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Maybe Now Omar Will Listen

By Mike Silva ~ October 29th, 2009. Filed under: Mike Silva.

During the summer I was talking to a league source that believed one of Omar Minaya’s biggest failures was that he ignored some of the good baseball people in the Mets organization. One of those people was Sandy Johnson who originally was brought in to mentor Minaya in 2004. I was told that Johnson had become increasingly frustrated the last couple of seasons because of his inability to connect with Minaya on various issues. When I heard about Johnson’s possibly retirement I feared the organization would lose one of the few good baseball people left. That is why I was pleased to read Jon Heyman’s report that Sandy Johnson will be returning and there might be more changes on the horizon. However, the way things are being handled almost compounds the mistakes of Minaya.

By all accounts Omar Minaya should have been fired after his performance in 2009. Forget the on the field transgressions. The fact that he allowed one of his executives to negatively poison the entire organization and bully 18 year old kids is reason enough. The incompetence at the major league level almost becomes a residual effect of his weak management style that was on display during the Bernazard fiasco. Instead of firing Minaya, Jeff Wilpon (who was a phantom while everything transpired this summer) decides to keep him on and add some puppet strings to the equation. Make no mistake about it Jeff Wilpon is running the show over at Citi Field. That isn’t opinion because I know this as fact. The era of autonomy is over.

The hiring’s of Mookie Wilson, John Sterns, and especially Wally Backman are 100% Jeff Wilpon decisions. Wally Backman has been sitting in the independent league for 3 years and now the Mets finally discover him? Some speculate that it’s a personal vendetta by Minaya that has kept Backman out of the organization. Add another black mark to Minaya’s management style. Any executive worth their salt will not let personal feelings get in the way of doing business.

Do you really think Omar Minaya would convince someone that he refused to listen to for two years to come out of retirement? The answer is obvious. This is another message sent by ownership to Minaya that he works for them. Cutting down Minaya’s arrogance isn’t a bad thing. What concerns me is how he will perform under this type of pressure. An NL West executive described Minaya to NYBD contributor Frank Russo as “frantically trying to make a deal in August to help save his job.” This was around the same time Minaya reportedly demanded “top talent” from San Francisco for Gary Sheffield. Think about how he will act if someone like Kevin Towers or, god forbid, J.P Ricciardi is looking over his shoulder as an assistant. Heck, maybe even Sandy Johnson is someone that could easily take over for Minaya.

Sometimes I wonder if Jeff Wilpon’s involvement is compounding a bad situation and making it worse. The Mets clearly has less of a chain of command than before. Don’t you think many people have started to chirp to Wilpon about Minaya’s transgressions? Don’t you think he now will be watching Omar closely in just about every situation? At this point not a bad thing, but certainly not what you would call a healthy working relationship. It’s not impossible to win under those circumstances, but it does add another layer of complexity. Face it, not trusting the man you hired to run your ballclub is a terrible situation. It almost makes not firing Omar unacceptable.

Maybe now that his buddy is working for Scott Boras, the boss is watching, and his replacements are in the next room Omar Minaya will wise up and listen to some of the good baseball people around him. Fasten your seatbelt Mets fans because this is going to be a wild ride.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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3 Responses to Maybe Now Omar Will Listen

  1. Ceetar

    See, what you describe is actually a positive. If there was back-stabbing, under-cutting, and non-listening going on last year, it only caused problems. There was illusions of authority, and no clear chain of command. It feels like now there might be, as messed up as that might be. That decisiveness, as little as it may be, will be a boon.

    The one drawback I take from this, is that the shuffling around in the front office pretty much got Manuel ignored. This guy caused at least as many problems. And he _also_ puts personal feelings ahead of his job, just look at Castro and Church to name a few.

  2. jdon

    You wonder about Jeffie’s involvement having a negative effect? I don’t. What I wonder is why he is even bothering with trying to prop up an organizational spastic like Omar. If he is going to run the show run it, or let Ricco run it. It is just another example of how penny-unwise and pound foolish the Won’tpons are. Cut Omar loose. He should be gone now. Everybody knows that he has no planning ability, no sense of the big picture. He showed everyone how petty and stupid he can be at the Bernazard press conference. He gave Ollie a fortune when no one else was even bidding–Ollie would have had to go back to the Mexican League. Right now he is dog paddling, trying to stay afloat, and he does not care what kind of further long-term destruction he wreaks on this organization if it can keep him his job. Do you trust Jeffie to handle the situation? When has he ever hsown that he is capable of managing anything in sports?

  3. Cleon Jones

    If Omar doesn’t have the Wilpons’ faith then they absolutely have to let him go now. What’s the point of prolonging the inevitable? Even worse, how much further would the organization be set back if this drags out? Eat the contract and move forward.

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