Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bern, Baby, Bern

Finally. Mets GM Omar Minaya had a busy weekend and, in the end, he came to the conclusion that the rest of the Mets constituents already knew in their heart: Tony Bernazard was a stain on the Mets franchise that had to be removed immediately.

Minaya's credibility and his relationships -- both with the media and ownership -- took a hit this week. He has always been a good baseball man, but then again, so was Bernazard. Minaya has made some good moves and he has left the organization woefully thin in other areas.

The clock is ticking for Minaya to get on the ball here or he might be gone before his extension kicks in next year. If he can pull off a deal to help the Mets now and in the future before the deadline, especially under all of this duress, most of it caused by himself, that will be a feather in his cap and the first step on a long road back to personal respectability.

But, let's shine the microscope on the whistleblower for a second: Adam Rubin. Rubin is a product of the New York Media and helps perpetuate the stereotype. If he is not tough on the Mets when he has to be, no one will read him and readers will choose from several other reporters who is willing to "tell it like it is". And, that is all Rubin did here.

This is not an indictment on Mets beat reporters or print media versus visual media. The indictment is all around us. The Media would rather be negative than positive because it sells more papers. "If it bleeds, it leads", remember?

In New York, just as in any city, the Media is the product of its readers. New Yorkers are tough, gruff, and they don't take any guff. They expect nothing else from their reporters. Anything less would make Rubin irrelevant.

Since the incident at the Monday press conference, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon, the future heir to the majority ownership stake in the Mets franchise, has spoken to quell the pen-wielding Dobermans and has also reached out to Rubin in an effort to mend fences. The New York Daily News has stated Rubin will continue to be the reporter on the Mets beat, but probably after a nice long vacation and at least a few of those aforementioned fences are mended.

Now, the clock is ticking for Minaya to get back to his job. His future, and the future of the Mets, are in the balance. Never mind how the franchise is perceived in the papers. If the reporters affected the standings, the Mets would be dead last, a mile away from the steps leading out of the cellar. But, Minaya can bail out ownership and salvage what he can from this situation by making the right move in the next couple of days.

The Mets might not be "buyers" or "sellers" this week, but Minaya is always looking for a move to improve the team now and in the future. He did this with the acquisition of Jeff Francoeur. He can do it again and the Mets players can continue to do their job by climbing back into relevance.

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