The Mets were criticized for the way they fired manager Willie Randolph and two coaches - specifically, for flying them to Anaheim, Calif., then canning them (and announcing it at 3:14 a.m.). But was it really any worse than these botched ax-jobs?
1. Frank Wren
Orioles, 1999 »
Only Peter Angelos could throw his most popular player under the bus while firing his GM. In an ill-advised press release (authored by lawyers at his firm, not the team's PR staff) announcing Wren's firing, Angelos revealed that months earlier Wren had ordered the team plane to leave without superstar Cal Ripken -- who, to say the least, was not pleased at his mention in the release.
2. Clyde King
Yankees, 1983 »
George Steinbrenner probably could fill all five spots on this list, but his handling of King's firing was his worst. King, a longtime Yankees scout, had managed the team admirably for the final 62 games of the 1982 season, but when Billy Martin became available after he was fired by Oakland, Steinbrenner immediately dumped King, who found out about it when he opened his paycheck to discover he had been returned to his previous salary as a scout.
3. Joe Altobelli
Orioles, 1985 »
As in the case of King, Altobelli was kicked to the curb when something better came along -- in this case, Earl Weaver, who wanted to return to the dugout. As the news came down, Altobelli, who had led the Orioles to the World Series title in 1983, was reduced to wandering around the team's front offices asking people if he had been fired.
4. Dave Bristol
Giants, 1980 »
Bristol was in the middle of the annual managers' luncheon at the winter meetings -- the salad course, to be specific -- when a Giants PR staffer interrupted to summon him to the suite of owner Bob Lurie, whereupon Bristol was informed that he was fired. He did not go back to the luncheon to finish his meal.
5. Yogi Berra
Yankees, 1985 »
Another Steinbrenner doozy. He axed Berra only 16 games into the 1985 season, and he didn't even do the dirty deed himself, instead dispatching a top a lieutenant to do it: Clyde King.