Tag: Omar Minaya

Former Mets Martyr Omar Minaya a Crucial Architect of 2015 Breakout

NEW YORK — You don’t bother asking Omar Minaya if the New York Mets are still his team, because you know they always have been. You don’t need to ask if he feels good about the World Series coming back to Queens this weekend, because you know he does.

“No doubt about it,” Minaya said this week. “For the neighborhood, it’s great.”

He grew up here, Minaya did, just a few blocks from what was then Shea Stadium and is now the parking lot for Citi Field. Need a restaurant recommendation in Elmhurst or Jackson Heights, Corona or Flushing, Minaya’s your man.

And, oh yes, he’s also the guy who brought Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores and Jeurys Familia to the Mets.

You may have heard that by now, because the Mets’ success has fired up a sometimes silly and sometimes petty discussion about who should get the credit. It’s silly enough that some are still trying to maintain that Minaya left Sandy Alderson a “mess” when the Mets changed general managers five years ago, and it’s petty enough that others seem to want to discount the work Alderson has had to do in the five years since.

It’s funny enough that when Minaya’s son, Justin, a promising high school basketball player, said he would visit St. John’s, writer Howard Megdal tweeted:

The truth is pretty simple. Minaya and his staff left the Mets in much better shape than plenty of us thought or said at the time, and Alderson and his staff have done a fine job taking those players and more and turning them into a team that could win a championship.

Minaya says he’s gotten over the slights, and over the firing.

“I’m beyond that,” he said. “I know everyone in the front office there, and they’re nice people. My relationship with the organization from top to bottom is great.”

Besides, he’s been in baseball long enough to know this is how it works. Most general managers succeed at least in part with players they inherited from their fired predecessors. J.P. Ricciardi traded for Jose Bautista. Allard Baird drafted Alex Gordon and Zack Greinke, whom the Kansas City Royals used to get Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar (and, in a way, Wade Davis).

The difference with the Mets is the volume of players who come from Minaya’s time as general manager. You can even give him credit for signing R.A. Dickey off the scrap heap, because Alderson was able to turn Dickey into Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud.

But none of that means Minaya would have built the Mets into what they are now if he had been allowed to stay. We’ll never know what a Minaya Mets team would have looked like in 2015.

We do know that his relationship with these players has remained strong, even as he went to work for the San Diego Padres, even as he moved on to his current job helping Tony Clark with the Major League Baseball Players Association. He’ll be at Citi Field in that capacity this weekend, and he’s supposed to be neutral.

No one will blame him if he’s not.

“A lot of these kids, I’ve known since they were 16,” Minaya said. “Familia, Flores, [Juan] Lagares, Ruben Tejada.”

He’s known the Mets since he was 16, and really for quite a few years before that. His family moved to Elmhurst from the Dominican Republic when he was young. He went to Newtown High School, where he’s joined in the school’s Hall of Fame by Estee Lauder, Don Rickles and Carroll O’Connor.

He lives in New Jersey now, but he’s still a kid from Queens. He’s still a Met. This really is his team, and it would be even if he hadn’t signed any of the players.

He signed a whole bunch of them, though, and it should take nothing away from Sandy Alderson to say Omar Minaya played a big part in getting the Mets to this World Series.

No doubt about it.


Danny Knobler covers Major League Baseball as a national columnist for Bleacher Report.

Follow Danny on Twitter and talk baseball. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Satire: New York Mets: Opening Day Predictions 2011

Ash sucks.  Bleacher Report.  Please delete this article.  And the Mets

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves Spring Training Opener: 8 Bold Predictions

It may be just a spring training exhibition match, but the opening game of the season could set the tone for the entire year. 


That’s why Bleacher Report assembled its crack team of analysts, correspondents, featured columnists, and tea leaf readers to predict precisely what will happen before, during and after the game between the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves on Saturday.


Here are the highlights of their analysis:

Begin Slideshow

New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson is Just a New Omar Minaya

Like The Who said, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

Technically, your New York Mets have yet to officially name Sandy Alderson as the new General Manager, but that’s mostly out of respect for the World Series than anything else. Mets fans everywhere can rejoice as the hiring of Alderson is set to start a whole new era of Metropolitan baseball.

Or is it?

The “Sandy Plan” was the topic of an article in this mornings NY Post by Dan Martin. It’s a good read for any Mets fan who wants to know more about the new guy in charge and who had little interest in watching the Knicks open the season in Toronto. Even as a Yankees supporter, I recommend checking out the article.

That being said, the following quote from a former Alderson co-worker should come with a few red-flags:

“It’s a totally different job when you have the revenue to work with that he’ll have with the Mets,” one former associate said. “But having the background of having dealt with a lack of revenue will only help him now.”

Well, that’s all well-and-good, except that it sounds exactly like what was being said about the last guy who held the GM spot for the Mets. If you remember correctly, Omar Minaya was applauded for his ability to build a contending team in Montreal despite the Expos being owned by the other 29 teams and financial resources being, well, limited.

The prevailing thought was that if you just give Minaya the means, he’ll be able to build a champion. And by means, we mean dollas.

And we all know how that turned out.

Yet that’s the exact tune we are now hearing about Sandy Alderson. Grady Fuson, who worked with the Mets NEW general manager in both San Diego and Oakland, had this to say:

“He realizes that there are different expectations in New York,” Fuson said. “And that there should be no five-year rebuilding process when you have the resources the Mets do.”

So all of a sudden the Mets aren’t a rebuilding process? ‘Cause they have the money the Wilpons made off Bernie Madoff and a GM who won a World Series when the first George Bush was President?

I dunno, Met fans. Y’all love to jump down the Yankees throats, but it seems to me it’s your franchise that keeps repeating history. And unlike the history of New York’s CONTENDING Baseball team, the history of the New York Mets doesn’t seem like something worth repeating.


This article originally appeared on The NY Sports Digest. If its off-beat and it’s about the Mets, Yankees, Knicks, Giants, Jets, Islanders, or Rangers, than The Digest is the spot to get it. Stop with the mega-sites and get a feel for the true pulse of New York at www.NYSportsDigest.com

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Los Mets: Are They a Distant Memory Or Will Omar Minaya’s Legacy Live On?

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.

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.

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?

To continue reading this on Mets Gazette, click here:

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

The Pros and Cons of Kim Ng: Do the New York Mets Need a Woman’s Touch?

The New York Mets are in the beginning stages of a complete renovation. Don’t mind the appearance. This may look like a professional baseball team in shambles right now, but…yeah, actually it is.

However, the road flares and the hard hats may not be in use for long. It all depends on who draws up the blueprints for the remodeling effort.

There have been a few names in the rumor mill out there under “serious” consideration for the recently vacated GM position in the Mets organization. Names like Sandy Alderson, Rick Hahn, Allard Baird, Josh Byrnes, and Pat Gillick have all been rumored to be in the mix this past week, though Gillick has recently dropped out of the running.

Out of the names of those in the process, one intriguing name has mysteriously been missing: Kim Ng. This name is intriguing for several reasons, both good and bad. First, the most obvious reason of all is Kim Ng is female. There has never been a female general manager in MLB history. She was actually the first assistant GM in MLB history and the youngest at the time at the age of 29.

Teams have passed on her for the GM position over her career (Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, and the Los Angeles Dodgers) despite her experience (more than 13 years) as an assistant GM and in other administrative positions for the A.L. and teams like the Yankees, White Sox, and Dodgers.

Second, her experience is primarily all in big cities (New York, Chicago, and L.A.), the three biggest markets in baseball, in fact. If there was anyone who knows how to conduct business despite media uproar and eccentric personalities (i.e. the K-Rods and Manny Ramirez of the league) causing distractions, it would be her. She has had experience in salary arbitration cases, waivers, trades, and free agency by working in the offices of the A.L. for several years.

Third, she is from the NY/NJ area (Ridgewood, NJ). That native upbringing speaks of her knowledge of the community at large that she would be representing. She worked in the area already with the Yankees, so she knows and understands the New York area and fans.

Finally, on the plus side, she has an outsider’s perspective on the team (as do almost all of the candidates) despite being originally from the area. She can be objective in free-agent signings and trade negotiations as she most likely would not have a personal agenda or any ties to the current roster.

There is, however, one point that could swing to either side of the pendulum. In 2003, she was involved in a controversy with the Mets. Bill Singer, a special assistant to the GM at the time in the organization, made derogatory comments about her ethnicity (Chinese). The reason that could weigh for or against her is simple; it could appear to some that the Mets are trying to make further amends for one of their representatives scorning her.


To read the rest of this article, please click here.

To read up on all things New York Mets, please visit Mets Gazette.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

New York Mets Clean House, Fire Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya

It was Black Monday at 126th street and Roosevelt Ave.

In a much-anticipated move, the New York Mets said goodbye to GM Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel on Monday. This is no surprise to anyone who has followed this team over the past couple of years.

Let’s start with Minaya first since he is mostly to blame for the Mets’ mess recently. The biggest problems with the way Minaya he ran the Mets was that he had no game plan and had no creativity.

What was the Mets’ game plan under Minaya (besides being chokers)? They had none. Were they a team built around pitching and defense? Or were they a team built around speed and power? Were they a team that was going to build through the minor league system?

They were a jack of all these trades, but a master of none.

It seemed the Mets were just a mish-mosh of talent that really was never a team. They were a team that was saddled with bad contracts and a team that always lacked any depth.

The Mets under Minaya were always very top heavy. The best example of that was the 2009 season.

Yes, the Mets had a ton of injuries that year, but that season also exposed the lack of organizational depth under Minaya. The Boston Red Sox had just as many devastating injuries in 2010 as the Mets had in 2009 and the Red Sox almost won 90 games.

The other issue with Minaya was that he always made the obvious move. If the Mets needed a closer, he would go out and get a Francisco Rodriguez, but not address any other of the teams needs or improve what they already had.

He also lacked any creativity. Where was his acquisition of a Nick Swisher-type player? How come Minaya couldn’t find a guy coming off a down year and buy low on him? He would buy high on mediocre players like Jason Bay.

The new GM coming in needs to do a couple of things right off the bat…

1. Eat the contracts of Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo. These guys represent the worst of the Minaya era and need to be released. They bring down the clubhouse and nobody wants them around.

They need to be gone at any cost.

2. Same can be said for Francisco Rodriguez. Rodriguez has about $15 million remaining on his contract when you consider his $3.5 million buyout for 2012, but after what happened this year, there is no way the Mets can bring him back.

3. Pick up the $11 million club option on Jose Reyes. I am a firm believer that Reyes will never be the player he was from 2005-2008 again, but the Mets need him to regain some trade value. It would do the new GM no good to get rid of him when his value is at an all time low.

4. Change the culture. This might be the most important. The culture around the Mets’ organization is a disaster right now.

The new GM must figure out a way to reconnect the team with it’s fanbase. In my 25 years of following New York baseball, I have never seen the Met fan as disconnected and infuriated with the organization as they are now.

It’s very bad.

Sandy Alderson, Josh Byrnes, Chicago White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn, and former Kansas City Royals GM Allard Baird are early candidates for the GM position.

As for Jerry Manuel, he had no shot as Mets manager. Replaced a laid back manager like Willie Randolph with another laid back manager is never a good strategy.

Regardless, he was dealt a pretty bad hand in New York. But also think he didn’t command much respect from the team and just as important, the media. I don’t think anyone in New York believed he was the long-term answer as manager of the Mets.

Wally Backman, Joe Torre, and Bobby Valentine are early candidates for the Mets managerial job. However, Jeff Wilpon on the Boomer and Carton Show on WFAN said the new GM will be able to pick his guy as manager.

I don’t buy that for a second, but that’s what he said.

Whomever the new GM and manager are, they will have their hands full at least for the first year. With questions surrounding Johan Santana and the rest of the pitching staff and with a questionable roster because of some unmovable contracts, the Mets figure to be a .500 team at best next year.

Met fans need to be patient regardless of whoever the GM is. He has a lot of work to do.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Mets: Will The New GM Break Up The Core For 2011 Season ?

The Mets have begun their offseason transactions by relieving Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel of their duties.  This came as no surprise to fans as Manuel’s contract expired once the season ended, and Minaya still had not proven himself to be a GM that will make the moves necessary.

Jeff Wilpon has said on a few occasions in the last few days that the new GM will have complete control over placing the manager, who in turn will have a say in the coaches and players who will be on the roster this spring.

Every opportunity should and will be explored to ensure that the Mets will be competitive in 2011 and beyond, and this needs to start with the new GM.

Omar Minaya has drawn a lot of ire for not making moves either during the off season or at the mid-year trade deadline the last two years in July.

While it is easy for fans to think that next year will be different with the same people, you realistically can’t expect the same results.

The change in GM and management should help with the current players even if no free agents are acquired for budget reasons.


To continue reading this story, please go to Mets Gazette:

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Mets Owners Own Up to Failure: A Lesson in Open Leadership

Owners of professional sports teams are a fascinating set.  Usually wealthy, some charismatic, some stoic, others intensely private.  Only a select few people accumulate enough wealth to own a professional sports team, so naturally they draw a fair amount of interest.

What has changed in the past 20-odd years,however, is what is expected of owners.  For quite some time, owners thought of teams as their own personal toys.  Owners enjoyed the perks of an owners box, courtside seats, being thought of as a member of the team without having any kind of athletic ability, and, of course, the privilege of accepting the championship trophy from the league commissioner.  Owners didn’t run clubs to make money, and had minimal involvement in the day-to-day operations of the club, usually filling the front office with friends, colleagues, and, um, nice scenery (wink wink nudge nudge). 

But as evidenced by Mets owner Fred Wilpon and COO Jeff Wilpon’s comments yesterday after the dismissal of manager Jerry Manuel and general manager Omay Minaya, that reality has changed.  Owners now bear the direct responsibility for the successes and failures of their teams, forcing them to take on heightened involvement and participation in the club’s day-to-day operations.  When surveying the landscape of professional sports, it’s a general truth that successful clubs have a common element of good ownership, whereas losing clubs usually have bad ownership as a common element.

The comments the Wilpons made floored me:

Jeff Wilpon: “Last year, I said that we’d put together a championship caliber team on the field.  We failed. . .we are all responsible here, ownership is responsible. We’re frustrated and upset like our fans, ownership is accountable”

Fred Wilpon (on that it’s like to watch the Mets the last couple of years): “Painful, very painful. Disappointment is one thing, but it’s really painful, and I live it everyday.  People who know me would understand that I’m anguished when we lose a game” 

SNY’s Kevin Burkhardt: “You think that people realize that. . .that you live and die with every pitch?”

FW: “Perhaps not, and maybe that’s my fault for giving them that perception. . .we’re not any less disappointed than the fans.”

It amazes me how such masters of the universe, who are wealthy beyond belief to be able to own a professional sports franchise in New York, so willingly accept the blame for the teams failures and admit that it is their own doings, and not just those of the people they just fired, that resulted in the team’s shortcomings.  

However, in this age of heightened transparency, where news spreads like wildfire and the more open businesses and entities are the ones that succeed over the closed and secretive ones (reference the BP Oil Spill and ensuing aftermath), such admission of wrong doing is not simply appreciated by leaders, it’s required.  The paying public simply will not give their business and hard earned dollars to organizations and entities that don’t care about their customers and constituents.  

And in this modern era of professional sports, fans simply will not support teams where the ownership is asleep at the wheel, the same way customers will not buy from businesses whose leadership appears to not care.  That’s why it was important for the Wilpons to come clean and make the comments they made yesterday.  

To be an owner of a professional sports team today requires more than an enormous bank account and an ego.  It requires savvy, smarts, desire, and good business sense.  It requires a team of dedicated, knowledgeable, and talented professionals in the front office who are always ahead of the competition, not cronies and bombshells just there to have a job in sports.  And finally, it requires the ability to take responsibility for failure if expectations are not met.

SNY’s interview with Fred Wilpon:


Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

New York Mets: 10 Reasons Even Retreads Don’t Want to Be in Flushing

The New York Mets cleaned house Monday, officially parting ways with manager Jerry Manuel and general manager Omar Minaya.

After finishing the season with a disappointing 79-83 record, a whopping 18 games behind the first-place Phillies in the National League East, the writing was on the wall for both men.

Now, in need of new leadership at the top, the Mets suddenly face the prospect of rebuilding from the farm system all the way up to the major league level.

They also might be forced to resort to plan B, with a growing reputation of being one of the more unsettled organizations in all of baseball.

Here’s a look at 10 reasons the Mets will have a difficult time luring an experienced manager and general manager to begin picking up the pieces next season:

Begin Slideshow

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress