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'Duk's Dozen: New York media fires back on Omar Minaya

Big League Stew

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Welcome to 'Duk's Dozen, a streamlined selection of 12 morning-fresh links, items and random thoughts to start your baseball day. It welcomes your email submissions and tips here or via Twitter.

1. Who'd have ever thought that a press conference held by a sub-.500 team to announce the firing of a faceless minor league head would be able to overshadow the headline-grabbing monster that is trade deadline week?

And yet that's exactly what happened with Omar Minaya's disaster on the dais Monday afternoon. His attack on NYDN reporter Adam Rubin was almost universally called a farce by anyone with the ability to reason and see that the presser was just a laughable attempt to whack Rubin in the kneecaps for writing stories that led to the firing of Tony Bernazard.

Minaya eventually entered the Citi Field pressbox with the intention of apologizing to Rubin on Monday night, but the reporter had left, apparently to pen his own defense in the pages of his paper this morning. Not that he needed to, though, because almost every New York paper was already out for blood on Rubin's behalf. [NYDN]

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2. Extra points to Rubin's headline crew for the Smokey reference above. There were actually a lot of amusing words written off Monday's drama — at least for non-Mets fans — but the hands-down best were penned by Wallace Matthews, the always angry Newsday columnist. Here's his lead:

"The Mets are the only organization in professional sports that can call a news conference to announce it has killed the Wicked Witch — and wind up running over Toto instead.

"They are the only organization that, given a golden opportunity to rid itself of a clubhouse cancer, ends up blowing its own head off with a shotgun."

The rest is an enjoyable torch job of epic proportions. Don't miss it. [Newsday]

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3. I never dip into Bill Simmons' "Peyton Manning face" bag of tricks, mostly because I think the bit is a tad exaggerated when it comes to some of the targets. However, there's no arguing that the "Adam Rubin face" — caught by SNY cameras just as Minaya launched into his takedown — belongs in Simmons' "Face" Hall of Fame. Hey Adam, wanna getaway? [Deadspin]

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4. Last Tuesday, I wrote a post arguing that Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi doesn't have as much leverage as he thinks he does. Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley takes that thought one step further, using known postulates to eliminate every major league team except the Phillies from the Roy Halladay(notes) derby. [Baseball Daily Digest]

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5. Jonah Keri introduces a thought that honestly never crossed my mind: What if visiting Yankees fans spend so much money at the Trop this week that the Rays can afford to trade for a player like Cleveland's Cliff Lee(notes)? If that's the case, shouldn't transplanted New Yorkers stay at home in Florida instead of funding the enemy's effort? [RotoSynthesis]

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6. Taiwanese baseball is apparently awesome and if you need any further proof, watch this video from its all-star game. That's ex-Giant Jose Castillo(notes) facing ex-Dodger Chin-Hui Tsao(notes), but not before each plays to the crowd. If only our Midsummer Classics were this fun. [Diamond Leung]

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7. The Giants upgraded their situation at first base by trading for Ryan Garko(notes), but Dave Cameron thinks the Cleveland Indian might have come at too high a price (lefty prospect Scott Barnes). But such is the cost of a desperate thirst for offense. [FanGraphs]

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8. Bugs & Cranks' Landon Evanson wrangled an interview with Chelcie Ross (a.k.a. "Eddie Harris" in Major League) and it's worth the read, even if Landon didn't take the time to ask Ross why he was such a jerk to Rudy and Coach Norman Dale. [Bugs & Cranks]

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9. How the beating death of a Phillies fan affects all Phillies fans. [Phillies Nation]

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10. Am I the only one who thought of John Lennon while watching Barry Bonds(notes) last night?

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Yes? I thought so. Ah well, instant karma is gonna get ya, Barry. [Big League Stew]

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11. Write this one down and remember it, Cards fans. Bill DeWitt Jr. says the team is going to make every effort to re-sign Matt Holliday(notes) when he's a free agent at the end of the season.

"We didn't do it with the idea that it would be a two-month run and it would be over," DeWitt said. "That was not the objective here. The objective was that it would be this year, a big help, and in the future a big help as well."

[Belleville News-Democrat]

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12. "Every winning club eventually loses, and there are nearly always plenty of reasons for it. But in Oakland's case, the glee over the A's tumble has not been directed at the players or their coaches, or even at the team's ownership. Instead, the fingers seem to point to one person in particular: Beane, who in his 12th season as general manager is the face of the remarkable, massive and oftentimes unpopular cultural upheaval of the Moneyball revolution." [ESPN.com]

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