Willie Randolph was one pitch away from reaching the World Series in 2006. Until Carlos Beltran stared at Adam Wainwright’s pitch with the bases loaded and two strikes, Randolph’s Mets looked to be on the verge of earning a berth in the World Series.
The Mets finished 97-65, claimed the NL East Division crown and became one of the National League’s toughest teams to face. They ended the season without a championship and Randolph remained with the team for one more season before his firing weeks into the 2008 season. He’s yet to manage a big league club since his stint with the Mets.
Randolph joined “Joe and Evan” on Thursday to discuss his time as Mets manager among other topics. It wasn't long before WFAN’s Joe Benigno addressed the Randolph's managerial status.
"How is it possible that you are not managing now?" Benigno asked. "You did a good job with the Mets. You should’ve went to the World Series. You had the best team in the league in ‘06. We all know how that played out. How did you not get another job?"
The former Mets skipper was bewildered at a possible answer.
“I cannot answer that," Randolph said. "I’m still really disappointed that I got an opportunity after a long wait, got a chance to manage a team that I grew up rooting for in the Mets and, like you said, we got one pitch from going to the World Series. We've got a great organization of players and coaches and a lot of times managers get fired, that's fine. I get it for whatever circumstance. But I thought I built enough cache to get another opportunity.”
Randolph found himself in various spots since his time in Queens. He interviewed for a few teams, but never landed the prominent position he once held despite his desire to still manage.
“I went to Baltimore for a year, Brewers for two years prior to that,” Randolph stated. “So I thought I was going to get back on that wheel. You see, managers get recycled all the time and managers don't even do well. At least I was successful, thank goodness. To this day, I'm still a little disappointed. ”
The former Yankee hasn’t shied away from the world of baseball. He’s participated in the Yankees’ annual Old-Timers Day, and served as a coach for the United States during the World Baseball Classic in 2017.
“I still love the game,” Randolph said. “I still watch the games. I'm around it. But I'm still disappointed that I didn't get another shot because I think there are so many guys that - not even close to what job I did. I just don't understand that part.”