would travel to DC. Madden puked on Jeff Wilpon for being angry that Willie got a better contract than Wilpon wanted him to get. The backbiting that Madden described is terrible and proves there's a systemic problem within the Mets dis-organization. There's a poll on Madden's Daily News site that has the vote of 82% - 18% against the timing of the firing. That 18% thought the timing was right may give you some insight to the craziness that Mets fans are.
- Jayson Stark: "An abomination". 'Nuff said.
UPDATE: Buster Olney's blog is out and he defines the issue beautifully in his opening paragraph:
The personnel meetings the Mets hold are said by participants to run on for hours, the discussion often turning circular and pointless. And maybe that's when it starts to happen in their organization when they get to the point where the staff members are so beaten down emotionally and intellectually that they don't have the ability to stand up and scream: Are you people crazy? Are you serious? Because this is a really bad idea -- no, no, wait, let's go one step further: It's really just flat-out nuts.
Make no mistake about it; this sort of thing happens in conference rooms and board rooms of companies daily, across the world. But, luckily for us, the Mets do it in clear view of knuckleheads like me.