Willie Randolph will visit the principal's office today at Shea Stadium, and he'll be told to never, ever do that again. He'll be warned that if he attempts another stunt like this, he can try getting work with his first organization, the Pirates.
Mets ownership, particularly COO Jeff Wilpon, is livid about the collapse that ended with Sunday's embarrassing loss to the Marlins. It's understandable. But it's heartening to see that the Wilpon family - described yesterday by Omar Minaya as "an ownership group that's a fan" - will look past its rage and give Willie another chance in 2008.
Randolph deserves that opportunity, because, just as Minaya said at his Shea post-mortem, his body of work as a manager merits it. He also should come back because it would be criminal to scapegoat Randolph for what turned into a system-wide malfunction.
Honestly, it's the right move. The team's struggles down the stretch were more of Omar Minaya's doing than anything. Willie just played the cards he was dealt. Turns out his deck needed a few more aces and trump cards.