Irony Alert: Willie Randolph Could Be Manny Acta's Bench Coach

Most would assume that Willie Randolph's next job ... if not a managerial position ... would land him in the Bronx on Joe Girardi's bench. But there's another option out there that seems to have taken the lead. And there's a bit of role reversal involved:

Midweek Insider has learned that the Nationals, who fired five coaches upon the conclusion of the 2008 season, are interested in hiring Randolph as either Acta's bench coach or third-base coach. (...)

And that would be a situation fraught with irony. For during Randolph's three-plus years leading the Mets, it was Acta who served as his greatest threat.

So would Randolph be considered a threat to Manny Acta? Well, not so much a threat as a contingency plan. Besides, can you really be a threat if the person you're brought in to threaten doesn't feel threatened?

As for Acta, friends of his believe he'd be fine with Randolph joining his staff, because Acta has his eyes set on the Mets' job, anyway. And it's clearly a mutual affection.

"Why do you think the Mets gave Manuel only two years?" one official from an American League club queried. "Because they want Manny."

Coming soon on Trading Spaces, two men try to fix each other's bullpens. Who will succeed? Find out in 2011 ... maybe.

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