There are times when it feels like people are a bit too harsh in their words and feelings about Mets general manager Omar Minaya. He's certainly made some mistakes, but it's hard to hold him too personally responsible for the late-season collapses that ruined the 2007 and 2008 seasons. After all, he built the teams that found themselves in the lead and the conventional wisdom about Minaya is much different if the Mets hold on in either of those years to make the playoffs.
There are also moments where it seems that Minaya is deserving of every bit of criticism thrown in his direction. A speech he gave at a dinner honoring Roberto Clemente is one of those times. Howard Goldin of NY Sports Day, via MetsBlog, reports that when asked why the Mets weren't making a play for Matt Holliday, Minaya responded that they were persuing him but "it seems to be easier to make a deal with Jason Bay."
On the face of it, that's a totally ridiculous statement. It's been nearly a month since the Mets offered Bay, who doesn't seem to have any other suitors, a contract and nothing has been signed. Holliday, meanwhile, is still on the market which would seem to make him just as difficult to sign as Bay. There are explanations for pursuing Bay over Holliday -- financial flexibility, some particular ballplaying trait -- but "easier" should be reserved for rationalizing why you chose to talk to one girl over another at a bar.
If we continue to take Minaya's words at face value, we're left to believe that he's choosing expediency over talent when making choices about how to build his baseball team. Even the biggest Minaya haters in New York have to think twice before signing up for that school of thought, which must mean that Minaya, a notoriously bad public speaker, merely chose the wrong euphemism in his attempt to avoid calling the Wilpons cheap.
All in all, he would have been better off passing on the question and saying he wasn't comfortable discussing personnel moves before they were made. Of course, that implies personnel moves are going to be made and the Mets aren't giving anyone any reason to believe that's happening anytime soon.