Each post-game press conference is more painful to watch than its predecessor. Willie shuffles up to the podium, swigs some water, sits down, folds his hands and says, “Well, guys, that was a tough one to lose.”
A funereal air permeates the proceedings as Willie then tries to explain exactly why his team blew another, late-inning lead:
“Joe had good stuff in the bullpen. He just threw one bad pitch,” or “That’s why we pay Billy the big bucks. He’s going to succeed in those situations 99 times out of a hundred,” or, my personal favorite, “I saw some positives tonight, despite what the score might indicate.”
Willie will then shake his head, rub his eyes, emit a long-exasperated sigh and keep his arms folded. Rather than pump his fist, raise his voice and exhort reporters, fans and players alike to believe in the team, Willie simply retreats further into himself. Talk about a shell of a man. Phew.
Firing Willie now would be a mercy-killing for all involved. The poor guy has to be dying a thousand deaths. His players are listless and, for the most part, hitless. And, we poor fans now watch the games not to root for the Mets, but to see how creative they’ll be in losing this particular game.
Management needs to inject some life in this flat lining team. Willie’s proven he’s not the guy to do it. A board of directors would step in in similar, private-sector circumstances.
It’s time for Mets management to offer Willie the handgun, point him to the nearest empty office and tell him to pull the trigger (figuratively, of course.)
If nothing else, I’d like to see a new Mets manager who knows how to smile, shout and motivate this underachieving pack of veteran retreads. Willie and his negative non-verbals need to be sent to the locker room. Permanently.