Archive for January 5th, 2009

Minaya is Placed in the Hot Seat

January 5, 2009

Mets GM Omar Minaya was a recent guest of the MLB Network this past week. Minaya sat down with Harold Reynolds and Victor Rojas and addressed some concerns that are sure to be on the minds of Mets fans. With new acquisitions to the bullpen on hold for the moment, Minaya spoke about his interest in veteran right hander Derek Lowe.

“You have to like his consistency,” Minaya said.

According to the GM, the Mets are also considering left hander Randy Wolf. Minaya, then, went on to introduce the fact that the Mets have been competitive over the last four years. Unable to contain himself, Harold Reynolds revisited his brief stint at SNY by reminiscing about the many times he was forced to hold his hands up to his face while witnessing last season’s breakdowns by the bullpen.

“Guys just didn’t get the job done,” was Minaya’s response hoping to finally put that topic to rest.

With Minaya in the hot seat, Victor Rojas continued drilling him with bullpen concerns. This time the questions were in regards to his current one. When asked about lingering doubts regarding Francisco Rodriguez’ health, Minaya shot back with “Look, pitching is always going to be a risk.” He, then, gave his vote of confidence and backed his medical people’s decision on granting clearance that K-rod was ready to go.

He also assured the fans that at no point in time did the team’s owners, the Wilpons’ affiliation with Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, come up regarding free agents.

Staying on the topic of finance, Minaya was asked his opinion on the recent backlash some smaller market teams were experiencing with respect to their chances of signing big-name free agents in the open market. Alluding to his time spent as GM of the Montreal Expos when he was allocated a zero budget, Minaya simply stated, “You have to be creative.” He also added, “As a general manager, we take pride in our bench players.” He referenced guys like Fernando Tatis, Ramon Castro, Damien Easley, and Endy Chavez. But, he also said that a team in a larger market “did have its advantages.”

Even with baseball already deep into the off-season, Minaya stated that some of his best signings took place in January and February. He also mentioned how important it was for a general manager to continue to learn, try different things, and improve.

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Book Review: The Bad Guys Won; Jeff Pearlman

January 5, 2009

bad-guys-won

What better way to pass the time during these winter months than sitting in your favorite chair indulging yourself with a book. Better yet, how about a book that features passion, desire, true grit, a little tomfoolery, and the New York Mets. Former Sports Illustrated baseball writer Jeff Pearlman gives that and more with The Bad Guys Won, an off-beat chronicle of the entire 1986 Mets baseball season.

Pearlman’s take on the unforgettable season provides first-hand knowledge of the on-the field, off-the field excitement and administers his own wit and sarcasm to formulate dead-on character profiles of each member affiliated with the lovable, Scum Bunch. Even through a cloud of drugs and alcohol, Keith, Darryl, Doc, Mookie, Nails, Ron, and the rest of the gang clinch the NL East in convincing fashion by winning 108 regular season games.

In 1986, GM Frank Cashen orchestrated his most unique roster of ball players this side of the Whitestone Expressway. That group of guys brought along their rough and tumbles style to the sport’s biggest stage and went on to acquire baseball’s ultimate prize. By taking the divisional series in the middle of the night from Mike “scuff’” and the rest of the Houston Astros and pulling off the “improbable” to capture a World Series ring from the highly-respected Boston Red Sox, the Mets defied convention and revealed a tough competitiveness that is unmatched by any New York Mets team. The book nears its conclusion with a last minute jaunt by Keith Hernandez who was forced to hop over a metal fence near City Hall just barely making the start of the commemorative ticker-tape parade in honor of the Mets down Broadway.

Whether it’s Mets manager Davey Johnson’s proclamation that his team’s pedigree is the class of the division, or an after-hours romp which leads to four New York Mets being bailed out of a Texas jail, this New York Times Bestseller should be included in any loyal Mets fan’s bookshelf.

Harper Collins
287 pages