Randolph hopes to land job as manager this winter

Willie Randolph is hoping to have a hectic offseason.

After two years as bench coach for the Milwaukee Brewers,

Randolph is eager for another chance to manage in the big leagues.

And with openings expected all around the majors this winter, the

former New York Mets skipper will be waiting by the phone.

”I would love a legitimate opportunity to get another shot,”

Randolph said Monday after Milwaukee’s scheduled game against the

Mets was rained out. ”Obviously, the reason why I didn’t take off

any time is I wanted everyone in baseball to know that I wanted to

get back into the rhythm of what I was trying to accomplish as a

manager, and that’s to win a championship. To continue to grow, to

learn. I could have sat home and collected my pay, but that’s not

what it’s all about for me.”

The 56-year-old Randolph has a resume filled with success. He

won six World Series rings as a player and coach with the New York

Yankees, then was hired to run the Mets across town before the 2005

season.

He went 302-253 (.544) in almost 3 1/2 years as manager, guiding

the Mets to within one win of the 2006 World Series. But they

missed the playoffs after a monumental collapse late in 2007 and

were 34-35 when Randolph was fired the following season – not long

after he suggested publicly that he could be receiving unfair

criticism because he is black.

”I came as a young manager. Obviously, I did it in a big city.

Again, I went through my growing pains. I had some ups and downs

like any young manager would. But even then I thought I grew, and I

thought I handled myself pretty well. So the last two years have

just enhanced my experience, obviously, and taught me a lot more

about the game,” he said.

Brewers manager Ken Macha praised Randolph for his loyalty and

communication skills with players. Macha also credited Randolph for

the development of slugging second baseman Rickie Weeks and the

defensive improvement of young shortstop Alcides Escobar.

”He’s got a strong desire to manage again and I hope he gets an

opportunity to do it,” Macha said.

Macha has a club option for 2011, making him one of the many

major league managers in limbo as this season winds down. Another

one is Mets skipper Jerry Manuel, the successor to Randolph after

serving as a coach on his staff.

”When you go to manage in any league, there’s definitely a

fraternity that understands … the big picture that we’re hired to

be fired in some sense,” Randolph said. ”It’s devastating,

really. The pain, the hurt, the rejection. I know what that feels

like.”

Weeks also thinks Randolph would do well with a second chance at

managing.

”He’s done pretty much everything in baseball,” Weeks said.

”He’s done it before. There’s no reason why he couldn’t do it

again. That would be a pretty good gig for him.”

Randolph said he’s pretty exhausted after a tough year that

included the death of his father. But he’s ready for a new

challenge, and he thinks his time on the bench in Milwaukee has

been valuable.

”The past two years, I’m glad I did it because I think it’s

really helped me with my growth. I’ve learned a lot,” he said.

”Not just Xs and Os, but seeing the game from a different

perspective because when you’re a manager, you’re in a certain

bowl. But when you’re a bench coach, you’re managing per se but

you’re seeing the game from a different perspective.”

Now, it’s just a matter of getting that phone call and having an

impressive interview.

”I’m not much of a solicitor. I’ve never been that way,”

Randolph said. ”I think that general managers and owners pretty

much know who they want and what they want. And there’s almost like

a pool, if you will. Even if you’re not in the game. You could be

outside the game, but they know who fits their puzzle.

”So after we finish up strong this week, I’ll kick back a

little bit, hopefully I’ll get some calls and look forward to going

in and convincing them that I’m the guy to lead their team to the

next level.”

The rainout will be made up as part of a twi-night doubleheader

Wednesday starting at 4:10 p.m.

Both teams pushed back Monday night’s scheduled starters to

Tuesday, though more rain is in the forecast. Randy Wolf will pitch

for Milwaukee, and Mike Pelfrey for the Mets.

Dave Bush and Yovani Gallardo will get the ball for the Brewers

in the doubleheader Wednesday, with R.A. Dickey and Jonathan Niese

going for the Mets. Neither team announced which pitcher would get

which game.

NOTES: Mets LF Jason Bay, sidelined with a concussion since late

July, said he definitely won’t play again this season. But he hopes

to take some batting practice this week and go into the offseason

with no restrictions.