When I was growing up, Reggie Jackson was my favorite player. He dominanted my thoughts; he was my idol. Ron Guidry and Willie Randolph came next, but they were a distant second. The irony is when I played baseball---through high school--I actually modeled myself on Randolph, the quiet, but solid professional. Reggie was the perfect hero for a child; Randolph is the ideal role-model for an adult.
Harvey Araton has a piece in The Times this morning about why Willie should be next in line as Yankee skipper (an assumption that Don Mattingly agrees with):
He has come to work, done his job, never once embarrassed the uniform he wore. One day last season he mentioned to me how a reporter had asked him before a game against the Red Sox if he felt entitled to succeed Torre. Randolph said he couldn't believe someone who knew anything about him would have thought he would answer, at that time or any time. "I would never talk about it out of respect to that man in there," he said, nodding toward the manager's office.
The Yankee realist in me thinks that Randolph is unlikely to ever manage in the Bronx. To be fair, I don't know if he'd actually be good at the job, but it's simply too sensible to ever happen in Boss George's world. But stranger things have happened. After all, how long has Joe Torre been managing the Yanks now?