Damn. Been a tough week for reporters, what with Erin Andrews' martyrdom. So, if I'm Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News, the first thing I do when I'm on the road the next time is tape up any hotel room key holes and rip the room apart looking for hidden cameras.
I covered Omar Minaya a bit when he generally managed the Montreal Expos during their run as wards of Major League Baseball. Yeah, he talked in circles and was sometimes more style than substance but, hell, this is a business that once saw Steve Phillips employed as a GM, right?
One thing I liked about Minaya was that he had a vision for an increased Latino presence in the game and when he went to the New York Mets he spoke openly about branding the team as Latin-America's team and tapping into the huge Latino market in New York. That's a helluvan idea. Still is. So he brought in Carlos Beltran and Pedro Martinez and later Carlos Delgado and Johan Santana.
Anyhow, it's all gone pear-shaped. Minaya had to fire vice-president of player development Tony Bernazard, a vicious little man who hung around the players association for years, because among other things he'd developed a knack for picking fights with the Mets' minor leaguers. Not good.
Minaya went on a bizarre ramble at Monday's news conference announcing the canning in which he suggested that Rubin, a reporter for the Daily News who had written most of the stories on Bernazard's bad behaviour, had approached Minaya for a job with the team in player development. The linkage was clear: Rubin had it out for Bernazard because he wanted a job with the Mets.
And then the hated opposition, the New York Post.
Making the whole matter even more weird? Rubin wrote a book with Minaya on the GM's pursuit of Latino stars.
In the meantime, while we're doing a little media navel-gazing, give me a chance to rip some of my colleagues a new one over a couple of silly subtexts to the whole Roy Halladay saga.
First, the notion that somehow J.P. Ricciardi is doing something wrong by not talking to local reporters about Halladay. Considering the hammering he took in some quarters even before he started making mistakes - the whining about how he was firing scouts left, right and centre, or about how he had the nerve to decide he'd rather keep his family in Worcester, Mass., instead of Toronto - do you blame him? The guy's been in the job since 2001. Of course he's going to have allies and enemies in the media. That's the way the business has worked since I started in 1989 and if you think this is out of the norm? Hey, wait until you see the bodies lying around after a couple more years of Brian Burke and Ron Wilson ….
Second … if you want to create a market for your best player in the age of the internet, why the hell wouldn't you use people who have a national following in the U.S. to get your ideas out? Seems pretty reasonable to me. I mean, you think a lot of U.S.-based GMs pour over the Globe or Sun or Star every morning? Or read Unwritten Rules (I know two who do, but that's another story …)
Oh, and as for the hand-wringing about whether Ricciardi's the man to make the call on Halladay? It's moot, because this is an organizational decision. Assistant GMs Tony LaCava and Alex Anthopoulos - the latter of whom is a candidate to replace Ricciardi if he is punted at the end of the year - are all going to have a huge say in this deal. Same for Paul Beeston and Cito Gaston, and there's a constituency in this city that says this pair can do no wrong. Besides which - if the Blue Jays had to go to the Rogers head office to tell them they were swallowing B.J. Ryan's deal, rest assured the nabobs will be informed about Halladay. So it isn't just Ricciardi making the call on this and it's remarkable how many people don't realize it.