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Will to Win

This whole Willie Randolph contract "dispute" turned out to be much ado about nothing, eh? While some newspaper columnists were panicking or taking issue with the pace of the negotiations, I never had any worries about Randolph's future status.

This is the best job that Randolph might ever have and I couldn't see a scenario in which he chose to walk away from running a team in the city in which he grew up.

Besides, Willie has only "walked off" the job once in his career, and I couldn't see him doing that now.

I'm referring to the Yankees-Red Sox clash of August 16, 1985. Boston carried a 4-3 lead into the last of the 9th, but the Red Sox of that time lacked an established closer (as does the current squad) and couldn't finish this one out.

Ron Hassey led off the final regulation frame for the Yankees with a single. Randolph, batting in the 7th spot in the lineup, did his job, bunting pinch-runner Billy Sample to second base. Mike Pagliarulo followed with a game-tying RBI single, and after Rickey Henderson struck out to close the inning, we were headed for bonus baseball.

There was only one scenario in which Randolph could bat in the last of the 10th and things unfolded just the right way for him. With two outs and nobody on base, Dave Winfield doubled, and Crawford decided to voluntarily bypass Dan Pasqua to pitch to Butch Wynegar. That didn't work out well though. Wynegar walked to load the bases.

Irritated with Crawford's lack of control, Red Sox manager John McNamara replaced him at that moment with Bob Stanley, but that move failed to muster success.

Patience is one of Randolph's virtues and just as he didn't get frustrated by the alleged slow pace of negotiations with the Mets, he showed plenty of good qualities in his at-bat against Stanley. Four pitches later, Randolph had a bases-loaded walk and the Yankees had a 5-4 "walk-off" victory.

True Metdolphs know...That I'd like to wish a belated happy 53rd birthday to my favorite Met Neil Allen. Though I didn't forge a press pass to meet him (like one recently-punished Mets fan), I did have an encounter with Allen during my childhood. You can read about it here:


Rickey said…
Nice blog. Rickey likes. Check out mine:
Anonymous said…
Pags is the greatest Yankee wearing 13 of all time.

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