Willie Randolph was second-guessed at the time, but not from within. Now Cliff Floyd has thrown his former manager under the bus for his decision not to bunt in the ninth inning in Game 7 of the NLCS.
Speaking in Arizona in the Cubs camp, Floyd said: ”(Randolph) was confused. I really thought he was going to bunt. Had I been feeling better, I thought it would have been a great call. . . . He thought about it, but (bench coach) Jerry (Manuel) talked him out of it. That’s what bench coaches do, I guess.”
Floyd, of course, struck out, otherwise this wouldn’t be a big deal.
Funny, here’s how I remember the playoffs. Floyd said he wanted to be on the roster even though he was ailing. If the Mets made a mistake with Floyd, it was putting him on the playoff roster. In hindsight, it was misguided loyalty.
So, Randolph, with the season on the line, has the faith to use Floyd in a tough spot. Floyd, in essence, said the Mets made a mistake by activating him. All this talk about Floyd being a stand-up guy is nonsense. He didn’t say anything at the time. Why is that? Oh yeah, because he wanted to come back.
Now, 2,500 miles away he says something. Real big.
A couple of things to remember about that situation. One, even with a successful bunt, the Mets still would have needed a hit to tie the game. And, who is to say there wouldn’t have been a bunt popped up for a double play?
Two, Floyd didn’t come through. If he had, this could be a moot point.
Randolph was perturbed answering questions, finally saying, “I’m not going to get dragged into this. … That’s his opinion. I’m not going to validate it by addressing it. I make the decisions and I stand by them.”
Floyd would have been better off keeping his mouth shut. But, I know how this will turn out. Floyd will get some heat and claim he either didn’t say it or was misquoted.