The Yankees blew this one. Willie Randolph, hearing that the Yankees were looking for an infield coach, put his name in as a candidate. Willie has an impressive background. He won two World Series rings as a player with the Yankees and four as a coach under Joe Torre. He spent 11 seasons as a Bench and Base Coach with the Yankees.
He managed the Mets from 2005-2008. In 2006, he won the Division and swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Division Series only to lose the League Championship Series in seven games to the eventual World Series winning St. Louis Cardinals.
As a player with the Yankees for 13 years, he hit .275 and played in 1,694 games and also played in 47 post season games, including 20 World Series games. He was named to the All Star team six times and hit .337 in 1991, third in the league.
He served as a spring training instructor with the team last year and has been a popular and respected member of the Yankee family since coming to them in 1976.
Willie Randolph is a known quantity to the Yankee organization. They had to know when the process started whether or not they were going to hire him for the position. If they were going to, there was no reason to consider anyone else, if they weren’t, there was no reason to make it public that he had applied.
I happen to think that adding Willie Randolph to the Yankee staff would have been a positive step for the organization, particularly when they have a young second baseman of the quality of Bob Refsnyder in the minors who would gain greatly from Randolph’s experience. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I do not make those decisions.
Hopefully, the person selected for the job, Joe Espada, will do a great job and help my Yankees win another pennant. Whether he does or not, there was no reason for the Yankees to allow Willie Randolph to be embarrassed by being publicly rejected by the team to which he gave so much.