Home / New York Mets GM Omar Minaya Is Called “Racist”

New York Mets GM Omar Minaya Is Called “Racist”

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The so called “buzz” on NYC sports “talk radio” this week branding Mets GM Omar Minaya a racist is simply ludicrous. However, the people keep calling in with their rants and the radio jocks help feed the flames, so the issue made the newspaper yesterday. In a solid article in the NY Daily News, Bob Rasmussen (who covers the sports radio scene) clearly took the issue apart and showed that this matter is nothing but a lot of hot air (with emphasis on quite an abundance of hot air).

One thing is certainly true about what Minaya has done for the team: he has greatly improved the lineup. Granted there has been a change in demographics, as Rasmussen notes in his piece: “When Minaya arrived, there were eight Latin players on the team. As the Mets head to spring training, there are 18 Latin players on the 40-man roster.” While this seems like a significant increase, it certainly is more a case of quality players being acquired who just happen to be Latin.

The thing that bothers me about these claims the most is that the callers and the wacky jocks are missing the whole point. Ever since Minaya was named GM he has striven to make the Mets a top-notch organization and first-class team. One of the finest ways he moved toward those goals was by appointing Willie Randolph as field manager. Minaya didn’t chose Willie because he is black, and anyone who claims this is the one who might be racist. Willie Randolph was chosen because he had all the right tools and necessary coaching experience to be a fine manager, and it didn’t hurt that he is a native New Yorker who grew up a Mets fan (just like Omar Minaya).

The players that Minaya has acquired since he began his tenure as GM include Paul Lo Duca and Billy Wagner (who are white). The addition of quality players such as Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, Pedro Martinez, and Ramon Castro are part of Minaya’s quest to make the team a serious contender and not, as these callers claim, part of some master plan to recast the Mets on the basis of race.

I am a life-long Mets fan, and I certainly welcome the changes Minaya has brought to Shea. We suffered long enough under Steve Phillips (who is white) and his less than inspiring leadership as GM. Remember his most famous flops: Roberto Alomar, Jeromy Burnitz, and Roger Cedeno? Most notably, Phillips wasted the opportunity of having arguably the best player in Mets franchise history, Mike Piazza, and was never able to build a quality team around him.

The inherent problem with something like “talk radio” is that it’s for the most part blather. The people who somehow get on there usually have something to prove to their friends (or alternately their enemies) who are listening or some kind of axe to grind. I have been listening to these shows for many years, but now I am convinced it’s time to give them up no matter how much I love sports.

I’ve never once felt motivated to call in to these shows, and the reason is that I might care about the situation being discussed, but I’m not so inspired or crazed enough to bother dialing the number and waiting a long time to maybe make it on the air. It’s just not worth my time. One thing these callers seem to indisputably have is plenty of time, and they waste it by calling into these shows and making ignorant and baseless comments. Saying Omar Minaya is a racist is like calling Bigfoot a Rhodes Scholar: it just doesn’t add up or make any sense at all.

This whole thing has made me think more about the power of the spoken word. How can listeners accept it when so many of the callers speak as if they have inside information or know something we don’t? Most of these guys (and the majority on sports talk radio are guys) are probably calling from the back of the bar after a few boilermakers, the corner payphone, or from their cellular phones whilst stuck in traffic. They have opinions and are entitled to them, but “talk radio” takes it to another level because millions of listeners are now hearing what they have to say.

My paternal grandfather once read a crazy story in a tabloid about aliens landing on a farm and believed it was true. When I asked him why he replied, “Because it was in the paper.” Frighteningly enough, he was also convinced that anything he heard on the radio or saw on television had to be true as well. Yes. he came from a very different generation, but sometimes I have a feeling that many people today still are too easily swayed by what they read or, in this case, what they hear.

I do hope this baseless story gets dumped very quickly, but I’m not counting on it. For now, I’m going to stop listening to “talk radio” on the sports channels. Besides, now I have the option to listen to David Lee Roth in the mornings. I no doubt will get a plethora of useful information about a variety of things I can’t even begin to get angry about, and that will be so much better for me.

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About Victor Lana

Victor Lana's stories, articles, and poems have been published in literary magazines and online. His books 'A Death in Prague' (2002), 'Move' (2003), 'The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories' (2005), and 'Like a Passing Shadow' (2009) are available in print, online, and as e-books. His latest books 'If the Fates Allow: New York Christmas Stories,' 'Garden of Ghosts,' and 'Flashes in the Pan' are available exclusively on Amazon. He has won the National Arts Club Award for Poetry, but has concentrated on writing mostly fiction and non-fiction prose in recent years. He has worked as a faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with 'Blogcritics Magazine' since July 2005 and has written well over 500 articles; previously co-head sports editor, he now is a Culture and Society editor. Having traveled extensively, Victor has visited six continents and intends to get to Antarctica someday where he figures a few ideas for new stories await him.
  • JimmyBX

    The racist ANGLO Met fans got their wish after 2010. Omar was removed and replaced with perfect English speaking Ivy League Sisters in Sandy Balderson and Paul DepodesTOOL. Two drafts are complete. While Omar’s kids are keeping the Mets afloat, the POS DepodesTOOL have acquired have been flops. The RACIST Met fan is sitting there DREAMING for 2005-2008 seasons. They won’t get them. This team will be a royal flop as a form of justice. The number of Latinos on the team has dropped and so have the wins. Delgado, Beltran and Jose Reyes are now gone. Soon Santana will be gone as well. #CarefulWhatYouWishFor

  • Mary

    I have to take exception to the claim that most of the best players are Hispanic, that is simply laughable. While there are great Hispanic players, many are not team players, they are too egotistical, and are highly over rated. Most of them swing at anything, and have no concept of winning strategy.

    I have no idea whether Minaya is racist, but I do believe he is discriminating against American players, who happen to be black and white. The Mets have not become a star team, and I don’t believe Minaya deserves to be put up on a pedestal as having achieved anything of merit.

  • Andrew MacEwen

    Whether Omar Minaya is a racist is a matter of opinion. What is not a matter of opinion is the fact that he constantly trades or ignores young and talented white players in favor of washed-up and old Hispanic players. The only reason why he has been given a free ride is because he isn’t white. If Joe Torre had packed the Yankees with paisanos, the liberal media would certainly have called him a racist. Not to mention Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the whole of the NAACP.

  • DK

    Minaya is the one who should’ve been fired. He hired all these over-the-hill hispanic players and overpayed them. The Mets will never win another World Series. They are forever a horrible organization.

  • Craig


    My thoughts exactly! Within two more years Wright will be placed in the center of the team picture in order to offset Omars contrast – this is out of control, and the Wilpons are allowing this alientation of the dedicated fan base to continue! I guess they want to sell more Red Mets hats!

  • dave chowder

    I like string beans

  • Rachel Demes

    “Clearly” unfounded accusations? Look at the Mets 40 man roster just two years after your blog was written. The team is now 86% Latino.


    But Minaya is “clearly” not a racist. (rolling eyes)

  • Darren

    Dont think hes racist but certainly dumping white players for hispanics..case in point..The July 19th trade of Jeff Keppinger for yet another carribean born player, Puerto Rican Ruben Gotay. Obviously, reverse racism as it is, this is perfectly acceptable, but the public outcry of trying to make a team all white would take on national, almost global proportions. Imagine a baseball or basketball team slowly but methodically convert every last player to white..it’s not possible for a white anything these days with unwritten diversity laws.

  • I don’t think Omar is racist, but I find the team being marketed in Spanish to be very offensive. Not because I have any thing against the Spanish language, but because it indicates a corporate attempt to reach the larger Spanish speaking population in NYC. And this too, is fine, and dare I say even welcome in the (very white) suburbs of Long Island. But, and this is a huge but, once you get past the first generation of any immigration group who speaks another language, their children speak English. In fact, the statistics show Hispanic youth speak English because Spanish is the language of their parents, and not “cool.” So if you were trying to reach the youth market (which is what any company wants because they have the most disposable cash and don’t posses brand royalty), you would think the ads would be in English.

    But no. The Mets, clearly working on a marketing plan some white guy came up with to reach Spanish-speaking immigrants, have completely missed the mark. I almost wonder if it is the higher ups, and not Omar, that seek out Hispanic players. After all, did the Mets not launch a new sports channel in an over crowded sport market? You have to sell ads to keep any channel in operation, so niche marketing would be crucial.

    Just some thoughts. I’m a Yankees fan. They don’t care what color you are, or what language you speak. And that is why they will always be the better team. And by the way, as someone who works with inner city school children who are new to this country, they all prefer the Yankees too. Not a shock.

  • Met Fan

    Regarding Steinbrenner, you made my point for me Steinbrenner would put a Giraffe on first if it would help him win and why not. The fact that he would overpay him is irelevant and goes to Steinbrenners business sense not his racial outlook

  • Met Fan

    Omar is a Bigot
    Two Points
    1) Piazza was let go signed with the PAdres for $2 Million and we get LoDuca after two aborted attempts at Hispanic catcher.
    2) Benson traded and Zambrano still on the team?

  • [MR]Chip

    “Saying Omar Minaya is a racist is like calling Bigfoot a Rhodes Scholar: it just doesn’t add up or make any sense at all.”

    Were you looking for the phrase ‘Chewbacca Defense’?

  • I nominate “Smoking, Drinking, Drugs:” by Joanne Kiggins as pick of the week.

  • This story has been chosen as an Editors’ Pick of the Week. You now have the grave yet giddy honor of selecting a story for next week’s best of column if you like (time frame 2/1 – 2/7). Simply leave the title, URL, and a brief description of why you dig it on this week’s post (link above).


  • Jeff

    I am just amazed on how some of you are so defensive and overprotective of Omar. Now I must admit, I am not in NY anymore and can’t listen to your local sports talk, but I have yet to read or hear anyone actually call him a “racist”. Recognizing that he has signed an abundant number of players of Latin descent is not name calling, it is simply totalling the numbers. Saying the NBA is comprised of primarily African-American men is not a racial or gender biased term. If you were to see an Asian playing ice hockey and saying “hey that is out of the ordinary” is not being a racist. Even as simple as noticing an attractive woman from across the room is not being exist, etc, etc..these are observations. I haven’t read anyone denegrate the Hispanic culture of ballplayers at all, that is being a racist. For those of you with blinders on about these abundant numbers I have provided with a list of Omar’s signings. I am a long time, die hard Met fan, and I only want them to win. I don’t care if their whole team is filled with aliens from Saturn in hopes that they can bring a pennant to Shea. I just want Omar to see all players equally. As I’ve said before I am not talking about the superstars in question, it’s the fringe/bench players that are taking up roster spots and blocking minor leaguers. Minus the stars, here is a list of some of Omar’s recent signings.

    Bobby Estalella
    Jeremi Gonzalez
    Jose Santiago
    Julio Franco
    Jose Valentin
    Endy Chavez
    Jorge Julio
    Duaner Snachez
    Jose Parra
    Pedro Feliciano
    Jesus Flores
    Julio Ramirez
    Sany Martinez
    Juan Tejada

  • david r. mark

    I disagree on Delgado. Petit — who I believe is Latino, btw — should, if healthy, be a front-end starter. But Jacobs is the next coming of Shane Spencer, and who knows what will come of Hernandez. He’s well-regarded, but only at Low-A ball.

  • Gomets!

    I think that the comments about the latinization of the Mets is a racist sentiment and is extremely irresponsible on behalf of the talking heads to propogate this myth. If you look around the league at the elite players, many of them are Latin (Pujols, Vlad, A-Rod, Johan Santana, Delgado, Beltran, Manny……). It makes perfect sense that the mets would get more latin players. As met fans aren’t we all tired of getting the crappy ones like Baerga, Luis Lopez, Juan Samuel, Felix Heredia and Josias Manzanillo?

  • It is not like Minaya is trading stellar White players for retread, has-been Latin players. Minaya is trying to improve the Mets. We’ll know if these moves were good in a few months.

    Personally, I think he overpaid in the trade for Delgado and in cash for Wagner.

  • david r. mark

    Mets fans should judge Minaya by the parent club’s won-lost record, and by the quality of the minor-league system — as far as how it helps with trades and supplying talent.

    Beyond that, who cares whether the players are Latino, Black, White or Green?

  • Goose

    “I am writer”
    not a very good one
    I right good n’ stuff.

  • Goose, in the end I guess writing about something and talking about it are similar things, but I think more thought can go into the writing and I would not put myself into the spot of ad libbing about a topic on the air. I am writer, so that’s why I’m here.

  • Fat Muffin Man

    Derek Jeter Is Gay! I was with him and Roberto Alomar last night. Thank you Sir

  • Goose

    So wait a sec, you are above calling into a radio show to discuss these topics, but YOU RUN A BLOG ABOUT THEM ALL DAY LONG.
    I love what Omar is doing with the team. I just want them to win and I’m sure that the team chemistry will be great with all of these guys coming in. But I do understand the racism arguement. If a white GM changed the face of a team, doubling the number of white players, it would be all over the media.

  • Once again, I agree with Suss. What matters most happens on the field, on the base paths, between the foul lines.

    The thing that keeps me excited about baseball is stats. I like putting one player’s numbers up against another’s. I enjoy checking out top ten lists over the years (top ten in homers, RBI, slugging, average, SO, Saves, Innings Pitched, etc.)

    These are the things that qualify baseball, that stay rather constant, and define its appeal for over a hundred years. Stats are not capable of being racist; they are pure and undefiled evidence of a player’s ability that defy intolerance, ignorance, and even the yakkers on talk radio.

  • I could do a census of every 40-man roster in the MLB and break it down by ethnicity, but that would make race a factor in baseball. What’s more of a factor are wins, losses, ERA, getting runners in scoring position, on-base percentage, and quality at bats.

    By the by, Anna Benson is just one of a handful of annoying, large-breasted famous Annas.

  • Met Fan, do you remember Jackie Robinson Day at Shea a couple of years ago? I don’t think the Mets or Minaya disregard the importance of all players to the mix.

    Suss gets it right by indicating the real mosaic that has become the team. I’d prefer this than the days of the past. Remember M. Donald Grant? His idea of talent was when he’d go out in the street, pick up a kid playing stickball, and put him in the farm system. Frank Cashen turned things around a little bit, but he dropped the ball when he let Doc Gooden and Strawberry go (despite their problems, they were loved).

    Minaya is putting a new spin on things and is getting a lot right, except trading the Bensons (see note below). The Mets are a new kind of team. Carlos Beltran even said, “We’re the new Mets.” Hear, hear for that!

    As for Steingrubber, he’d put a giraffe at first base if he thought he’d help him win (and pay 20 million per year for six years). Is that good baseball or just throwing money around?

    And RJ, I don’t think a white GM in the NBA has the same worries as a GM in MLB. Go to Madison Square Garden and watch the Knicks (lots of fans are there). Still, I guess it might be second guessed, just as what Minaya has been doing has been.

    By the way, yesterday in the sports section of The New York Times there were two articles about this topic. For the first time I found out where the controversy started: Anna Benson. In a news conference after Kris was traded to the Orioles, she claimed that Minaya was trying to “Latinize” the Mets. Sports “talk radio” picked up on it, so here we are!

  • Quick question:

    I have read a lot here about how Minaya’s controversial moves might be partially-motivated by an effort to “expand the fan base.” And no one seems to object to this.

    If that’s the case, would a white GM of an NBA team be let off the hook for bringing in a lot more white players, if it was part of an effort to “expand the fan base?”

  • Yes, how care Omar Minaya discriminate against white, black and Asian players by getting trading them all away. People like David Wright, Kaz Matsui, Paul Lo Duca, Cliff Floyd, Billy Wagner, Tom Glavine, and Steve Trachsel. What a racist. The nerve.

  • Met Fan

    What Omar is doing is disgusting, my 7 year old just finished a report for School on Jackie Robinson and to see blatent favoritism for people of “his kind” is nausiating. I am a long time Met fan and by no means a Yankee lover but I have to give Steinbrenner his due, when he looks for a player he looks for what he feels is the best player, not the best white , black or brown player. I for one am glad to see this discussion out in the open where it belongs and to show what a bigot Omar Minaya is.

  • Elliot,

    You bring up great points to strengthen my argument. Minaya has a vision for the team and also wants to expand its fan base. Nothing wrong with that. He is also protecting Lastings Millidge (black minor leaguer) even though he has been requested in almost every trade discussion. He could have probably swung the Manny Ramierez trade if he included Lastings and did not.

    Minaya said himself last week that he couldn’t believe it was 2006 and we were still having this conversation (about racism and the like). Sadly, because of the intolerant and ignorant people in the world, the conversation unfortunately continues.

  • Elliot S

    None of the moves I’ve seen Minaya make have ever taken me aback as far as possible favoritism. Once we pan back to the larger picture we see this trend and begin to wonder, but each of the individual moves have had some sort of logical thought (whether you agree or not) beyond homeland.

    Pedro, Beltran, and Delgado were all obvious moves that were universally praised. What better ideas were there to fill their particular spots that weren’t latino? The obviously-inferior Thome instead of Delgado? Millwood instead of Pedro? Come on.

    The decision to use Castro instead of Wilson/Phillips (yeah I get the joke) paid off wonderfully. Roberto Hernandez was a typical low-risk non-roster invitee who earned his way into the pen and proved his worth all year. Signing Franco makes perfect sense, in my mind he’s the league’s top pinch hitter. The Valentin contract isn’t too smart, but then again neither is the Bret Boone deal and I’m pretty sure he’s white.

    Minaya not only passed up on getting one of the two premiere Latino catchers on the market, but traded a top Dominican prospect to get white Lo Duca. That’s the deal-breaker for me as far as this argument goes. If ethnicity was any real factor in the decision, Hernandez or Molina would be a Met right now; in fact no one linked the Mets to Lo Duca at any point until the deal went through.

  • Felipe, wasn’t your other brother Chico Escuela? Baseball was very good to him, you know. And you too, it would seem.

    By the way, after Tug McGraw, Ed Kranepool, and Willie Agee, Chico is my favorite all-time Met.

    You gotta believe, man!

  • Felipe Alou

    Thanks for the compliments, but I only tell the truth!

    Victor: I know I have a brother named Jesus, but I can’t remember the name of my other brother.

    But don’t you dare say my mind has turned to cream of wheat. I’ll start publicly saying you should go to hell if you do so.

    Unless you are Dominican!

    Dominicans can do no wrong!!!

  • Chris

    While I don’t think Minaya is racist, I do think there was enough smoke there to cause this fire he is now dealing with. The moves of Delgado, Beltran or even A. Hernandez don’t bother me one bit. It’s the smaller moves that caught me off guard. I got a little worried when I see Minaya pass on Eric Byrnes for Endy Chavez?!?! Pursuing Hernandez and Molina before settling for LoDuca. Signing injury prone, hole-in-my-glove Jose Valetin? The biggest eyebrow raiser was Minaya doing everything to protect Zambrano. I thought he warranted shipping before anyone. If Minaya really wants to prove himself to be the guy who really, really clears the air of Steve Philip and Jim Duquette’s stink, then he should get rid of Zambrano, who is arguably the biggest embarrassment ever in Mets history considering what we gave up for him. The trade was universally panned, cost Duquette his job and made Minaya’s job that much harder in pursuing free agents.

    On a separate note, I am not sure it’s appropriate how Minaya has been marketing Los Mets. It’s kinda silly if you ask me. It shouldn’t matter who is on the team and what race they are. He said it himself. If ithat’s true, then I don’t think there is any reason to specifically market towards ANY race or ethnic group. The fact that he is Latin and he’s marketing towards the Latin fanbase only encouraged people to pick on him about the subject.

    Lastly, I was watching the 86 Mets video “A Year to Remember” recently. It was interesting to see how the black stars highlights like Gooden, Straw and Mitchell were minimal when comapared to Carter, Knight, Dykstra and Hernandez. I don’t think it was by coincidence either. It was a shame to see.

  • Jeff

    I would not call Omar a racist but I would call him a “favortist”. There is absolutely no question he favors the Hispanic player. It doesn’t mean he is incompetent, I just want him to admit to it. An incorrect statement Victor are your numbers based strictly on the 40 man roster. Omar has signed multiple other Latin players that aren’t even protected on the 40 man. The totals will go up even higher. This is not intended that EVERY player will be Latin. Whether it’s because of contacts, scouts, increase attendance or other reason, just fess up already. I don’t think anyone has a problem with the acquistions of the higher caliber player the questions arise from the bench, fringe players ie.J. Franco, J. Valentin, E. Chavez.

  • Sean Holihan

    You’ll have to forgive me if I comment, I’m new here via Metsblog. But, did you just say that Jason Phillips and Vance Wilson were “great, if not solid and very proven?”

    I mean, hey, I liked Wilson and Phillips too…but Phillips just signed a minor league contract with the Blue Jays after losing his job with the Dodgers. And you’re going to complain about Hernandez for Wilson?! Wilson hit below the Mendoza line last year for the Tigers. Hernandez may just be the secondbaseman of the future for the Mets. Kind of a good trade for us I think.

  • One of Omar Minaya’s first moves last year was to sign Ramon Castro to be backup catcher, a guy who batted near the Mendoza line the year before and had a career average under .220. However, he was Hispanic, while Vance Wilson and Jason Phillips—two if not great, very solid and proven backup backstops—weren’t. The logic behind this head-scratcher of a move, was that Omar wanted a Spanish-speaking catcher to make his prize free-agent Pedro Martinez feel more comfortable. A few weeks later, the now-expendable Wilson was traded for another latino, Anderson Hernandez.

    I don’t think these moves, or the ones following, make Omar a racist. I do believe that he acquires latinos for two reasons: one, because it makes sense to make the Mets more appealing to New York hispanics, considering that hispanics are the largest demographic population in NYC. Second, and more to the point, Omar’s network of baseball scouts, players, friends, and confidants happen to be hispanic, and these people—not surprisingly—have very thorough reports and knowledge of latin ballplayers. So can you blame the guy for going with information he knows and trusts?

    At the same time, I think it’s fair to examine (not accuse) what Omar’s doing and question it (not criticize), find out more, and end the inquiry when satisfactory answers come forth. If we are allowed to question why there aren’t many hispanic GMs, or black head NFL coaches, or Jewish NBA players, then we are allowed to ask why so many latins are coming to the Mets.

  • It’s gonna be interesting to see if the Metropolitan pitching staff can hold up.

    Many of their weak points were addressed: bullpen, a successor to Piazza, and a first baseman. I don’t think the rumored Manny Ramirez deal would have benefited them.

    But now that Kris Benson is gone, what about their starting rotation. Pedro Martinez is good for 17 wins, but beyond that it’s Glavine, Trachsel, Heilman and Zambrano. Old in the front, young in the back. Not sure what to make of it.

  • All I can say is that I have been in a managerial role (as a school building principal). I simply sought the best people for my school. I would have hired a green Martian if he/she were a superb teacher.

    I think everyone is missing the fact that Minaya is trying to acquire the best talent around. If these players happen to be Hispanic, so be it.

  • MCH

    “Omar Minaya is a hispanic. In his brief tenure, he has changed the composition of the Mets from 20% to 45% hispanic.”


    “I mean give me a break, it is obvious what he is doing.”


    Umm, you mean, like trying to build a more competitive ballclub…?

  • J

    Minaya definitely favors Hispanic players. Everytime a player is rumored to be coming here, they are Hispanic. Mannu Ramirez, Sammy Sosa, Julio Lugo. I mean give me a break, it is obvious what he is doing.


    Victor, did you read Joel Shermans Article in today’s NY Post? I think is was better than Raissman’s. He summerized it point by point.

  • Thanks to a heads up, I want to correct the name of the Daily News writer. It’s Bob Raissman. I apologize for not noticing this sooner.

  • I love these comments, Felipe. I just need to tell you that you are my favorite Alou brother (I don’t even remember the other guys’ names). I wish you would bring your talent for managing east and work for Mr. Steingrabber. You’d be perfect together!


    Great post Victor! “Felipe” you had me crying with laughter. Oh man, not that’s what I call sarcasum. Pricelist. You should be writing for the Daily Show.

  • Roger

    Hilarious post “Felipe.” You had me dying, although most with their east-coast bias won’t get it.

  • Felipe Alou

    Omar racist? No way, not like me. I am the epitome of racist. Because I am from the Dominican, I love Dominican players and my Giants have my real son (Moises) and my “Adopted” son (Pedro Feliz, also a dominican).

    No matter how much these two stink it up, they will always start because I love Dominicans. The only way I would bench them is if I had Albert Pujols, who by the way, is also Dominican.

    I don’t care if the gringo on my bench would hit 50 HR playing 3B, I love Pedro Feliz. He the Dominican Barry Bonds.

    But you know what, I may be old but if you say my mind has turned to “Cream of wheat,” I’ll get you fired from your radio station. I promise…unless you are Dominican, of course!

    – Felipe Alou
    Skipper for the San Francisco Giants (although I concede that long-in-waiting bench coach Ron Wotus should run this team, I am beloved here, no matter how much I suck)

  • MIke, you hit on something some of the callers were saying. They claim Minaya is “racist” because he wants to attract a “new fan base” (which would be all those Latin people living in NYC).

    My thought on this is that the whole thing has nothing to do with racism; it has to do with common sense. Delgado is going to hit dingers and win games: pure, simple logic. If his presence also puts people in the seats, gets more people to sign up for the new Mets channel, and whatever else, who cares. That’s business (and very good business I might add).

    Many years ago I can remember going to games when the Dodgers were in town and Fernando Valenzuela was pitching. It was always a packed house. Was it because he was Latin? Or was it because he was a great pitcher? I think the latter is the answer.

    Who puts people in the seats? Last year, Pedro MArtinez surely did whenever he started a game. Big talent, big crowd!

  • MIke

    I don’t think Omar is racist. What Omar did is improved the team. He sign Billy Wagner (Good move) not latin. He adquire Carlos Delgado the excellent fit for our team not matter if he is latin or whatever. By the way I think Mets owners don’t have any problems looking for more latin players, since it’s also a marketing strategy to attract millions of latins from new york to shea.

  • I did call on sports radio shows when I was younger, and was on a few of them in college. There are some shows that are insightful, and others that are run by hacks.
    It usually takes 10 seconds to figure out which is which.
    In this day and age, I’d find it hard to believe someone could be a general manager and be racist. To be a general manager is a direct result of having an eye for talent. General managers want players who will boost wins and ticket sales. If they had any other ambition, they would not have risen to the spot.
    But controversies make ratings and increase exposure. Radio hosts will use them, especially if they lack talent or real skills.

  • Thanks for the comments, Sal. You know, in Raismussen’s column he said that Minaya could put “five groundhogs and four billy goats on the field” and all that really matters is that the team wins.

    There is a sort of reverse racism in these comments about Minaya. Whoever is feeding this frenzy should try to remember the “lily white” days of the old Mets when they lost 100+ games every year.

    As a Mets fan, I am grateful for a man of Minaya’s caliber, intelligence, and ability as GM of the team. His race or religion does not matter to me and should not be an issue for any real Mets fan (or anyone else for that matter).

  • sal m

    this is such a non issue…but thanks to the airheads at WFAN – mike and the mad dog – and the local “talent” on ESPN radio – this drum beat of stupidity continues.

    victor, the fact that you’ve never called in to one of these shows speaks volumes and adds to your credibility on this – and any – issue.

    the hosts of these shows just like to stir up garbage so they can fill air time…by comparison if you listen to the national versions of ESPN and Fox Sports Net you get a much more mature and even handed discussion of sports – thank goodness for satellite radio!

    the bottom line is that most of the best players in the league are hispanic, so as a lifelong met fan i would expect ANY met GM of any extraction to go after hispanics. perhaps the reason so many hispanics have signed with the team has something to do with how mr minaya relates to these guys. on top of that, with the largest hispanic population in the country, it makes great business sense to include hispanics on any new york team.

    and i also agree with victor that to cry racism is unfair to omar. the bottom line is, “is the team better? we’ll see come october.

  • Your point is well taken, RJ. But I was thinking of other areas too. There are only 6 black head coaches in the NFL, but about 70% of the players are black. Interesting?

    Minaya is the first Hispanic GM in MLB, and that’s a good thing. It’s just that these kinds of accusations, while clearly unfounded, are not representative of the great job he has been doing.

  • “When Minaya arrived, there were eight Latin players on the team. As the Mets head to spring training, there are 18 Latin players on the 40-man roster.”

    Omar Minaya is a hispanic. In his brief tenure, he has changed the composition of the Mets from 20% to 45% hispanic.

    I’m not saying he’s racist. In fact, I highly doubt it.

    But if, say, a white GM more than doubled the white composition of an NBA team (from, say, 2 to 5 players), I would expect some backlash from the peanut gallery.