Randolph as ex-Yank: 'I'd love to manage again'
NEW YORK -- Willie Randolph is enjoying the good life since being fired as manager of the New York Mets -- beach days, picnics, family reunions.
Don't take that as a sign he's content being out of baseball, though.
"I'd love to manage again, see if I could get back on the wheel again," Randolph said Saturday before participating in the final Old-Timers' Day at Yankee Stadium.
Randolph took time out from being a "regular dude" to make his first official appearance at a baseball function since the Mets dismissed him in the middle of the night during a West Coast trip in June.
Randolph turned down a chance to be on the field for last month's All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium because he didn't want to be a distraction, and the first word he was going to attend the 62nd Old-Timers' Day came when the lineup was posted Saturday morning.
He said he made an exception for the Yankees because, "I grew up here. This is where I learned how to be a winner here, be a champion here."
A six-time World Series winner with the Yankees as a player and coach, Randolph was given one of the loudest and longest ovations when he was introduced before the exhibition. Randolph put his hand over his heart as he waved to the crowd.
Since being let go by the Mets, Randolph has "laid low." He's spent time with his family -- he is going to be a grandfather soon -- and just doing all the regular things someone who has been one of the Boys of Summer since being drafted by Pittsburgh in 1972 can't enjoy.
"It's a little different, a little bit of a transition," he said. "I'm a lifer. I'm a grinder. ... I didn't get fired at the end of the season."
Randolph occasionally watches the Mets; if someone in the family is flipping through the channels, he'll have them stop, and he keeps in touch with several people in the organization on a casual basis.
Even though he sounded nonchalant about being away from the team that gave him his first managerial job, Randolph still has strong feelings for the club.
"A big part of it is my team. I brought them back to where they are today. That doesn't change," Randolph said. "[My] heart and soul is with those guys."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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