Jul 27

In defense of Adam Rubin ….

There are few reporters I admire and respect as much as I do Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News. He is among the first to arrive and last to leave. He works the clubhouse as well as any colleague I have competed against. I consider my work ethic one of my strong suits and I envy his. As far as I am concerned, his integrity is above reproach.

Rubin has been critical of the Mets, and rightfully so. Just look at their record. Also look at Rubin’s record for being right.

I believe Rubin when he said he once probed Jeff Wilpon about how to get a job in major league baseball, “but that’s it.” I don’t believe for a second he torpedoed Tony Bernazard to get a job in baseball. Rubin is right, the accusation from Omar Minaya toward him was “obscene” and “deplorable.”

If Minaya had a problem with Rubin, he should have addressed it privately behind closed doors as part of his in-depth investigation. Bernazard, an embarrassment to the Mets, has been fired and is gone. The Mets’ embarrassing behavior still remains.

The bottom line is Bernazard is gone by his own doing, with his behavior coming to light as the result of solid, ethical reporting.

May 04

Minaya, Wilpon head in Atlanta

Reports have Omar Minaya and Jeff Wilpon in Atlanta to meet with Jerry Manuel and Oliver Perez to best figure out how to handle the disintegrating lefty.

The options:

1) Convince him to accept a minor league assignment. As a veteran of at least five years he has the right of veto. The pros of going to the minor leagues is it could demoralize the already shaky Perez emotionally beyond repair. Nobody has a way of knowing for sure. Theoretically, he’ll get consistent work in, albeit away from pitching coach Dan Warthen.

2) Keep him around where he could work with Warthen and pitch out of the bullpen in a to-be-determined role. The disadvantage is not getting consistent work against live hitters.

3) Put him on the DL with a knee (injury). All of a sudden Perez was wrapped in ice after Saturday’s start and said it had been hurting him all year. This is the path of least resistance because the Mets can bring somebody up and Perez can still be around the team to work out.

We’ll know tonight.

Jan 27

Resisting Manny ….

RAMIREZ: The image that scares them off.

RAMIREZ: The image that scares them off.

Manny Ramirez is still floating out there, his thundering right-handed bat a temptation 29 teams have managed to resist. Only the Los Angeles Dodgers have an offer on the table, and Ramirez’s refusal of $45 million over two years seems stunningly arrogant considering the line

Nobody knows which.

Last week, Jeff Wilpon told Bloomberg News the Mets weren’t interested, but he wasn’t speaking for manager Jerry Manuel, who, during a TV interview, said he’d love to have Ramirez on his team.

“To have a shot at managing him would be exciting for me,” Manuel said. “I’d love to have the opportunity to watch Manny hit every day.’’

Manuel called Ramirez “one of the best right-handed hitters in our generation,’’ and broached the topic of his reputation with the confidence of a snake charmer.

Manuel is convinced he would avoid this serpent’s tooth.

“I don’t have a problem with people that produce in the form and fashion that Manny Ramirez produces,” Manuel said. “We don’t spend, shouldn’t spend that much time in the locker room, anyway.’’

You don’t?

Players start drifting into the clubhouse five hours before game time, far longer than the time of game. But, if not concerned about the clubhouse, how about the field?

If Ramirez’s stars aren’t all aligned he’s been known to dog it on the bases and give up at-bats. Even though they won two World Series with him, Ramirez had no allies in the Red Sox clubhouse late last summer, including David Ortiz.

Jose Reyes has enough problems maintaining his attention as it is. Do you really want him looking up to Ramirez? And, for the money Ramirez is asking, they can sign a pitcher and a bat such as Adam Dunn.

They’ve resisted temptation so far. Hope they keep that strength.

Oct 02

Wilpon: “Omar is our guy.”

``We believe in Omar.''

``We believe in Omar.''

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon defended the decision to extend GM Omar Minaya’s contract at this time. Minaya was signed through 2009. He was given a three-year extension through 2012, with club options for 2013 and 2014.

“We failed this year, and we want to get the redemption we need and move forward, and we feel Omar and his staff are the best group to put us in that position,” Wilpon said. “We were not a good team before Omar took over. … Omar is our guy. We believe in Omar.”

Wilpon also said the current economic crisis in the country has not impacted the construction project at Citi Field: “We have not requested funds above what we have budgeted for.”

Wilpon would not say whether this year’s payroll of $143 million would be exceeded next year, but did not say Minaya had a ceiling.

I’ll have Minaya for you in a few minutes.

-Minaya said negotiations are on-going with manager Jerry Manuel on an extension.

-Minaya said the team is leaning toward bringing back Carlos Delgado. He has already spoken with his agent.

Oct 02

Minaya conference call in progress ….

Omar Minaya and Jeff Wilpon are on currently on a conference call. Some highlights so far:

-Wilpon on why Omar: “We were not a good team before Omar took over. … Omar is our guy. We believe in Omar.”

-Omar is extended through 2012, with club options for 2013 and 2014.

-Minaya said negotiations are on-going with manager Jerry Manuel on an extension.

-Minaya said the team is leaning toward bringing back Carlos Delgado. He has already spoken with his agent.