Well, Willie is a class guy, who took a LOT of crap in New York with the Yankees. I ma glad he got a job, although he probably could have been the Yankees skipper in a few years if he would have hung around.
I am very happy for Willie Randolph, who I always thought was underrated as a player. He consistently hit very well, and was as solid as they come in the field.
He's learned from one of the best ever in Joe Torre, who will have a hard time now without Zimmer, Randolph, and Mel Stottlemyer. I'm gald he'll be given a chance at a top job, especially since he's been interviewed about a dozen times for other jobs so far.
My favorite Willie Randolph story is that his first visit ever to Yankee Stadium came as a younster in the Con-Ed kid. Con Edison buys cheap seats for 1,000 or so underprivileged kids in the community for several games a year (usually against lesser-drawing teams), the kids are all given T-shirts, etc. A lot of fun for all.
Well, it was not my first choice, but I'm happy for Willie, and wish him nothing but the best; he's a class act and certainly has a pedigree of championship / chaotic experience having been in the Bombers organization throughout most of his professional and post-playing career. He also seems to be a really nice, likeable guy; of course, so was Art Howe and we know how well that worked out.
Bottom line, now that a manager is in place, it's time to fill-in the coaching positions (other than Rick Peterson) and to start working on ridding the roster of aging, out-of-position or past-their-prime veterans for some youth, enthusiasm, and defense. Here's hoping that new General Manager Omar Minaya can get it done.
Of course, given the penchant for violence and poor financial judgment that my preferred pick, Wally Backman, apparently has shown throughout the past few years, what the heck do I know? Heh.
"Remember, it's not a lie if *you* believe it." - George Costanza
I don't really want to debate his hall of fame merits right now ... but if he gets in, I will wish then that it had happened this year. Wright Thompson at ESPN has a nice column (sports.espn.go.com) up about O'Neil that I would point anyone to.