Thursday, April 07, 2005

Getting to Know Willie

Last night, down 5-3 in Cincinnati, Willie Randolph, was called for failing to inform the umps about a double switch in the bottom of the 8th. Fran "The Illuminator" Healy, calling the game on MSG, said, as the camera panned to Willie, sitting in the dugout post-scolding, "Willie's hot." But the Willie we saw on the screen was expressionless, placid. "Willie upset" looks exactly like I would picture "Willie checking mangoes in the produce section at Price Chopper," which, by extension, is probably just like "Willie's just learned that his daughter aced the SATs," or "Willie just convinced Bush to step down, conceed his inherent lameness, and turn the reigns over to Kerry." (I like Willie so I'm going to assume he runs with the anti-Bush crowd.) As we learned later in the game, "Willie's ticked" also looks just like "Willie's just watched journeyman Joe Randa crush a grand slam, to straightaway center, no less, off of the Mets already concern-causin' bullpen (aka The Dear-God-Make-Sure-They-Wear-The-Flame-Retardant-Pajamas-At-Night Crew)."

So if we can't get a sense of Willie's internal monologue from his facial expression (I use the singular there because I believe there really is but one possible look on the dude's face), what should we watch for? (And, subconsciously, am I merely giving myself other activities--like decoding Willie, for instance--to engage in because I fear the Mets are in for another long year?)

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