Managerial hot seats

*UPDATE (6.17.08)* Willie Randolph was fired at 3:14 AM by a press release. Right after winning a game and being in bed. Bench coach Jerry Manuel is expected to take over.

New York Mets manager Willie Randolph is 33-35 this season and the aftertaste of their epic collapse is still triggering the gag reflex of many fans. But Sunday night, Randolph put his managerial future in the hands of a guy whose last hit came in 1999, Robinson Cancel. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning, Cancel pinch-hit for P Pedro Martinez and came up with a two-run single that gave the Mets the 4-2 lead and eventually, the victory. Now that’s having faith in your players. Trusting a guy who hasn’t gotten a hit in almost nine years when your professional career is on the line shows a good manager. He obviously knows Robinson Cancel a lot better than we do. A casual glance at Cancel’s stats would suggest he would be better suited in a men’s league softball game. Randolph seems to be ignoring the hoopla regarding his job security when he’s in the dugout and going with his instincts.

Randolph’s Mets have underachieved, but he did get them to the NLCS in 2006. With the second highest payroll however, they should not be below .500. RP Billy Wagner blowing three straight saves hasn’t helped much. The Mets would be over .500 if it weren’t for those outings. Also, OF Ryan Church is still out with concussion symptoms. Another problem for the Mets is Moises Alou going to the DL and their subsequent signing of Trot Nixon. That would qualify as a downgrade.

Speaking of high-cost, low-win teams, Detroit Tigers Manager Jim Leyland’s seat on the bench may be cooling off following two straight series sweeps of the White Sox and Dodgers. Leyland has been tinkering with his roster configuration quite a bit these days and may have finally stumbled upon a good setting by alternating time behind the plate with a declining Ivan Rodriguez and Brandon Inge. On another note, OF Marcus Thames has 10 home runs in only 109 at bats this season. Thames has been getting more at bats these days and with his power, may be a decent bench outfielder on your fantasy team if you want supplemental homers (home run every 10.9 at bats).

On a non-baseball note, some guy named Rocco Mediate will be going up against Tiger Woods in a playoff to determine the U.S. Open. I don’t watch a lot of golf but the way Tiger rebounded the other day to stay in contention was quite memorable. It starts at 11:30 AM today.

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