Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Truly and Honestly, Do Not Understand


When ex-New York Met manager Willie Randolph was fired much of the scrutiny towards General Manager Omar Minaya was that he did it at 3 AM EST. Everyone knew, however, that the Mets were playing a series in Anaheim of Los Angeles. Which, apparently people have forgotten is 3 time zones 'behind' Eastern Standard Time.

Honestly, I respect The Hardball Times. It is one of the most informative and entertaining websites around. With that respect, comes a manner of expectations. I expect the site to not harp on issues that are irrelevant and brought to light by the mainstream media. However, with yesterday's 'Tuck! sez' weekly rendering, The Hardball Times joined mainstream media in poking fun at a non-issue.

That is, we all know that it was after 3 AM when the news was first reported. And with the lack of Monday Night Football, few people in North America were sitting around watching the sports ticker. But the fact is, Randolph was simply fired after the game in Los Angeles.

The game was scheduled to begin, according to Yahoo! Sports, at7:05 PM PST, or 10:05 PM EST. According to MLB.com, the game ran for three hours and ten minutes. For the sake of argument, I will assume that the game started at the scheduled time. Which puts the time the game ended (ie. the final out) at 10:15 PM PST, or 1:15 AM EST.

According to the previously cited ESPN article, the firing was first "announced in an e-mail at 12:14 AM PST Tuesday". This gives us a time frame of a whopping 2 hours for any post game interviews. A post game recap in the clubhouse. Some celebrations. Really, anything that typically goes on in the clubhouse after a game, and a win specifically.

This also gives 2 hours for Minaya to sit down with Randolph and give him the bad news.


What is the point here? 3 AM is a relative time. 3 AM EST is essentially 2 hours after the average west coast game. Thus, the firing essentially occurred after the ballgame.

Let's take a look at this from a Hollywood perspective, citing the movie Office Space.
Well, when a boss wants you to work on Saturday he generally asks you at the end of the day, right? ...So, all you gotta do is avoid him... on the last few hours on Friday, duck out early, turn off your answering machine... you should be home free, man. (Lawrence)
In other words, the firing time was essentially Willie Randolph's fault, as he should have been aware of the firing (as the rest of the baseball world was) and attempted to slip out.
No. No, of course not. We find it's always better to fire people on a Friday. Studies have statistically shown that there's less chance of an incident if you do it at the end of the week. (Bob Slydell)
Also, given that firings are typically done at the end of a work week, what is the difference in baseball which essentially has no beginning, nor an end of a work week?

So please, everyone, stop bashing Minaya because he fired Willie Randolph at '3 AM EST'. The team was not on the east coast, and in reality, 2 hours after a ballgame is fairly prompt timing.

Also, keep in mind, I have been one of the biggest critics of Omar Minaya. In February I wrote an article titled How to Make a Met Look Foolish and bashed a few of the recent moves Minaya had done.


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