Omar and Fred Wilpon during Spring Training
Omar is Safe. Fred Wilpon said so today (Thursday) from Connecticut. Fred said Omar is the GM though 2011. Let's face it, for those Met fans who want Omar fired, Fred Wilpon is not going to eat the remaining salary owed to him. What I'm not going to get angry about here and now, is why on Earth, when your team is sitting at exactly a .500 winning percentage would you give your GM a nice soft pillow to land on? Wouldn't you play the moment as an owner and stretch that out till the off-season?
Omar is signed for two more years. Besides that, the Wilpons don't have a clue as to who they would hire next. I went on ad-nausea about how Omar was the last vestige of front office personnel brought into this organization through a long stream of in-house executive development. Omar is the last top level executive familiar to the Wilpons and they to Omar. That's the way the Wilpons operate. They have never strayed outside the organization with respect to their front office. Frank Cashen brought in numerous persons who worked their way through our front office. Harazin, Joe McLvaine and Steve Phillips were all Frank Cashen students; and Jerry Hunsicker should be included in this list. Steve Phillips brought Jim Duquette into the fold as he did with Omar Minaya. You have to go back to the first appointment; the architect of the 80's; Frank Cashen himself as the only time this ownership, to include Nelson Doubleday then, has gone outside of the organization. That is something self-inherently omitted because naturally, he was first.
All names I have mentioned have been used, exhausted and dismissed over time. Omar is the last one whom the Wilpons have familiarity with. Wilpon himself does not have a plan in place for possible life after Omar. I'm convinced of that. That! - is a prospect that I believe causes the Wilpons to lose sleep. They know what I'm about to say is true. The Wilpons lack Baseball acumen. They just do. They are overly reliant on others to run Baseball Operations but they interfere with operations that are in the best interest if the team. There is just a very poor front office structure; meaning Omar and Jeff and the direct cross connect between the two.
Stop it with the total nonsense that John Ricco, Mets' Assistant GM, is a viable replacement, temporary or otherwise. For that, I'll jump on Wilpon's sentiment and keep Omar.
Regardless of rants and any tangents I ever went on about the Mets, I am still cool with Omar. Why? That's no secret either. I put this all on Jeff Wilpon, the team's COO.
He's the one calling the shots. Make no mistake.
So lets get practical for a sec... Let's be pragmatic about this situation. Omar, it's clear will not be fired. He will be the NYM GM in 2011. He may very well still be the GM in 2012. That's fine because I will repeat what I have said many times; The next GM hire scares the B'jeebers out of me. It's a hire I think they'll (Mets) get all wrong. But I am not anti-Omar because I think Jeff is pulling all the strings behind the scene.
The Wilpons have said one thing and have done things contrary to their word. They aren't willing to tell their fans the truth about the financial stability our or local and favorite team.
Fans ultimately foot the bill for everything.! So I have a certain demand that the Wilpons be more forthright about this team's financial viability in light of their and Sterling Equity's involvement in (victim of) the Madoff scandal, and the fleecing of a reported small fortune through ponzi schemes. We just recently heard reported that monies Sterling Equities invested including employee 401K assets with said Madoff too were lost. That's a fuzzy account I admit...but the report has been aired involving just that.
So back to Pragmatism ~ There is nothing I can do with the front office personnel in place. So let's add one more then.
This team needs a Baseball Qualified Team President. This organization needs a President that will keep the Wilpons at bay AND at ease knowing the business and the bottom line P and L are being tended to. This team needs a Team President to separate and distance Omar Minaya from Jeff Wilpon so as to allow Omar to make moves necessary, and moves I trust he can negotiate, and act as a GM with full autonomy the way he needs to, but by being accountable to a President. The President will provide Omar his autonomy and freedom from Wilpon's shackles while at the same time, keeping the Wilpon's bottom line at the heart and core of his efforts.
That's why I believe Team Presidents are important and play vital roles within organisations. Some GM/Presidents are very good at handling the dual responsibility; or should I say handling the elimination of a position? Some however are not as good at juggling both titles.
Omar should be working on getting this team in an optimal position for success through assembling a roster of players he thinks can work towards that end and by ensuring the farm system is capable of providing depth and high end prospects. That can not happen nor can he function if Wilpon is constantly making Omar make decisions for reasons that ill affect the play on the field and have more to do with an uncertain foundation they might be crumbling upon as owners. Yes there is speculation the Wilpons may very well have to sell this team; and sooner than later.
I strayed a little...But if the Mets are committed to giving themselves a more effective business model and a more clearly defined chain of command ~ Hire a team President and let Omar do what he does best and that is evaluate players. He's already proven he can lure and big name and seal a deal.
We just need to get Jeff out of his hair. That's why team Presidents are important. The hybrid GM/Pres does not work in METropolis.
Jeff ~ hire a Team President to preside over all your Baseball Operations while he keeps your best interest in mind on the business end. Do you understand this?
By the looks of things I'd say No!
(This is the face of danger...to Met fans)
Other GM's around the League whether current or former, are on record as saying they wood not work for the Mets because they didn't like their Management/front office structure. Do you really want a name? Someone, among others who share that sentiment is none other that Pat Gillick. You can look it up.