While You Were Sleeping: Mets Fire Willie Randolph

While You Were Sleeping: Mets Fire Willie Randolph

At about 3:15 this morning, the Mets fired manager Willie Randolph, pitching coach Rick Peterson, and first base coach Tom Nieto. With a massive payroll and a sub-.500 team that has never seemed to recover from last season's monumental collapse, the writing has been on the wall for Randolph for far too long. After months of very public speculation, the Mets finally terminated him.

Not that it was entirely Randolph's fault. The team lacks leadership on the field, despite a slew of veteran players, some of whom are far more "veteran" than "player" at this point. That last distinction is the fault of Omar Minaya, who filled a few of the holes in the Mets roster with players who were way past their primes—a characteristic other prominent members of the team shared as well.

Randolph certainly had his failings as skipper, but his firing is
primarily a shake-up move for a team going in the wrong direction.
Whether it will work is a whole different question. Sure, Randolph and
two coaches are gone. But all of the positions have been filled
in-house, with bench coach Jerry Manuel being named the interim
manager, and two minor league coaches being promoted to the bigs.

As Phillies fans, we're not sure if we should be happy that the Mets
are struggling so badly that they had to fire their manager, or concerned that
they finally did something about their woes. We've been enjoying seeing
them held at arm's length for most of the season, but we've never taken for granted that they'd stay there.

Union see 4-game winning streak end in shutout loss to Real Salt Lake

Union see 4-game winning streak end in shutout loss to Real Salt Lake

BOX SCORE

SANDY, Utah -- Joao Plata scored his first goal of the season and Real Salt Lake beat the Union, 1-0, on Saturday night to snap Philadelphia's club-record winning streak at four games.

Plata tapped in his goal in the 36th minute after quickly exchanging short passes twice with Jefferson Savarino. Tony Beltran got the play started by saving the ball just before it went over the goal line.

The Union (4-5-5) had a chance to tie it in stoppage time, but goalie Nick Rimando blocked Haris Medunjanin's belt-high free kick and Salt Lake (4-8-2) cleared it after a scramble in front of the net.

Union goalkeeper Andre Blake made seven saves.

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick on Saturday night made his fourth rehab appearance in Triple A during Lehigh Valley's 13-1 rout of the Louisville Bats in Allentown.

Kendrick went 1 for 5 with a run scored and three strikeouts. He also grounded into a double play and left two runners in scoring position.

It was his second rehab game playing third base. He played third during his appearance in the IronPigs' 8-4 loss Thursday to the Indianapolis Indians. He was 0 for 1 in three plate appearances with a run scored and was hit by a pitch twice (see story).

The Phillies' plan for Kendrick was to have him play a minimum four games at Lehigh Valley. He played left field in two games and third base twice. Pete Mackanin said Wednesday that Kendrick would also get a game at first base but he hasn't gotten a game at first yet.

There is a chance Kendrick could be recalled Sunday before the Phillies’ series finale against the Cincinnati Reds depending on how he feels.

Kendrick has been sidelined since April 15 with an oblique strain. In 10 games before the injury, Kendrick went 13 for 39 (.333) with five extra-base hits and four walks while exclusively playing left field.