Tuesday, March 14, 2006

"They're going to fill you full of holes, but you can never let them see you bleed."

Thus quoted once, one Davey Johnson, when referencing confrontation with the New York media.

All parties involved accept that the New York scene is different. Three daily tabloids compete for the raciest headlines. Even a notbaly friendly one for George Bush in the NY Post once ran a post 9-11 headline, "Bush Knew." Wow. Or make that, "Ouch!."

That had to leave a mark, but as Johnson says you can't dare bleed. Lest you be referred to as prickly. Mike Vaccaro of the NY Post does a good job this morning of explaining how this now applies to Gotham team GMs.

I really feel Omar Minaya is indeed up to the task. Like no previous Met GM he's embraced the media and seems to not fear a back page thrashing. Herein lies one major difference between the two different franchises in the city. George Steinbrenner's Yankees know that being on the back page, good or bad, is the place to be. Its publicity. Some elements in the Mets organization still hide under their desks like we did during nuke drills back in the 60's at the hint of a bad day on the back page.

But not Minaya, and his influence is starting to change the way things are done in Queens.

After the schisms of Johnson v Cashen and Phillips v Valentine, the Mets have Omar and Willie. Its been an extremely skilled and people friendly Minaya who's done this. Unlike previous regimes Randolph won't be left twisting to face the fire alone as has been in the past. Observe this with the Yankees as during turmoil bothTorre and Cashmen are out front.

To be sure, last year both received a bit of a pass. But the club played hard for Randolph all year through some glaring weaknesses in the bullpen and on the right side of the infield. Unlike Johnson and Valentine, Randolph develops relationships with his players. And Minaya is part of this, too, as a man with shining interpersonal skills.

Expect to witness drive by shootings, but with little blood on the floor. The burden is bared by two.

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