Thursday, January 26, 2006

In the defense of Omar

Yesterday's focus among the chattering classes in New York concerning the allegations that Omar Minaya is showing greater deference to Latin players has finally reached the dual media monster of Gotham. The juggernaut of the Knicks'and Isiah Thomas mess will keep this a one or two day thing, and for good reason. It's absurd.
I'd imagine that Minaya defended himself admirably yesterday on Mike and the Mad Dog. Although he didn't need to, the savvy Minaya-and perhaps wise old sage, Jay Horwitz- knew that its best to address something than let it simmer. The talk show forum of New York is now the best and quickest way to do this. He saved at least 12 hours and was able to do so without danger of being misquoted and being what New Yorkers most respect by being "a stand-up guy".
But lets speak to some facts that are easy to see. First and foremost, the number of Latino players in the Major Leagues has increased dramatically over the last thirty years. Baseball has made the adjustment and pumps more and more assets into scouting and player development in this area. Nevermind marketing. It stands to reason that by shear numbers, more Latino players are coveted by teams.
Prior to the 2005 season, three of the most coveted free agents available-Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran, and Carlos Delgado-all hail from Spanish speaking countries. Anyone could see that all three were fits for the Mets. Minaya delivered two and was fortunate to fall upon another salary dump by the Marlins and acquired Delgago this off-season. Minaya's unique personal skills certainly came into play, but also with Billy Wagner, a country boy from Virginia. And if Minaya had been truly obsessed with making the Mets a Spanish-only please team, Eric Heilman would have been traded for Danys Baez and the Mets would have saved money and signed Benji Molina instead of traded for Paul LoDuca.
And to be sure, Minaya's style marks a departure from past regimes. The Mets are no longer an organization that fears the four dailies and WFAN. They embrace it. Where once Al Harazin snuck off to write a press release concerning Doc Gooden's shoulder instead of letting Horwitz do it, Minaya is on one the most listened to sports talk show to put a story to rest.


At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

aaron heilman. not eric.

At 2:30 PM, Blogger Metstradamus said...

Cut Bob a little slack...he was just harkening back to the days of 6' 10" Eric Hillman.


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