This is a story making the rounds on the web the last 2 days and it has really started to pick up steam. According to ESPN.com’s Peter Gammons, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon is the real general manager for the New York Mets and Omar Minaya is just a puppet, designed to take the heat when seasons like 2009 occur.
Gammon was on Michael Kay’s radio show yesterday and Kay asked Gammon’s about Omar hiring hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, with whom he has a strong friendship with, Gammon responded to Michael Kay by saying:
“But, Omar isn’t the General Manager, Jeff Wilpon is.”
This is an interesting story, there have been some rumblings that Omar would no longer be employed the Mets right now if it wasn’t for his contract, a contract that is valued at 3.3 million dollars, which is more than some utility guys make.
The news broke last night that the Mets were not going to hire Rudy Jaramillo, the Mets will be sticking with Howard Johnson as their hitting coach for the 2010 season. There is no secret that Omar enjoys hiring his friends and Omar and Jaramillo have a long friendship as Jaramillo was Omar’s manager in the minor leagues and there is no secret that Jeff Wilpon and his father are big fans of Howard Johnson.
When Omar took the job of GM is was under the condition of 100% autonomy on baseball activities, including the hiring and firing of coaches. Now there is no word that Omar campaigned for Jaramillo but given his track record of hiring those close to him, one has to believe he would try to hire his long time friend.
If Jeff Wilpon is really pulling the strings and acting as the GM we are in more trouble than I thought. The Wilpons have shown that they are not great baseball people. Nelson Doubleday, former owner of the Mets and former partner with the Wilpons had this to say in 2003 to the Star Ledger:
“Mr. Jeff Wilpon has decided that he’s going to learn how to run a baseball team and take over at the end of the year… Run for the hills, boys. I think probably all those baseball people will bail… Jeff sits there by himself like he’s King Tut waiting for his camel.”
Drama never seems to be too far behind the Mets, hopefully this is just Gammons trying to make a radio appearance more interesting.