Tag: omar minaya

Mets Hire Bob Melvin

Who says the Mets aren’t active at the winter meetings? They just acquired another replacement for Jerry Manuel.

According to Joel Sherman and confirmed by David Lennon, the Mets have signed 2007 NL Manager of the Year Bob Melvin to be a Major League scout.

Interesting that both Melvin and Wally Backman are now employed by the same organization. Further interesting that Jerry Manuel has so many managerial candidates around him.

Is J.P. Ricciardi also on the Mets’ wish list, to help Wayne Krivsky keep Omar Minaya on his toes?

READ MORE +

Mets Hire Wayne Krivsky

wayne-krivskyAs expected, the Mets have brought in “motivation” for Omar Minaya — former Reds GM Wayne Krivsky.

Krivsky was hired by the Mets last June as a scout, but after the season he moved on to the Orioles as GM Andy MacPhail’s special assistant — a role he likely would have filled for the Mets had Tony Bernazard not been in the way.

In any case, Krivsky returns to Flushing, bringing with him real-world MLB front office experience and success (with the Twins) — a strange combination for a Mets hire, no? Unlike his predecessor, Krivsky comes to the Mets with experience negotiating player contracts from the TEAM’s perspective (Bernazard spent his post-playing career as an MLBPA assistant / consultant to players prior to joining the Mets). That said, perhaps the Mets will finally start signing players to logical contracts — rather than grossly overpaying with dollars, terms, years, and other conditions (I’m going to hope / assume that Krivsky didn’t start working for the Mets until AFTER Alex Cora was signed).

When it’s all said and done, this could turn out to be the Mets’ top free-agent acquisition of the winter.

READ MORE +

Manuel Motivated – Minaya Next?

omar-minaya-profileSo far, the Mets are making good on their promise to overhaul the entire organization, from top to bottom.

It is no coincidence that a number of former managers — such as Bob Melvin and Eric Wedge — were considered for Jerry Manuel’s coaching staff, nor that at least two possible replacements for Manuel (Wally Backman, Terry Collins) have been hired for ancillary positions in the organization.

Such moves and considerations make it crystal clear that Manuel is on the hot seat, and will be under a magnifying glass from the beginning of spring training. Some might call it “motivation”.

But Manuel is not the only one on the hot seat — his boss Omar Minaya may be similarly “motivated”.

READ MORE +

Mets: Who’s the Boss?

If we’ve learned nothing else from the 2009 season, we learned that the Mets have no clear plan, a lack integrity, and operate under questionable leadership.

That last issue has become even more muddied, if we are to believe Peter Gammons — who stated on the Michael Kay Show that Jeff Wilpon is the real Mets GM, while Omar Minaya is “the one who’s out there to take the heat” (follow this link and skip ahead to the 13:20 minute mark to hear that part of the conversation).

If true, that would certainly explain a number of the mysteries surrounding this futile franchise. Perhaps it now makes sense to re-evaluate whether Jeff Wilpon is qualified to be a Major League GM. As we know, the sum total of his baseball background is limited to the time he’s spent as COO of the Mets, a bullpen session with Tom Seaver and a shady “professional” stint.

BTW, Gammons also hinted that all is not well in Dodgerland — so perhaps the news of the McCourts breakup is just the tip of the iceberg.

READ MORE +

Deja Vu All Over Again

yogi-berraThis past Mets season was a failure, and the brass made several public appearances to apologize and explain it away, while also announcing the beginning of changes that were coming in the offseason.

Sound familiar?

As Yogi Berra said, “it’s deja vu all over again”.

Around this time last year, Jerry Manuel and his coaching staff were under evaluation. Click that link and read MetsToday’s take on the situation one year ago. In particular, note this comment:

By the way, Jerry Manuel has made a public statement regarding his goal to stress fundamentals with the ‘09 club.

If you dare, follow that link to the MLB.com article in which Manuel expounds on his plans for better fundamentals, “team over individual”, and “a more mature approach”.

The best-laid plans of mice and men …

And speaking of plans, you may want to go back to this post from October 23, 2008, which breaks down Jeff Wilpon’s interview with Mike Francesa. Feel free to compare and contrast to the most recent meeting between Wilpon and Francesa.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

READ MORE +

Wilpon, Minaya, Howard Explain Your Pain

In case you missed it yesterday, Mike Francesa hosted Jeff Wilpon, Omar Minaya, and David Howard on his WFAN show. Francesa joked that Howard’s presence was “to be a filibuster”. In truth, it was because he is “the guy” associated with Citi Field, and the homage to the Brooklyn Dodgers was of course the most successful accomplishment of the New York Mets franchise in 2009.

Oh did you mistake “success” for “winning”? No, friend … success is bottom-line profits. And as you will hear in the interview, the Mets “brand” did well in its ability to serve its “customers”. But that should be changing in 2010 — if we are to believe the head honchos of the Mets’ organization.

Jeff Wilpon Part 1

Jeff Wilpon Part 2

Understand that the above links lead to material that may not be suitable for all audiences. For example, they are not for those with a weak stomach, nor for the strong of mind. I also would not listen to these clips if you are suffering from anxiety, depression, or stress disorders.

Some of the things I personally gleaned from the interview …

– Daniel Murphy will not return to the outfield, and he may or may not return as the starting first baseman

– Jeff Wilpon insists that the Mets will continue to have one of the highest payrolls in MLB, and that Omar Minaya has no financial constraints

– Further, Wilpon will not be “slicing payroll”, will be “aggressive” on the market, and his commitment this winter is “to give Omar the resources he needs to put a championship team on the field”

– Neither Minaya nor Wilpon believe the team needs a “rebuilding”, and they plan to use a mix of free agent signings and trades to “fix the holes”

– Minaya’s role and responsibilities as GM will not change

– Citi Field was built so large because Omar Minaya’s philosophy was to build a team around pitching, defense, and speed (hmm … the plans for Citi Field, including the vast dimensions, were unveiled in 1998 — when Minaya was an assistant to Steve Phillips)

– the Mets are going to add “more imagery” and a “Mets Hall of Fame” to placate fans’ complaints that Citi Field is an homage to the Brooklyn Dodgers

Conclusion

The Mets have publicly changed the goal from “putting a winning product on the field” to “putting a championship team on the field”. Wilpon claims that the financial coffers are available to make that happen.

We are going to hold on to these two points in particular as we watch and analyze this winter’s moves.

READ MORE +

Two Men Who Can Help the Mets: J.P. Ricciardi and Kevin Towers

Over the past 24 hours, two MLB general managers were relieved of their duties.

New Padres owner Jeff Moorad fired Kevin Towers and the Blue Jays let go J.P. Ricciardi.

Ricciardi was the golden boy oft-mentioned in Moneyball, but was unable to turn his saber-magic into success in Toronto.

The SI.com article summed up his tenure thusly:

The 2009 campaign was a microcosm of Ricciardi’s tenure as GM. There was a hopeful start, a sudden collapse, a lack of resources to turn things around, a spate of injuries, some painful decisions related to bad contracts and ultimately, pessimism for the future.

Ricciardi didn’t exactly employ Moneyball tactics in Toronto — in fact it was his irresponsible, unBeanelike contract decisions that contributed to his firing (for example: 2 years/$18M for Frank Thomas; 5-year deal for BJ Ryan; opt-out for AJ Burnett; long-term, expensive deals for Vernon Wells and Alex Rios).

Though his record as a GM is unimpressive, Ricciardi was spectacular as a scout, special assistant, and director of player personnel in Oakland. It’s doubtful anyone will consider him for another GM position anytime soon — particularly after the way he handled (bumbled) the Roy Halladay situation this season, and his ill-conceived, public comments regarding Adam Dunn last year. A return to a less-public position in someone’s front office would make sense. As you may know, Ricciardi began his baseball career in the New York Mets organization — he was a Rookie League and A-ball teammate of Billy Beane in the early 1980s. As you also may know, the Mets are rebuilding their front office, and in need of a special assistant and/or director of player personnel.

Similarly, the Mets could be in the market for someone like Kevin Towers, who is leaving San Diego after 15 years as the Padres GM. You don’t spend that much time in a position unless you’re doing something right — and Towers did a fine job keeping stability and executing successful rebuilding phases under the constraints of what was usually a small-market budget.

It appears that the Mets are going to give Omar Minaya at least another year to right the ship, but he could benefit from (or be pushed by) Towers’ presence — say as an assistant GM. Towers’ eye for finding talent off the scrap heap and his ability to make shrewd deals would be helpful with the anticipated cut in payroll.

The Mets are in the midst of making big changes in their organization, and will be hiring new faces. Here are two with proven track records who can make an immediate and positive impact.

It would be a nice departure from their previous strategy of putting into place, people who have no experience, qualifications, nor credentials for their assigned jobs.

**** UPDATE *************************

Joel Sherman reports that Omar Minaya could be considering both Ricciardi and Towers.

*************************************

READ MORE +

Setting Up the Excuse File

manuel-ghandi-smThe 2009 season hasn’t yet ended, but already Mets manager Jerry Manuel is setting up excuses for the 2010 season. In our latest installment of “Manuel Being Manuel”, we have this gem from The Star-Ledger, in response to whether he was feeling the pressure of possibly being fired:

“I know how this particular situation works,” Manuel said Monday. “It’ll be important for us to hit the ground running playing good baseball and giving a feeling that there is a chance of a championship. That has to be established early. I understand that. I’ll be fighting that battle, but at the same time I know I have to have a team in position to get off and play well.”

Translation: if the Mets don’t get off to a hot start in April and May of 2010, it’ll be Omar Minaya’s fault for not assembling enough talent. Nice.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Manuel has invoked the blame game to protect himself.

Now if YOU were the boss of a department at a company, and one of your employees publicly stated the above, how would YOU react? My guess is you wouldn’t be naming that person “employee of the month”.

READ MORE +