Bloomberg is reporting that Jeff Wilpon says Omar Minaya hasn't asked ownership for Manny Ramirez.
“I know the perception out there again is that ownership said no,” Wilpon said today in an interview at Citi Field. “I don’t have the opportunity to say no because Omar hasn’t brought it to me as an option. Omar and the baseball staff aren’t interested.”
The future captain David Wright told the Post:
"I would be on board with Manny 100 percent assuming that he comes in and puts the team first and wants to be part of this thing and wants to win,
Wilpon's quote is very interesting. Omar hasn't brought it up. Omar isn't interested.
Assuming Jeff Wilpon understands Omar's feelings correctly, then Omar must think this team has enough big bats in the lineup and that the team wouldn't be better with Manny Ramirez in left than some combination of Tatis/Murphy/Pagan/Whoever.
That leads to the assumption that the Mets are worried about clubhouse. Way back when they were worried about Kevin Mitchell in the clubhouse and what a bad influence he would be on Strawberry and Gooden.
Mitchell won an MVP and the other two never lived up to their potential. That was a different time and a different regime, but as a Mets fan it still bothers me. Living in the here and now, let's play out the worst-case Manny scenario:
Manny signs with the Mets. The Mets get the front and back page and control of sports talk. The Mets sell some tickets.
Some time in March Manny suspiciously sits out a game and gives a bad quote to the media. Sports talk goes bananas, columnists write "told ya so" articles. So what.
April comes and it's game time. Even in your worst fears, do you think Manny would dog it in April? Adding Ramirez to a lineup of Reyes/Wright/Beltran and hopefully the good version of Delgado seems to me like a good addition and increases the likelihood of a good start.
Then the summer comes and Manny decides to be bad-Manny. He decides his back hurts when they play the Yankees and sits out. Maybe he stands at the plate and doesn't swing all night.
Maybe he throws a ball into the stands on purpose and steals K-Rod's car. The Mets lose a game. Fans go bananas, they boo, they call radio stations, and yet TV ratings go up. This is when the manager earns his keep.
The manager is there to manage the personalities. Give any one of us—you, me, the guy sitting next to you—the Mets lineup and a professional pitching coach to handle pesky things like pitching mechanics and we'll pilot a game just fine.
The trick is being able to manage personalities and manage the media. I think Jerry can handle it. It took him one batter in his first game to set the tone with Reyes. I'm willing to wager the season that he can handle Manny.
If he can't? Let Manny sit on the bench. Play with 24 and sent him to Stephan Marbury's house to watch the game. You'll still have Tatis/Murphy/Pagan to catch the fly balls and you might even have an eight game lead.
Minaya hasn't brought it up as an option to discuss? I'm having trouble believing that. They have the money. Go for it.