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Rose: Minaya and Manuel — Two Fine Men

By Howie Rose

Sometimes, the hardest part of this job can be maintaining one’s objectivity, although not necessarily in the way you might think. It’s easy to do that while calling a game. All you have to do is call it as you see it, report the events unfolding in front of you, and tell the truth regardless of any rooting interest. Simple enough.

The hard part, though, comes when you have to talk about people that you get to know, sometimes rather well, and for whom you develop genuine feelings. Cases in point-Mets manager Jerry Manuel and general manager Omar Minaya.

It’s quite likely that neither man will hold those jobs next season; that could become reality within the next couple of weeks. That’s the business, and based on the results, no one could logically argue that they shouldn’t be removed. What’s unfortunate, however is that too often people in their situation become vilified to the point where job performance defines the person, and in these cases it’s just not accurate.

Read the message boards, listen to the radio, even the occasional newspaper article or column will suggest that these men are buffoons or bad people, and that’s just not the case.

I realize that we live in an angry world, and that it’s no longer fashionable to say anything nice about anyone, but I am going to do that anyway. Omar Minaya may have left the Mets with a bunch of bad contracts that severely hamper this team’s chances for significant improvement next season, but he remains one of the nicest people in baseball who doesn’t have many, if any enemies in the game. Even Adam Rubin likes Omar, in spite of what happened last season. He’s a hard worker whose abilities in scouting and talent evaluation will serve him well in his next assignment, whether with the Mets or some other team. Quite simply, Omar Minaya is an impossible person to dislike.

Likewise, Jerry Manuel is a quality person. Some of his strategy might be puzzling, and he should have demanded more accountability from some of his players, but he will move on, the Mets will find a new manager, and Jerry will still be a good man. He has treated everyone within the media with the utmost respect, regardless of how goofy or simply stupid certain questions sent his way might have been. The man doesn’t even swear, at least not within earshot of media people, and believe me, that says plenty about his disposition.

Major league managers have shelf lives shorter than skim milk, so no one can argue that Jerry didn’t get a fair shot. He will probably coach a startup collegiate baseball program near his home in Sacramento, and the kids he teaches will be better for that. He’s a good man, and that’s how I will always think of him, regardless of his record with the Mets.

I’m sorry if I’ve ruined your day with a few kind words on behalf of a couple of internet pinatas, but sometimes we need to remember that there’s more to a man than wins, losses, trades and signings. Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya will be fine, because they are fine people above all else.


One Comment

  1. Big John says:

    Peter K don’t cry, maybe someday the Mets will get it right, but that’s a maybe

  2. Peter K says:

    Good piece, Mr. Rose. I want nothing more than to see the Mets succeed. I just wish someone would figure out how. I’m sick of hearing it from the Yankee fans.

  3. Lou Scala says:

    Well said…Mr. Rose!

  4. acoustic567 says:

    After years of hearing the deafening drool that the media and the blogs throw at us, this piece by Howie Rose was really a breath of fresh air. I think it needed to be said, and it comes from someone with some credibility.

  5. Preaching to the Choir says:

    If the players play then a Willie or a Art or even a Joe can be a winning manager.

  6. Pope John the 4th says:

    yet Willie is the one that took the Mets one swing from the World Series and being that this is sports we’re talking about and not an award for the best feeling manager. You play the game to win and no other reason, Manuel and Omar have failed. Adios, good-by to both.

  7. Chris M says:

    I felt bad for Jerry while watching the game last night and hearing how Joe Torre’s comments affected him. Being the manager of a professional baseball team has got to be the dream job for any baseball fan, I know it would be for me, so in one respect Jerry is extremely lucky. However, the comments and disrespect he has endured by radio talk show hosts and some of the listeners has would probably get to any many. Yet, Jerry has kept his even keeled demeanor throughout it all. As a man, I hope the Mets bring him back especially since they left him hanging these past months. He has had to manage like a guy who is trying to keep his job. I would have a hard time being pleasant without the press reporting on me so, I don’t honestly know how he does it. The players play the game not Jerry we all know that, but he will pay the price. If the players were playing to their potential it would not matter what Jerry did, they would win more than they lost and that is the fact. Is Jerry perfect, hardly, but he is so much better than a Willie Randolph or an Art Howe and would take him any day over those guys. Good Luck Jerry.

  8. Randy says:

    Mr. Rose,
    Thank you. We live in an uncivil time, and sports seems to breed more incivility than other areas of life. I wholeheartedly agree that neither Mr. Minaya nor Mr. Manuel should be back next season and that neither has done a good job, but that is no excuse for vicious personal attacks.

  9. Hugh Stink says:

    Some article. You should review American Idol episodes.

Comments are closed.

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