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With the season drawing towards its close, the chatter regarding the future of Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya is heating up. Manuel, it seems, is a goner for sure while Minaya’s fate is less certain. Change - in some form - seems inevitable within the front office, but what sort of change exactly remains unclear.
Matt Cerrone has enumerated the possibilities many times on Mets Blog. One of the big ideas being thrown out there, which Cerrone lists, is hiring a new general manager while moving Minaya to a new position in which he is more of a head scout and works in player development. This would be in the same vein as the Jets did with Terry Bradway, when he moved to a consultant type role while numbers man Mike Tannenbaum became the GM.
While I would never defend Minaya as a GM, he is a strong talent evaluator; the acquisitions of players such as R.A. Dickey, Angel Pagan and others help illuminate that. Regardless, it would be irresponsible of the team to retain him in any capacity.
This is unfortunate, but the way things have played out over the last few years, Minaya is less of a Terry Bradway and more of an Isiah Thomas. Thomas, like Bradway and Minaya, is a strong talent evaluator. But, as all three teams have learned, being a strong talent evaluator in an of itself does not automatically translate to being a good general manager. Thomas and Minaya were both hired when their teams were going through stretches of insufferable losing, but both of their hirings ushered in senses of optimism. Thomas put his stamp on the team with the trade for Stephon Marbury while Omar brought on the era of “The New Mets” with the high profile signings of Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran, among others.
Unfortunately (at least for me as both a Mets and Knicks fan), both GMs failed. But not only did they fail, but they also failed in epic proportions. The Knicks were bad before Isiah came, but the Knicks became the laughing stock of the league afterwards. While perhaps on a lesser scale, the same is true with the Mets and Minaya. 2006 brought the Mets great hope, an awesome season and exciting playoff action. 2007 and 2008 also brought hope, only for the team to squander leads in September in a way that only seems possible in the movies.
That’s only the start of the problems the Mets had. Rampant speculation about Willie Randolph’s job status that the team couldn’t control eventually forced the team to fire him just so everybody could move on…but naturally they had to fire him in the middle of the night, on the road, after a win. Omar’s former right hand man, Tony Bernazard, allegedly ripped his shirt off in front of a group of minor leaguers, challenging them to a fight. Minaya then picked a fight in a press conference by challenging the credibility of Adam Rubin, arguably the most influential Mets beat writer. This winter, Minaya got involved in a PR disaster with Scott Boras and Carlos Beltran over knee surgery. It’s been a rough few years.
All of this and more, is evidence why despite Minaya’s skills as a talent evaluator, it is time to totally cut ties with the man. If they don’t cut lose, but rather leave him in the background, he can hop back in the picture any time and stir up trouble as Thomas did this summer, which reportedly pushed Donnie Walsh to the brink of resignation. The Knicks however, have gone in a new direction and with a new vision they have picked up the pieces and the fan base is feeling something that it hasn’t in a long time: optimism. Hopefully, under a new visionary whoever that may be, Mets fans will be feeling the same thing this off season because many of the pieces are in place, they just need to be properly assembled.
I find it also curious when someone comments about a job that someone already has. I don’t know him from on a personal basis. But when things like that come out, or are said, you question the integrity. That’s what comes to my mind.” —
Mets manager Jerry Manuel is not pleased with Joe Torre commenting on the job Manuel still occupies.
[Manuel] understands the shadow Torre casts in this town. He understands the allure.
“He’s an icon in New York. That’s to be expected. That’s home. New York is the mecca of baseball. You can go many places. But after you have been in New York – and I’m sure, probably for him – nothing satisfies other than New York.”
Joe Torre pulled a Gary Carter!!!
Manuel just went up a few notches in my book.