Willie's World

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A Real Treat!

Yes, this is me, the Willie Randolph, the manager of your New York Metropolitans. I know I should be sleeping but I'm just too pumped. I made a lot of good decisions in today's game and I'm super excited to be in such a good rhythm of managing right now. (I know we lost the game but the way I see it, I manage the game, make decisions, etc., and the players play. If we lost based on bad play, it's their fault. Um, did I tell Glavine to give up a 3-run HR to Alou? No, I did not.)

I feel really confident about tomorrow's game. With a few really clutch managerial moves out of me, I'm sure we can pull the game out. I had a long chat with Rick Peterson after the game, and I threw out the idea of skipping Trachsel tomorrow and letting Zambrano pitch again. He had a bad outing the other day, but he only pitched 4 innings so he's good to go. The guy's got a rubber arm, and once he gets into a good rhythm, we're going to see that ERA come under 6 and we are going to win a few of his starts. I am confident in that.

As far as the lineup goes, I think probably the only change will be Delgado getting a day off and Valentin starting at 1B. I know that taking Valentin off the bench really weakens my pinch hit options but he's been on a tear lately, and we need to get a spark going in this offense. I sent Valentin up to pinch hit in a 6-2 game where we already thought we were going to lose, and the crafty veteran that he is, what does he do? He gets on base. And he does it with a swinging three-quarters bunt, the very same play we practiced for three weeks in Spring Training. He even helps by acting as another coach, surveying everything on the field and giving me feedback. For example, after his clutch single in the eighth inning, I gave Manny Acta the sign to hit and run, but Valentin decided against it. I asked him why when he came back to the dugout and he told me that he was tired after legging out that bunt. Now that is class. He tells me the truth and lays the cards on the table. That's when I realized that this man is going to be the face of this franchise for years to come.

A lot of you are wondering what is up with Carlos Beltran. His hamstring is 99.6% according to the computer program Rick Peterson's kid wrote. (He really is a computer whiz. He was playing a video game this morning, and Rick told me that Bonds hit 2 HRs off of him, and that his son said to him "Dad, I wish I had pitched around Bonds!". That's when I realized, Rick, Jr., you are on to something. And I knew I would walk Bonds no matter what the situation. As you can see, if I had better players, we would have succeeded with my strategy. Let me reiterate, I told Glavine to walk Bonds, I didn't tell him to give a 3-run HR to Alou nor did I tell Heilman to give up a 2-run single.) Beltran will be back when he is 100%, don't worry guys!

Anyway, I digress. Tomorrow is another day. And hopefully, we will pull out a victory with Zambrano on the mound, Valentin at first and Chavez in CF.

P.S. I'm considering giving Wright a day off. I don't want to weaken my bench so I may just ask Reyes to play more in the hole and go with 8 guys in the lineup.


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