By Mike Steffanos
On MetsBlog, Matt Cerrone quotes Bob Klapisch from a Podcast on NorthJersey.com regarding Willie Randolph's decision not to require that his team watch the Cardinals' dual ceremonies celebrating their championship:
I thought it was a mistake on Randolph's part. It's a show of respect that you give to the other team. The Cardinals won that thing, fair and square…and I think the Mets owed it to the Cardinals to be good sports about it.
I think Randolph is a terrific manager, I think he's a real pro, and he basically understands the respect element of the game, and has all along, both as a player and manager – but, in this case, I thought that he made a mistake in not demanding that the Mets be part of that ceremony.
The Cardinals did indeed win fair and square, and kudos to them for what they accomplished. The decision of the team to milk this championship for all it was worth, spreading the celebration out for 2 nights, was within their right. The job of ballplayers, however, is to prepare for the game that they are being paid a lot of money to play. The Mets elected to prepare for the game rather than sitting on their hands for two nights watching the Cardinals' drawn out ceremonies.
I'm not quite sure why the Mets "owed it to the Cardinals" to watch, anyway. I didn't blow a gourd over the Cards doing the Jose chant in their locker room after winning game 7, as I figure a team has a right to celebrate a tough win how they see fit. There was an element of disrespect in this mockery, however, and it begs the question of what the Mets owed the Cardinals in return.
Of course the real problem is that Randolph didn't elect to mimic what Joe Torre did on opening day of 2005. (Funny that the Red Sox only needed one day to celebrate a championship after waiting almost a century to achieve it.) Too bad. The Cardinals had every right to choose how they would celebrate the world championship. They had no right to expect the other team to take part in their celebrations. Let's move on to something important.