|June 19, 2008|
|'Midnight Massacre' Is PR Error for Hapless New York Mets|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|New York Mets PR ace Jay Horwitz has lost a couple of miles off his fastball. That’s clear in the aftermath of today’s “midnight massacre” firing of manager Willie Randolph and two coaches.|
The sacking occurred at 12.14 a.m. California time, two hours after the Amazins whipped the Anaheim Angels. [Sorry Angels, Los Angeles is Dodger territory.] That’s right, New York sportswriters, who have been calling for the head of Willie for weeks, awoke to the news that Randolph is toast.
That does not sit well with the infuriated scribes. Mike Vaccaro’s New York Post’s online column is headed “Midnight Massacre an Amazin’ Act of Cowardice.” He calls the father and son ownership tandem of Fred and Jeff Wilpon “cowards” and “sinister men.” Randolph, Rick Peterson and Tom Nieto could have been fired Sunday when the Mets were in New York, “before heading to a plane and flying 3,000 miles to their doom,” wrote Vaccaro.
The Daily News’ Bill Madden complains: “And in the history of New York baseball, there has not been a more cowardly, indecent, undignified or ill-conceived firing of a manager.”
The low-key Randolph had to go. The Mets are a bunch of underachievers who need a collective kick in the butt. The Wilpons and general manager Omar Minaya should have staged a high-profile news conference to meet the press, explain the shake-up, and outline the direction of the team.
New York fans have pretty much written off this season, according to a Daily News poll today. Eighty-nine percent of respondents say Willie’s axing is not going to get the Mets into the playoffs. The Mets trail the Phillies, Marlins and Braves in the National League East.
The Mets need a savvy PR guy like Howard Rubenstein, who would have urged the Wilpons to take the heat via a Shea Stadium press conference. Repping the New York Yankees for years, Rubenstein was spokesperson for owner George Steinbrenner. Now that George’s son, Hal “The Loose Cannon,” deals directly with the press, Rubenstein should mull the opportunity of shifting his baseball operation from the Bronx to Queens.
The Mets could sure use Rubenstein's counsel, especially with Citi Field opening next year and a new manager in charge.
C’mon Howard. “Lets Go Mets” still has a nice ring to it.
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