Posts Tagged ‘Omar Minaya’

Too Negative, Mets Fans Tune Out

January 30, 2010

Adam Rubin of the NY Daily News was a recent guest on WFAN this past week. Rubin has made a name for himself as a New York Mets beat writer. Most notably, he was accused of instigating the firing of former Mets VP of Player Development Tony Bernazard. In contrast to what Mets GM Omar Minaya strongly believed at the time, Rubin wanted to make it known that he had no specific agenda heading into this upcoming season. However, he did mention that that particular chapter in his career still wasn’t sitting well.

“I have a range of emotions about it…to question my integrity,” Rubin said. “It still bothers me.”

Many baseball writers according to Rubin see Minaya as a dead man walking a general manager whose job is on the line if his team is unable to put a winning product on the field this season.

“Maybe a GM vacancy soon,” Rubin said jokingly along with host Steve Somers.

It’s no secret that those that make their living covering the Mets have their doubts in the current structure of the Mets front office. Aside from signing free-agent Jason Bay this off-season, Minaya has made more headlines defending his autonomy than acting on it.

With assistant GM John Ricco and former Cincinnati Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky sitting on the back-burner, even the passing Mets fan can see the writing’s on the wall.

Rubin goes on to blatantly say that “the Mets are a joke” and predicts that they will end up being closer to five hundred than to the Phillies. Feeling somewhat “neutered” by all of Omar’s allegations, Rubin seems to put forth a challenge to Mets fans by sternly saying, “I don’t care,” when questioned for not having regard for the current Mets starting lineup.

In my opinion, Rubin may have lost some of his edge since being scolded by Minaya during that infamous press conference. However, any disrespect he has gained since then was brought on by his own doing. His tone now replicates that of other young baseball journalists who spend too much time criticizing how things are run instead of watching the players run.

Maybe it stems from most of them, the writers, having grown up witnessing the game of baseball suffocated by enormous payrolls and the stain that remains from the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

In closing, Rubin ends off the interview in fitting fashion. “There’ll be shorter lines at the Shake Shack this season.”

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Mini-Camp Offers Some Progress

January 28, 2010

At the end of the day on Wednesday, the Mets concluded a three-day mini-camp inside Port St. Lucie, Fla., their Spring Training facility, and categorized it as a job well done. For manager Jerry Manuel that may be the case but what did Mets fans get out of this?

They have realized that for the time being, there will be no new faces but just happier more excited faces among their starting rotation. “I’m excited,” Oliver Perez said. “I feel very good.” Healthier and stronger, or even, leaner faces.

“The main key for us is to stay healthy, stay on the field.” Johan Santana said.

The harsh reality for the Mets pitching staff particularly their starters entering the upcoming season is that the majority of them has either undergone surgery or are rehabbing from injury.

“If we stay healthy, we can be very competitive this season.”

Some beat writers have used this mantra by GM Omar Minaya against him. They have proposed the idea that Minaya is already preparing his defense if the Mets happen to experience the same fate as last year’s.

For now, Mets fans have to entrust that Minaya’s lack of off-season moves will allow them to forget the past and look toward the future.

Latest Move Shows How Much Minaya Has Grown

January 23, 2010

“A lot of it is going to depend on how he recuperates,” Mets GM Omar Minaya said. “I don’t want to put a specific time on when he’ll be back.”

Minaya’s comments regarding Mets centerfielder Carlos Beltran’s return from arthroscopic knee surgery came after he had just acquired 35-year-old outfielder Gary Matthews, Jr. in a trade from the Los Angeles Angels.

Matthews, Jr. will join Angel Pagan as the most likely candidates for the Mets centerfielder position, barring any further setbacks, of course. The former LA Angel was sent to New York along with the majority of his contract paid in full for right-handed reliever Brain Stokes.

The underachieving veteran could very well become potential trade bait if he makes the most of his opportunities spelling Beltran who is undergoing rehabilitation. With the highly-touted Fernando Martinez waiting in the wings down in Triple-A, I find it hard to believe Matthews, Jr. will be around longer than necessary.

“He’s a very versatile player,” Minaya said of Matthews. “I think it’s going to be an open competition. That’s the same thing that I told Gary [Matthews, Jr.] when he asked that. Nobody’s going to be given a job. Whoever performs is going to be given the opportunity.”

Bay and Mets Reach an Agreement

December 30, 2009

Mets general manager Omar Minaya is scheduled to be in Costa Rica this weekend to enjoy a little break from the everyday malaise of reading post after anxious post from Mets season ticket holders pleading for a big name free agent signing this off-season.

To help justify or in some cases rationalize the large sums of money that they will most likely be plunking down this up-coming season, reports have surfaced placing thirty-one-year-old left fielder, Jason Bay, with the New York Mets for an agreed upon contract of four years at $66 million. This contract also includes a vesting option for a fifth and final year that will, in all likelihood, make Mr. Bay a very rich man.

To some Mets fans, pitching wins championships, for others, it’s how far you can hit the long ball. Jason Bay is a homerun hitter. He hit 36 of them playing for the Boston Red Sox last year. However, Bay’s defensive skills are inadequate, that’s only if you place him in a ten by ten foot area ala the chunk of real estate that currently adorns Fenway Park’s Green Monster.

If the Mets wanted a defensive specialist they would have smoothed out any lingering rough edges and signed former Mets outfielder, Mike Cameron. Bay was brought over here for one reason; he can hit the long ball.

When I heard the breaking news on Tuesday concerning Bay, the one name that came to mind was Dave Kingman. Kingman, nicknamed King Kong, was brought back to the Mets in the early nineteen-eighties for that very same reason, to send Mr. Spalding over the fence enough times warranting asses in the Shea Stadium seats.

In approximately five full seasons with the Mets, Kingman hit 154 of his career 442 jacks. Jason Bay has averaged 30 home runs per season over the last six seasons.

Pending any bad news regarding Bay’s shoulder after undergoing a physical, the Canadian-born slugger will be with the Mets in 2010 working hard to acquire the title of Citi Field’s first ever twenty-homerun-hitter.

It’s John Lackey and Pray for Rain

November 15, 2009

For ten long days, Mets GM Omar Minaya will be allowed to chit-chat with some of the most influential player agents in all of baseball. Prior to those meetings, Jeff Wilpon, the organization’s COO, saw his chance to commandeer Minaya into his office and reassure him that for what ever its worth, he was at his disposal. As Minaya exited the room, Wilpon confidently replied, “Give’m hell and get me another front-line starter.” Of course, these events are merely hearsay except for the chit-chat and most likely a fabric of my imagination. However, there is some semblance of truth in all of this; the Mets desperately need starting pitching.

Midway through the 2009 season, the then Toronto Blue Jays GM, John Ricciardi, shook the baseball world by threatening to trade one of the most dominating starting pitchers of this generation, right-hander Roy Halladay. To this day, those around baseball still can’t figure out why a mid-level organization like the Blue Jays would part with such a specimen. Nevertheless, a handful of teams jumped into the Doc Halladay sweepstakes and exposed who they really were, a team lacking starting pitching. Though it was unofficially documented, the New York Mets were one of those candidates that laid everything out on the table. Ultimately, it was not to Ricciardi’s liking. Back to the drawing board Minaya went where he was forced to wait until the end of the season to explore other options.

Perhaps, if you were to ask another of Minaya’s previous off-season acquisitions, closer Francisco Rodriguez, he would tell you that having a short-term memory is a good thing. So much so that Minaya has forgotten all about dealing for Halladay and has set his sights on landing another dominating right-hander, John Lackey. With such a stout performance against the World Champion New York Yankees in Game 5 of the ALDS in which Lackey lobbied Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia to leave him in a game that he considered to be his, the stakes to sign the veteran right-hander will most likely be high. (Initially, I was not so hot with the notion of Lackey coming to the Mets. However, I feel more comfortable now since his emotional stance after Game 5. Let’s be honest the Mets need to find someone that can bridge that gap between left-hander Johan Santana and the rest of the pack next season.)

    Footnote to this post

Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin alerted reporters stationed at the GM meetings that “no one has heard from” former Brewers right-hander Ben Sheets. Some Mets fans have suggested the 31-year-old could be lightning in a bottle. Using the 2009 Mets season as a reference, he could fit in very nicely. Sheets (torn flexor tendon in his right elbow) made five trips to the disabled list from 2005 to 2007 with a mixture of arm injuries to go along with an inner ear infection that led to vertigo.

Recent reports have mentioned the Phillies are very serious about acquiring Halladay. Some reports have the 2008 World Series MVP, Cole Hamels, throwing off a mound next season north of the border.

This post was inspired by the outlandish idea that any team would take a shot at signing the oft-injured Ben Sheets.

“I will tell you that he has a very good chance to be one of the most impactful free agents, without question,” Sheets’ agent, Casey Close said.

Early On, Mets Are Asked to Put Their Money Where Their Mouth Is

November 12, 2009

Yes, it’s that time of year again. When Thanksgiving turkeys and jolly-old St. Nicholas are just as prevalent as a Scott Boras client searching for a big payday. The word on the street is that Boras has slapped the franchise tag on one his most sought after commodity, Matt Holliday. Wouldn’t you know, Mets GM Omar Minaya has penciled in the words, slugging left fielder, at the top of his Christmas list. However, reports have already surfaced that Mr. Holliday’s contract demands may pose a slight hurdle for an organization that is having doubts with signing players long term. I, personally, am not a big fan of the blockbuster deal myself.

Boras has hinted that an impact player such as Matt Holliday will demand Teixeira money, a contract worth $180 million for eight years.

Be sure and check out Mets Public Record on BlogTalk Radio this Thursday night at 10pm.

Mets Ownership, GM, and Manager Back for 2010

October 13, 2009

Hey Mets fans, I apologize for being so lazy regarding this blog. As you may or may not care, our beloved Metsies are most likely watching the playoffs just like we are. The Yankees have moved on to the American League Championship Series and the St. Louis Cardinals have been eliminated.

In the meantime, I’ve been listening to WFAN’s Mike Francesa as he practically has a coronary ripping into Mets GM Omar Minaya and COO Jeff Wilpon for delivering a broken down Pinto and passing it off as a shiny new Cadillac this past season. Thanks Mike, you don’t have to be Joe Garagiola to realize that the Mets need power and a legitimate number two starter behind Johan. But who?

Best case scenario: Holliday and Halladay, as in Matt and Roy. Ladies and gentleman, it’s the Matt and Roy Show, starring Mets manager Jerry Manuel or bench coach-in-waiting, or bench coach X. You heard Ownership, folks, Omar and Jerry “must” step it up. Hey, it could be the Jerry and Omar Show instead. Did somebody say “distraction?”

Wilpon understands how much is at stake so he’s already started creating distractions of his own, calling out the Los Angeles Dodgers medical staff and accusing them of being more incompetent than his own medical staff.

Oh great, the Phillies have just scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to take a 5-4 lead.

Be sure and check out Mets Public Record this Thursday at 10pm on Blog Talk Radio.

With Each and Every Defeat, Mets Fans Are Beginning to Stray

August 8, 2009

As the Mets continue to prove that they are only capable of lackluster play, it makes one begin to wonder if the remaining games of this season are really worth watching. In all honesty, I am growing tired of the inconsistencies of their offense, in their starting pitching, and currently, their bullpen. With that, my hat goes off to those Mets fans who have sacrificed their time and energy so far this season. Here’s a thought, the Mets could very well end this series against the Padres closer to the Washington Nationals than to the first-place Phillies.

Even though their starting pitcher, left-hander Oliver Perez, had a very solid performance last night it doesn’t take away from the fact that this Mets team plays like they just don’t care anymore. Since June, Jerry Manuel has accepted and expected mediocrity. Since the All-Star break, GM Omar Minaya has done nothing and continues to sit on hands and wait for his injured stars to return. I think it’s time to be realistic. Stop looking for that silver lining and start weaning your self off of Mets baseball, altogether.

Minaya Left with Nowhere to Hide

July 30, 2009

If there’s one thing we can learn from this season so far, it’s that the Mets are indeed an open book. The latest saga involving Mets GM Omar Minaya can attest to that. Before we go lobbying for Minaya’s dismissal, we should realize that the Mets beleaguered GM has provided us with a very valuable lesson: transparency. Throughout this season, Minaya has always looked at the glass half-full. With all the ups and downs, he has confidently defended those aspects of his organization that have been met with the most criticism.

Unfortunately, given the unpleasant task of having to fire one of his closest colleagues in Tony Bernazard, the solid foundation that Minaya helped build was made to collapse right before his eyes. Having to address a band of smug reporters and beat writers patting each other on the back for a job well done might have put Minaya on the defensive. Perhaps it was at that point that all those two-cent explanations and flimsy excuses concerning the state of a wounded ball club finally came to light. Whichever side of the fence Minaya ends up on when all the drama subsides, he will be a better man from it.

Listening to Jerry Manuel’s response towards the recent back page headlines concerning his ball club, you can see that the Mets manager has already turned the page.

“It’s kind of entertaining,” Manuel said.

Manuel is just a temporary stop on an on-going train. Those who have a larger stake in the Mets such as Jeff Wilpon, the organization’s chief operating officer, find these types of circumstances quite embarrassing. Hopefully, Mets fans will be allowed to expect nothing less than the real scoop from here on out.

For the Mets, It’s Not Just About Balls and Strikes

July 28, 2009

The first lesson for those who have been around the game of baseball, Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News included, is that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. For Rubin, picking the brain of the Mets chief operating officer, Jeff Wilpon, for career advice is a great place to start. Prior to the opening game of the Mets current home stand against the Colorado Rockies yesterday, GM Omar Minaya held a press conference alerting the tri-state area that his second-in-command, Tony Bernazard, would no longer be employed with the Mets organization. Minaya’s decision to extinguish what was becoming a “cancer” in the Mets clubhouse stemmed from disturbing reports that were relayed to him from his human resources department.

In addition to what had previously transpired regarding Tony Bernazard, Minaya felt strongly that Adam Rubin’s tenacious attempt to land a front office job with the Mets also played a hand in the 52-year-old vice president’s dismissal. Minaya even went as far as to say that the reports trudged up by the Mets beat writer were made to trump up Rubin’s own standing as a perfect candidate for a player development position in the Mets organization. After Rubin’s press conference in which he relayed to the media that he was flabbergasted by the accusations, Minaya created a little opportunity of his own to clear the air with the Daily News beat reporter. The Mets GM tried to come off somewhat apologetic but ended up making matters worse by suggesting that the context of his comments directed at Rubin were accurate for the most part. It was the forum in which those comments were made that irked the Mets general manager. Interesting?

This type of smoke screening by the Mets front office goes hand-in-hand with the mishandling of the Mets injuries, the hesitation in addressing the needs of a struggling ball club, and the misguidance of their own personnel. It’s safe to say that Minaya and his tenure look to be on unstable ground.