Willie Goes West
by Tough Tony
A lot of callers on WFAN said they can’t feel sympathy for Willie because of the money he makes. Real blue collar guys echoed the notion that everyday people can’t empathize with a man who will still be paid over a million dollars to sit at home regardless of the way the Mets handled his firing.
Obtained through secret sources New York Baseball Blog has a first hand account of what happened on Willie’s last flight as Mets manager. You decide if Willie is a sympathetic figure after this 6 hour journey from hell.
SUNDAY NIGHT (all times eastern):
11:02- Willie is informed by a clubhouse attendant that they lost his luggage with the Mets logo on it. He has to pack all his belongings in a generic National League suitcase usually given to umpires. One of the wheels is broken so he has to drag the bag sideways to get it to roll along the ground. This makes Jose Reyes laugh uncontrollably.
12:01- The team waits on the tarmac to board the plane and Willie has trouble getting a Wi-Fi connection on his iPhone. Rick Peterson says he is having the same problem.
“It must not be our day, Willie.” Peterson says with a smile.
12:07- Willie takes his seat on the plane next to team mascot Mr. Met who is hogging the arm rest.
12:08- Willie is listening to a playlist on his iPhone that his good buddy Omar Minaya made for him. The playlist is comprised of only one song, “Don’t turn around” by Ace of Base.
12:17- Carlos Delgado is sitting next to the huge exit door on the plane. He raises his hand to get the flight attendant’s attention.
“I have never been much of a leader in tough times. If anyone should be sitting right next to the exit door it’s Willie Randolph. Get it? Exit door!” Delgado slaps his knee with laughter.
12:20- Take off is about to begin. The stewardess rips the headphones off Willie’s head.
“You could cause a crash if you keep listening to your electronic device, Mr. Randolph. I’m going to keep these headphones for the remainder of the flight.”
“But I’m the freaking manager of the New York Mets.” Willie protests.
“Maybe that would mean something to me if The Mets didn’t collapse last year. Even Jeff Torborg would not have let that happen”
The in-flight movie is “Fievel Goes West.” Here’s the description from the in- flight magazine:
A family of mice decide to go out west, unaware that they are falling into a trap perpetrated by a smooth talking cat.
1:01- The plane hits turbulence and Willie asks for a vodka tonic to calm his nerves. The androgynous male flight attendant brings Willie a tiny sized bottle of Zima.
“It’s all we have, Mr. Randolph. Team announcers Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez ran through this airlines supply of booze on that 2-6 road trip last week.”
“I hate those guy.” Willie mumbles to himself.
1:15- Willie turns on his phone and sees he has a text message from good friend Kelly Ripa:
“Hey Billy, Don’t freak out but Regis heard from a friend of a friend that the Wilpons really want to fire you. They want to bring back some one from the past. Kevin Mitchell, Kevin McReynolds, Mackey Sasser, Tim Teufel, Greg Jefferies and Rico Bragna are all candidates to replace you. At least it’s not Gary Carter. I know you hate that guy.”
1:45- Willie is getting restless. He decides to ask Jerry Manuel where he got his glasses.
“Malaysia.” Jerry responds.
Willie wants to ask if they are the exact same pair that Rays Manager Joe Maddon wears but a huge noise erupts from the players.
1:46- Willie goes to the back of the plane to find Pedro Martinez organizing a cock fight with roosters he snuck on the plane. The whole team is placing bets on the two feathered warriors.
“How can you guys do this. Even the ’78 Yankees weren’t this disgraceful. I command you to stop this cock fight right now.”
No one pays attention to Willie. He realizes that management took away all his power when they called a press conference to tell everyone his job status was tenuous at best.
2:27- The team doctor informs Willie that David Wright is suffering from exhaustion stemming from playing every day at the tender age of twenty five.
“I’ll try to DH him while we play in Anaheim. The world is really going to see my mastery of the American League this week.” Willie tells the doctor as more turbulence rocks the airplane.
3:22- As Willie is opening his complementary bag of peanuts Billy Wagner throws a paper airplane at Willie’s head. Willie unfolds the paper to see Wagner has written a note. It reads as follows:
I was instructed to blow those saves so management would have a reason to fire you. They think this whole drama will lead to big ratings for SNY. I think management ordered a hit on Ryan Church because he was the only player who played hard for you. Moises Alou isn’t injured either. No one could be that fragile. They are all out to get you! It’s just like that movie, “The Firm.”
P.S. Do you hate me? Please put a check mark in either the YES or NO box I have drawn for you.
6:23- The team arrives in California but Willie’s bag was left in New York City. Carlos Beltran can’t stop laughing at his soon to be ex-manager.
And that is why you feel bad for a man who had to travel 3,000 miles to get fired. Flying sucks.