Earlier today, Omar Minaya addressed the firing of brawlin' Tony Bernazard, the Mets' VP for player development, and used the occasion to humiliate New York Daily News reporter Adam Rubin, whom Minaya accused of angling for a front-office job.
Which is of course crazy. No one in his right mind would want to work for this team.
In response, Rubin, whose bird-dogging of Bernazard's behavior in the Daily News more or less forced the Mets to fire him, grabbed a microphone and told Minaya that his allegations were "despicable." The video is here. And here, via Amazin' Avenue, is a transcript of Minaya's comments and the ensuing exchange with Rubin. Needless to say, it falls somewhere south of Lincoln-Douglas.
Omar Minaya: Once the reports came out, you know, of course we had to expedite more the investigation. Early in the process, early in the process, when the reports came out, I had to kind of tell myself, "Wow, these things are coming out." And I say this because coming from Adam Rubin, okay, and Adam, you gotta understand this, Adam, for the past couple of years, has lobby for a player development position. He has lobby myself, he has lobby Tony. So when these things came out I was kind of a little bit, I had to think about it. And I was a little bit, you know, somewhat, kind of, we gotta find out about this. We really have to do a thorough investigation of this.
Adam Rubin: Is what you're alleging that I tried to tear Tony down so I could take his job? Is that what you're saying?
Omar Minaya: No, no, I'm not saying that. All I'm saying was, that I know that when you wrote the reports, but I am saying, that in the past, you have, have lobby for a player, for a for a job...
Adam Rubin: If I were interested in working in player development somewhere in the major leagues at some point in my life, how did that impact this situation at all?
Omar Minaya: I said, because, when the reports came out a lot of these things were cross... I said "Who's writing these reports?" and I said well okay who's writing the reports and in the back of my mind, Adam, you have told me you have told other people in the front office that you want to work for player development in the front office.
Adam Rubin: So what you're alleging is that.. the only conclusion I can draw from that is that you're trying to allege that I tried to tear everyone down so that I could take their position. Is that what you're saying?
Omar Minaya: Adam...
Adam Rubin: It seems pretty despicable to say that.
Afterward, reporters turned their questions onto Rubin, who acknowledged inquiring about front-office work but insisted, a little unconvincingly, that it was merely reportorial curiosity.
Just like Omar would, if you were curious about journalism, would say, "How do you get into journalism?" I would ask people, because I've been around the minor leagues a long time, I covered the minor leagues back in the '90s, the Birmingham Barons, the White Sox double-A team, actually when Jerry was the White Sox skipper — so I would ask them, probe them, about how do you get jobs in baseball. If you ever kind of hear about anything in baseball that might be suitable, how do you go about pursuing a job like that? But that was the extent of it. And it's so deplorable that he would dredge that up like that. I've never seen anything like that. It has nothing to do with the issue. I don't understand how they can say I would tear someone down. I asked him point-blank, you heard. Are you alleging that I'm tearing him down, Tony down, to try and take his job. I mean, that's ludicrous. Just absolutely ludicrous.
He went on to say that "Jeff" — presumably Mets COO Jeff Wilpon — has offered to sit down with Rubin and talk "about how you would get a job in baseball," but that Rubin never took him up on it. You can watch Rubin's response here. There were several "flabbergasted"s and "floored"s, some parting shots at Bernazard (who, in Rubin's telling, has made enemies all across the baseball landscape, especially among scouts), a nervous joke about the state of the newspaper industry that wound up sounding a little more self-incriminating than intended. And then Rubin, who in all likelihood will be pulled off Mets coverage now, shed a few crocodile tears over leaving a beat that more and more is starting to resemble Nixon's second term.
Devasted, to be honest, because I need to cover this team. I don't know. I hope it's still possible, but I don't know. I can't cover it until they switch GMs, obviously.
Meanwhile, the Daily News released a statement from Editor-in-Chief Martin Dunn:
"This was a well-reported, well-researched, exclusive story, and it's a shame that the Mets deemed fit to cast aspersions on our reporter instead of dealing with the issues at hand. We stand by Adam 1,000%."
Only one way to settle this: shirtless fistfight.
Omar Minaya Attacks Adam Rubin Of The NY Daily News [Amazin' Avenue]
SNY.tv Video [SNY]