Omar Minaya spent a great deal of time and energy within the Latino community, recruiting and nurturing some of the most talented players in baseball.
Ruben Tejada, Fernando Martinez, Luis Hernandez, Joaquin Arias and Jenrry Mejia were all contributors to the Mets 2010 season.
Arias arrived via trade in the deal that sent Jeff Francoeur to the Texas Rangers, but the others are Mets farm system products and will likely be part of the 2011 team if they are not packaged for an attractive trade offer.
There are several Latino players in the Mets Minor League System who could possibly make it to the Major League level within five years, so their presence will still be felt even if Minaya does not return to the Mets organization.
Several times a season at home in Citi Field, the Mets wear "Los Mets" uniforms and Latino Fiesta nights where player introductions and announcements are done in Spanish. Obviously, this has gone over well with the Latino community and fanbase both in New York and wherever the team plays where Latino population is fairly high, be it Miami, Florida or Los Angeles, California.
Last June the Mets and Marlins played three games in San Juan Puerto Rico, which was beneficial for the players from Puerto Rico as their families were able to attend the games.
While New York is a melting pot which should be embraced, I cannot help but wonder what the new GM has in mind as far as team identity.
It is very possible that Omar Minaya may return to the Mets in some capacity once the new GM is in place and decisions are being made, and if he does return, Minaya will likely ensure that the Latino traditions that he has worked diligently on will continue for many years.
After the collapse of 2007, many people have said "blow up this team and start over." Fair enough, but how far will the new management go to make sure that the collapse of 2007 and the embarrassments of 2008, 2009 and 2010 are things of the past?
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