2008_05_williedown.jpgDespite a 23-25 record and an underwhelming performance by his team, Willie Randolph will continue to manage the New York Mets. After a meeting with general manager Omar Minaya, principal owner Fred Wilpon and chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, the Mets announced that Randolph has the support of all. The meeting happened after the Mets lost six of seven in Atlanta and Colorado and Randolph's comments to the Bergen Record suggesting that SNY, the Mets-owned network that televises the team's games, and other New York media allowed their coverage to be affected by race.

Even though Randolph got a new lease on life, his team will need to play better. They have been sloppy, uninspired and underachieving. Minaya has stood by Randolph in large part because once Randolph goes, Minaya's clock will start. He hired Randolph, after all, and if the problem isn't the manager, maybe Minaya's questionable roster decisions are to blame. He may also be holding on because finding a replacement in the middle of the season is difficult. Maybe Randolph should have been let go after last season's collapse.

At this point, the best argument isn't anything positive about Randolph but rather: "Who will be brought in that will make a difference?" Randolph doesn't bring much to the table; he's a bad strategist with his lineups and his bullpen, he is at times insecure and terse with the media and the clubhouse hasn't been free of distractions (see Wagner, Billy and Delgado, Carlos) this season. To top everything off, his team makes boneheaded plays (see Reyes, Jose). The conventional wisdom suggests that pegging say, Jerry Manuel, to take over won't change anything because such a selection would not be a dramatic enough contrast. If the Mets remain below .500, the Mets may be forced to try such an experiment.

Photo of Willie Randolph during last night's loss to the Marlins by AP/Seth Wenig