July 27, 2009
There weren't many ways to overshadow the news of the Mets firing a wannabe Hulkamaniac in their dysfunctional front office, but general manager Omar Minaya somehow just found one of them.
Charged with announcing the termination of player personnel chief Tony Bernazard for a variety of transgressions, Minaya instead took the reporting career of Adam Rubin and tried to shoot it dead.
Watch the attempt here.
Rubin, who covers the Mets for the New York Daily News, reported earlier this month that Bernazard had challenged members of the team's Double-A affiliate to a fight by ripping off his shirt. The revelation sparked a series of other claims about Bernazard, including confirmed altercations with Francisco Rodriguez and a visiting scout at Citi Field.
(Those claims, it should be noted, ultimately led to his firing after a team investigation.)
Though Minaya didn't contest the accuracy of Rubin's reports on Monday, he recklessly twisted the press conference into a mangled car wreck by disclosing that Rubin had "lobbied" for a player development position with the team.
From there, the proceedings took an embarrassing turn for a franchise already experiencing an embarrassing season. Having just been the unwilling recipient of a grenade thrown at his ethics, Rubin took the microphone to ask Minaya if he was suggesting that the stories were written in order to create an opening within the Mets organization. Minaya denied that was the case, but the damage had already been done.
Rubin was forced to hold a press conference of his own in which he admitted to asking team officials exploratory questions about working in baseball. But he also denied he had ever asked Minaya for job directly and wondered aloud how he'd be able to cover the team from this point forward and called Minaya's revelation "deplorable."
From my viewpoint, it was completely irresponsible for Minaya to spin the press conference the way he did. If he had an axe to grind with Rubin over the outing of an employee he hired, then there was a time and place. Needless to say, this wasn't it, and you have to think that Minaya's turn for being thrown under the bus himself just lurched a lot closer.