Middle East Peace? Randolph fired...

Behind The News
June 17, 2008 1:55:36 PM PDT
I'm not sure why it's taking until Thursday for Israel and Hamas to stop killing each other - but given that the violence in the Middle East has been ongoing for the last 10,459 years, I suppose waiting for 48 hours can qualify as an immediate ceasefire. And that's worth celebrating. While Pres. Bush was on yet another trip overseas, Egypt was busy brokering a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas. It is supposed to last six months, and then -- well, who knows? Hopefully it's the beginning of a beautiful thing. Hopefully. There will be many - and by many I mean millions - who remain skeptical about this ceasefire; but any calm in a region torn so violently by war is welcomed.

We'll have the latest on the ceasefire tonight.

Within hours of the ceasefire announcement, word from Baghdad came that 51 people were killed, another 75 hurt, in a car bomb in the Hurriya section of Baghdad -- the worst attack in the capital city in months. It's a long road to peace.

We're also covering the firing today of Willie Randolph as the manager of the Mets. Scott Clark said it last night during our 11 p.m. newscast: It's time for the Mets to (blank) or get off the (blank) with Randolph. They had let this guy become publicly humiliated -- his fate up in the air for weeks. It was unfair.

Randolph says he was "stunned" by his firing, not three months into yet another disappointing season, so far, for the Mets.

But he shouldn't have been stunned, given the will-he-or-won't-he-be-fired atmosphere these last few weeks. The truth about sports is that it's the players who don't hit or field well, or miss the easy jumper, or don't play defense, or don't complete passes. But the other truth is that the manager or head coach can and does set the tone, and can either inspire a team to be better than the sum of its parts, or steer it into the tank. I am one of those people whose knee-jerk reaction was to support Randolph. But I'm no expert on the Mets or their strengths and weaknesses, so I talked to some Mets fans today, about Randolph. I found no one who supported the man. And there were all sorts of criticisms - he was too nice a guy and couldn't motivate his players; he left pitchers in too long; he left pitchers in not long enough; he didn't adjust his line-up when a player wasn't hitting.

So now, the post-Randolph Mets era. Scott Clark leads our coverage tonight.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight after the NBA Finals.