Randolph apologizes for recent remarks

Randolph apologizes for remarks

ATLANTA -- With neither orders nor urging from the Mets or their owners, manager Willie Randolph issued a number of apologies on Wednesday for remarks he made to a New Jersey newspaper columnist on Sunday -- words that raised the specter of race and seemingly troubled the masses.

Before the Mets resumed their series against the Braves on Wednesday night, their manager offered mea culpas in interviews with various members of the print and electronic media, saying, "It was a mistake; it's as simple as that. It was a mistake and there's no excuses for that."

Comments attributed to Randolph and carried in a column in the Monday editions of The Record of Hackensack, N.J., touched on racial issues and how he had been depicted by SportsNet New York, SNY, the cable network in which the Mets have a controling interest.

The comments surprised many in the sports world and brought unwanted attention to the team Monday and Tuesday. And that reaction and some introspection prompted Randolph to speak publicly on Wednesday.

He met first with mostly print journalists, as he does each day.

"I want to apologize to Met ownership, SNY, and my team for the unnecessary distraction that I created ... that I've caused the last couple of days," Randolph said. "I shouldn't have said what I said. It was a mistake.

"The fact of life is that we haven't been playing very well as a team. We've been very inconsistent, and what happens is, you're going to get criticized for that. I understand that. It's been a tough couple of months, and I expect a lot from my team and from myself. ... I take full responsibility for what I said out of frustration, and hope that we can put closure to this matter and focus on winning some baseball games. That's what we're here to do, win a championship, win some games.

"I just wanted to publicly apologize, and I take full responsibility for what happened a couple of days ago. Those guys have a job to do and they get paid a lot of money to do their job, so what I feel about that is really not important. At the time, I voiced an opinion, out of frustration most of it.

"We have a job to do and I'm going to focus on doing my job.

"I wanted to make sure everyone understood where I was coming from on this and that I did not ever say anything about anybody being a racist, or anything like that. What I said was kind of like what it felt like to me, so I wanted to make sure that was clear since I'm sure there's been a lot of stuff talked about it and a lot written about it.

"I just wanted to make sure I'm clear on what I feel and making sure that everybody understands where I'm coming from on this and that I feel bad about how this has come about. And I don't want to be a distraction.

"I feel real deep about my team and what I do for my job. So in the heat of battle sometimes, you open up a little bit and elaborate a bit too much, and that's probably what I did. I apologize to anyone I might have offended or hurt in any way.

"I don't think my team was distracted by this because they haven't said anything about it, nobody's talking about it, but I wanted to make sure that I included them. I reached out to them [ownership], but they haven't gotten back to me yet.

"I just felt like it was something I needed to do."

Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.