Foot in Mouth Disease or Omar Minaya Syndrome

As has been pointed out on sports radio repeatedly in the last week or so, when a team has a lost season, the long knives come out.  Every douchebag with a grudge (myself included) does his or her level best to kick the teams, its players, owners and front office while they are down. 

So it is for the not-so-amazing Metropolitans.  Beset by injuries, the team is double digits behind the first place Phillies.   A new ballpark, a better bullpen and the returning core were sold as the cure to the ills of the last two seasons.   Omar and Co. declared that they had, in essence, performed an off-season Heimlich and beware Cole Hamels, the Mets would choke no more.  We won’t know if they will choke this season because with 3 of the Mets best position players down, they are irrelevant.

With losing comes the inevitable sniping as sportswriters and their sources excise a pound of flesh for past transgressions, real or imagined.   Bernazard, like the manager last year, was this year’s first casualty.  I’m certain the irony of being destroyed in the press by unknown sources isn’t making Bernazard smile today.  It was widely reported that his backroom campaigning doomed Randolph.  And this year, having Jeff Wilpon’s ear wasn’t going to save Bernazard when reporters lined up story after story that portrayed him as unprofessional, mean-spirited and petty.

So, with all this, Minaya stepped to the plate to deliver the news that the campaign to oust Bernazard had been successful.  It should have been easy.   He needed only to deliver a simple statement acknowledging that Bernazard had done many things for the organization, but that recent events made it necessary for the organization to part ways with him. 

But this is the Mets . . .

Flashback to the firing of Willie Randolph.  Fired during a West Coast road trip when he should have been fired before the plane took off.  Done late at night, tactlessly.  The organization took a move designed to improve the team’s chances at the post-season and only managed to win the outgoing manager sympathy in the process.

Now, in front of the assembled media, all Minaya had to do was announce the firing.  Instead, he attacked Adam Rubin, a reporter for the Daily News, insinuating that Rubin’s desire to be a front office someday led to his reporting of Bernazard’s unprofessional behavior.  The reporter himself had the opportunity to defend himself and used it.  Unfortunately for Minaya, in battles of wits he is quite unarmed.   

It remains unclear exactly what he wanted the media to take from his remarks about Rubin.  I would imagine that he was venting the organization’s frustration that one of its own was taken down by the tabloids.  Still, save that for another time.

As usual, the Mets can’t even fire someone right.  By the way, the Mets won again last night.  Does anyone even care?

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