Willie Randolph Got Hosed!

Some experts pegged the New York Mets and the Detroit Tigers as the teams to beat in their respective leagues. Now, the two are fighting it out to be forever known as the biggest disappointment in each franchise's history.

The difference: Motown's skipper Jim Leyland still has a job and Willie Randolph is making his way towards the unemployment line.

Randolph was axed at approximately 3:00 a.m. on the east coast, hours after the Mets beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. And while SportsCenter ran clips of a team seemingly rallying around its manager, the Breaking News crawl had Randolph as fired.

A 34-35 record (at the time of the firing) isn't terrible because of those 35 losses, 21 of them have come on the road where everyone in the world seems to struggle when they are not in the comforts of home.

But in a city that is delusional enough to think it should win every game, 1 game under .500 is unacceptable.

But how much blame should Randolph receive?

Carlos Beltran's slash stats (.270/.372/.475) with 10 homers and 47 RBIs is not worth $18.5 million. Carlos Delgado's offense hasn't just dropped, it's jumped off the Empire State Building because something has to explain having almost as many strikeouts (59) as hits (60.) Luis Castillo isn't terrible, but in a division with Dan Uggla, Chase Utley and Kelly Johnson producing at second base, .269/.367/.347 just isn't cutting it.

I guess that's Willie Randolph's fault.

Pedro's arm is falling off and so is Billy Wagner's ninth inning production.

Again, that's on Randolph. Right?

In the end, the firing was cowardly and that's just putting it mildly. How do you fire a manager in the middle of a series? How do you send the VP of Player Relations to whack the skip? Why was it done when the East Coast is sleeping?

And really, the real question is how do you replace Willie Randolph with Jerry Manuel?

I guess it's time to start counting down the days 'til Omar Minaya is relieved of his duties because his Latin American All-Star team hasn't worked out too well.