Omar Minaya. Rhymes with pariah. Fitting.
It took only one brainless move for one of the most respected executives in baseball to erase all the goodwill he had engendered while rising through baseball’s ranks.
The Mets general manger has been widely celebrated as one of the highest-ranking Latinos in the sport, but even moreso for his astute eye for talent and how he had transformed the Mets from no-rans to should-be-contenders by attracting some of the most coveted players in the game to the Apple.
Consider the celebration over. And not because he fired. That is his prerogative, heck, it’s his job to make tough calls. Good managers get fired every other day. I have no doubt that Randolph – a very good manager who simply was never able to eliminate last fall’s historic September collapse from the city’s consciousness – will prove that once again when he takes some other team to the World Series.
Minaya did what he had to do in order to eliminate the cloud over the Mets he helped create.
But he’s now lost his luster because of how he did it, allowing Randolph too fly 3,000 miles to the West coast and manage one game (a win) before being canned in the dead of night. “I was stunned,” the former manager said as he headed for a flight back home.
As was any right-thinking human.
The GM’s explanation for whiffed of lameness. ” … I promised Willie that once I came to a decision, I was going to let him know right away.”
So Minaya didn’t know after Sunday’s game, not until? Or he did know but didn’t have the cojones to do it on Father’s Day. Either way, it stank.
This is now Minaya’s defining move. Not signing Pedro. Nor Beltran. or even Johan.
Firing Willie Randolph is now Day One of the Minaya watch. The result is solely how he will be judged. The Mets are now his mess.
As this saga played out during Tuesday’s wee hours, it offered an interesting contrast to the goings on in Boston later that night where the Celtics would complete one of the great turnarounds in sports history, recovering from one of the worst seasons ever for the franchise to becoming NBA Champions.
Just over a year ago, Celtics coach Doc Rivers was on his own hot seat, sweating as the C’s endured their miserable season. There were calls for his firing, as there always are.
But Celtics GM Danny Ainge did not heed them. He resisted and, unlike Minaya, stayed with the man he hired, and now both men have earned a ring.
Sometimes the best moves are the ones not made, and certainly the moves that are made should be done with class.