In Defense of Minaya?

In yesterday’s New York Times, Tyler Kepner, who once was that paper’s Mets beat reporter, writes a speculative and thought-provoking piece about the WIlpons either canning or retaining Minaya. Basically, their choice at season’s end will be telling.

Wilpon has said little about Minaya and Manuel, and at this point he seems likely to wait until the end of the season to determine their futures. Manuel is in the last year of his contract, and the Mets have little invested in him.

The Minaya decision will say a lot more.

Wilpon will have choices. Gillick is 73 years old, but he has never formally retired and has an unmatched winning pedigree, most recently with the Mets’ division rival in Philadelphia.

And Kevin Towers, who constructed the guts of the San Diego Padres — the best team in the National League — is working for the Yankees as a special assistant to Cashman.

Towers is a close friend of Minaya, and as former minor league players with extensive scouting experience, they have similar backgrounds. Towers has built winning teams in an extreme pitchers’ ballpark on a much tighter budget than the Mets’. He is also personable, like Minaya, and deft with the news media.

But it would be sad, in a way, if Minaya is dismissed. He had nothing to do with so much of the mess at Citi Field, and he would probably leave the team in much better shape than most people realize — kind of like the Padres, who fired Towers at the end of last season and have discovered he was not so bad, after all.

I will not re-hash details, but it would be interesting to see what folks think of his pluses and minuses in terms of other GMs. Basically, Kepner thinks he’s really no better or worse. Whew! That’s a real vote of confidence.

What think ye?