NY Baseball Icon Willie Randolph: Nobody Will Hire Me

Tuesday, 20 May 2014 02:35 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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New York baseball great Willie Randolph says he's got a lot more to give to the game — but nobody seems to want to hire him.

"I just want to keep my face out there and keep working, and I just really don't understand why the opportunity hasn't come," Randolph told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"I'll be patient a little longer and see how it plays out. A lot of new general managers have come into the mix, so maybe they'll look at my resume and see that maybe I can help them with something," he said Tuesday.

Randolph — the New York Yankees' second baseman from 1976 to 1988 and New York Mets' manager from 2005 to 2008 — has written a new memoir, "The Yankee Way: Playing, Coaching, and My Life in Baseball," published by It Books.

During his time with the Bronx Bombers, Randolph was named to six All-Star teams and won two World Series. His last coaching jobs were with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2009 and 2010 and the Baltimore Orioles in 2011.

But Randolph has been now been off the field for three seasons and is raring to return.

"At one time I had a lot of interviews . . . but lately it's kind of dried up," Randolph said.
"Maybe it's just because there's a lot of new faces out there, maybe they're trying to change the game in some way."

Story continues below video.



Randolph, the first African American manager in New York City baseball history, admits there are fewer black players in professional baseball than in the past, and chalks it up to changing times.

"A lot of it is socio-economical, a lot of it's the fact that the kids have all these different other outlets to deal with," he said.

"They can't get off the computer and get outside and play stickball like we did when we were kids.

"Maybe it's part of a cultural thing, too. Kids want to get that pot of gold quickly. In basketball and football you can go one or two years and get there. It's a long grind [in baseball], and kids don't want to be patient nowadays.''

He said baseball must do a better job of attracting kids to the game.

"The bottom line is that we can all do a better job collectively in baseball and the state in general with having facilities for the kids to play in. When I go back to the old neighborhood, I don't see ballparks," Randolph said.

For Yankee fans who think they once spotted Randolph in the stands heckling Derek Jeter but weren't sure, it's true.

"I was right behind the on-deck circle, so the first three or four innings, I'm yelling, 'Hey Jete! Jete! What's going on?' and he would kind of half ignore me," Randolph recalled.

"So, finally my son says, 'Dad, you got to get his attention.' So, around the fifth inning, I stood up and I go, 'Hey Jeter, you suck!' And he turned around real quick, looked at me, and then right away we just broke up.

"He goes, 'You son of a gun, Willo,' and we laughed about it and all the fans were like, 'Isn't that Willie Randolph that heckled Jeter?' It's like sacrilegious you do that in Yankee Stadium, [you] must be a Red Sox fan, you know.

"I said to my son, 'Now I can die and go to heaven because I got Derek Jeter in Yankee Stadium.' And then he hit a double in the next at-bat and he got to second base and kind of nodded at me, and I'm, yeah, that's typical Derek Jeter.''



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