“He’s this close to being out of baseball,” Jeff Wilpon told Wallace Matthews of Newsday in regards to Mets GM Omar Minaya, holding his thumb and bony forefinger a few centimeters apart.
That’s the state of things in the Mets’ traveling circus.
It all starts Monday with Omar Minaya holding a press conference to announce the long awaited firing of Assistant GM Tony Bernazard. His list of infractions included a shirtless Bernazard challenging minor league prospects and forgetting the first rule of fight club, developing the farm system and forgetting the devolpment, and the now infamous bus driver incident.
The firing seems justifiable. Open and shut. Case closed.
Then things get bizarre when during the questioning, a noticeably uncomfortable Minaya shifts focus and says in a news conference televised by SNY that Adam Rubin, the Daily News beat writer for the Mets, had been lobbying himself and others in the organization for a position within player development.
The implication was that Rubin, who’d broken a series of stories concerning the incidents involving Bernazard, was forcing Minaya’s hand in order to procure that same position.
What makes this so interesting is this: SNY and the Daily News share a marketing relationship since the company’s inception in 2006. Hence, the New York Mets and the Daily News have a lucrative bond which is evidenced by a half hour daily televised program named “Daily News Live”.
So in essence, when Minaya took the onus off Bernazard and placed it squarely on Rubin’s shrugged shoulders, he actually did two things: release the venomous wrath of all New York reporters who will now look to protect one of their own, and strain what was an otherwise profitable relationship.
By publicly calling out Rubin, Minaya has put a target on the back of himself and the organization, as every beat writer will look to avenge them for his accusations against Rubin’s journalistic integrity.
Like other careers, journalists will unite behind a fellow journalist, especially if they feel the attack was unwarranted—and by looking at the back of the city’s major papers, this week we can tell they have.
Even when drawing criticism from news outlets, the one thing Minaya seemed to have going was an affable personality.
By straining a profitable partnership, Minaya has put himself at odds with ownership, as evidenced by Wilpon’s latest comments.
It is truly a very lonely place for Omar Minaya.
The one thing that can save Minaya is winning. And so far the Mets are complying, taking five of their last six to place themselves in the thick of the wild card race.
The other is to make a big splash on the trade front, but the Mets don't seem to be in the middle of any big deals and time is running out.
However, if the Mets do not continue to roll or can't make a glitzy move, we may find that the ties that bind SNY and the Daily News are the bonds that break Omar Minaya.