I have been waiting for a debate like this. You know how there are just some guys that just irritate the ever living crap out of you? They give you high blood pressure when you do not have blood pressure problems. They make you cringe upon hearing their name. You wonder how they keep getting a free pass in their profession! Omar Minaya is THAT GUY, for me!
Minaya earned his stripes and built his early reputation by the job he did in Montreal. The Expos were very competitive for the most part in their last few years in Montreal, and some of that credit has to go to Minaya. However, a closer look at his tenure reveals that as general manager in Montreal, he traded away the likes of Jason Bay, Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore, Brandon Phillips, and Chris Young. Wouldn’t the Nationals organization like to have some of those guys right now?
My problem with Minaya, though, begins with his time with the Mets. He was hired by New York before the 2005 season and began to restructure the team. It worked out in the short term as the Mets won the NL East in 2006. It has been all downhill ever since, as the aging Mets fell, reaching a new low last year when they won only 70 games. That particular team was bitten by the injury bug and a lack of depth. The lack of talent in the minor leagues led to no one being able to step up and fill in the gaps. I mean, come on, Gary Sheffield was hitting clean up for much of the season. This is not the Sheffield we all know from his prime. This is the then 41-year-old Sheffield who was released by the Detroit Tigers early last season and not meant to be the focus of a lineup.
Some of Minaya’s off the field decisions and “activities” leave me scratching my head also. Manager Willie Randolph was feeling the heat during the middle of the 2008 season. We all knew that. But to fire him in a hotel room, and then announce it to the world with a press release released at 3:12 in the morning was just downright wrong and reeks of no class. And then, let’s not forget the incident last year with New York Daily News reporter, Adam Rubin, in which Minaya attacked an embarrassed Rubin during the middle of a press conference.
The pressure is starting to build in New York again, and this season’s 4-8 start is not relieving the pressure. Fans are calling for a change, both in the front office and on the field. Keep in mind that the Mets are playing just their second year in Citi Field, and it’s unfortunate that fans in New York aren’t coming to the park to experience the sights and sounds because the team sucks. Something has to change, and if I had my way, firing Omar Minaya would be the beginning of that change!