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06/17/08 9:38 PM ET

Torre surprised at Randolph dismissal

Former Mets manager coached with LA skipper for Yanks

CINCINNATI -- Dodgers manager Joe Torre was surprised to learn this morning that the Mets had let go of manager Willie Randolph.

It wasn't so much the fact that Randolph was dismissed, but moreso, the timing.

"He just made a trip out west," said Torre, who managed the Yankees for 12 years before joining Los Angeles this season. "I like to think they probably knew what they wanted to do before they left. That certainly is strange."

The Mets announced Randolph's dismissal via a press release sent out at 3:15 a.m. ET on Tuesday, just hours after they defeated the Angels, 9-6.

"Especially with everything that followed, I think once ownership decides they're not sure if somebody wants a manager, they should probably fire them as opposed to having it hang around like this," Torre said. "I think it is a distraction on everybody, players included. It makes it a lot tougher to manage, to boot. I left a message with Willie. I called New York to talk to my agent this morning when he started telling it to me, and I was like, 'What are you talking about?'"

Randolph played for the Yankees from 1976-88 when he won two World Series. He was an assistant general manager with the Yankees in 1993 and was the third-base coach for 10 years after that. He was Torre's bench coach in 2004.

Torre won four World Series championships with the Yankees, including the 2000 Subway Series when the Yankees defeated Randolph's Mets, 4-1.

"I don't think there's ever a good time [to let anyone go]," Torre said. "With all the talk that's surrounded him for a month or so, it's unfortunate. He's a good baseball man. And I guess I can say this three times, just because you get fired, doesn't mean you don't know what you're doing."

Brandon Harris is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.