On a day when the rest of the organization was doing their best to make the Mets look like the bumblingest band of idiots east of the Mississippi, there was one reason for Mets fans to feel some pride. The SNY television crew of Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez covered Omar Minaya's unprofessional and ill-advised broadsides against Adam Rubin of the Daily News with the utmost integrity.
"I kind of find it hard to believe that Adam Rubin was brought into this," said Hernandez. "Adam Rubin is not the issue here. Adam Rubin is a beat writer and his job is to cover the team. He got a lead on a story and guess what - he reported it correctly. He did nothing wrong."
They ripped Minaya for turning a positive -- the firing of Tony Bernazard -- into a negative, they ripped Minaya for his non-apology apology which said he regretted the timing, but not the content, of his comments about Rubin and they wondered how anyone could ever talk to Minaya again without wondering when it would come back to be used against them. It was a strong, honest job of the type you'd never expect to see from New York City's other team-owned cable network.
Of course, you'd never see Brian Cashman performing like Minaya either. His childish, largely incoherent tantrum about having to fire Bernazard because of Rubin's articles wasn't something you'd see from many grown men. Whatever questions you have about the ethics of Rubin discussing how to get a job in baseball with the men he's covering (or about his sanity for wanting to work for an organization like the Mets), Minaya agreed that his articles were true and that the Mets already were investigating those incidents.
He turned what should have been a three paragraph press release into a three ring circus featuring himself as ringmaster. And with that he took the Mets right back to the bleach squirting, firecracker lighting days of the early 90's when they were the butt of baseball's jokes.
There's been some speculation that this will lead to Minaya's departure from the team's front office. Since Minaya has proven lacking in talent evaluation, damage control and media relations this season, it is hard to argue with that decision, but it still feels unlikely, or at least premature.
It's hard to believe he would have gone out there on Monday without any consultation with his employers, and it's hard to believe that Jeff Wilpon would have appeared with him at the second press conference if he wasn't willing to share the muck with Minaya. That said, public opinion is 95 percent against Minaya right now and will only get more fired up through a full cycle of newspapers, blogs, talk radio and the general "oh my god, can you believe that guy is our general manager?" meetings of Mets fans this week.
The Mets are a suggestible bunch, so the public outcry could still cost Minaya. But if there was a deep feeling of disgust about the way he managed Monday's events, they would have already started distancing themselves from him and that's not been the case at all. And no one should forget that he has a three-year contract extension that hasn't even started yet.
Oh, one last thing. The Mets beat the Rockies 7-3 last night. It's their third straight win. There's actually still a baseball team playing games, wearing uniforms and everything.