Posted on: July 28, 2009 6:51 pm
NEW YORK -- For 29 teams, this is trade deadline week.
And then there are the Mets, where this has become Omar Minaya week. And where the general manager was unavailable to talk Tuesday, not because he's deep in trade talks but because he's deep in a self-created mess.
"He's really hurt by this," Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said. "He needs a day."
"This" is the disaster of a press conference Minaya held Monday, in which he began by announcing the firing of assistant Tony Bernazard, then viciously went on the attack against New York Daily News Mets beat writer Adam Rubin. "This" is what has engulfed Minaya and the Mets for more than 24 hours now, monopolizing the time on local sports-talk radio and even turning the firing of a little-known vice president of player development into a national story.
By Tuesday afternoon, the Mets were deep into damage control, with Wilpon appearing on the field before a game against the Rockies. He said that the organization apologized to Rubin, that Minaya made a big mistake, but also that he and his family stand behind their man.
"Omar's our general manager," Wilpon said. "Omar's going to be our general manager. If we can all give him a chance, he'll come back and make this organization proud."
Later, asked if Minaya had the rest of the year to prove he should keep his job, Wilpon responded: "Right now, the idea is that Omar is our general manager. Period."
Minaya was at work Tuesday, and he hosted a conference call with Mets scouts. But even that call, sources said, began with Minaya reading his apology to Rubin.
Meanwhile, the Mets have won three straight games for the first time since May. Yet everything they do is overwhelmed by the latest off-field mess.
Even in manager Jerry Manuel's pregame session with the media Tuesday, the Minaya situation was brought up -- by Manuel.
Asked if he wanted Minaya to make a trade this week, Manuel quipped: "I thought he made a deal yesterday. I walked in here [to the press conference room] and you all looked like you'd been hit by a truck."
In any other city, this is trade week.
In Metland, it's Minaya week. Or hit-by-a-truck week.
That might be the same thing.
Posted on: December 17, 2008 1:42 pm
Edited on: December 17, 2008 2:59 pm
It's been a funny winter for the Mets.
Baseball-wise, everything is great. They rebuilt their troubled bullpen with Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz, and they even found a taker for Scott Schoeneweis. They don't have a fourth starter yet, but the way that market is looking, they'll probably get one eventually at a decent price.
All is well, as long as you don't mind losing millions of dollars. Or hundreds of millions.
Financially, everything isn't great. It began with the problems at Citigroup, a huge Mets sponsor and the holder of the naming rights for their new ballpark. The Mets insist the new park will still be called CitiField, and they held today's Rodriguez press conference at a holiday party for local kids, held at the Citi Building in Queens.
But it's not just Citi. Mets owner Fred Wilpon is said to have invested hundreds of millions of dollars with Bernie Madoff, whose $50 billion "Ponzi scheme" came to light late last week. So now the Mets are having to reassure their employees and everyone else that the losses won't take down the team, too.
Jeff Wilpon, Fred's son and the Mets' COO, repeated the assurances today.
"Not at all," he said, when asked how the Madoff scandal will affect the Mets operations. "It's truly two different things."
Wilpon said he and his father won't be any more hesitant to spend money, because of what they have lost with Madoff. In fact, he suggested that the best way for the Wilpons to start earning back some of the money they lost is for the Mets to succeed.
"That's better for us," Wilpon said.
Wilpon said his sympathy is with people who were depending on Madoff money more than he and his father were.
"I feel really bad for people who had a lot less money (invested) than we did, and who don't have an operating business," he said.