Defending Omar Minaya?

In a column in the Daily News on Saturday, Filip Bondy ran down the “scandals and setbacks” of New York’s sports teams in 2010. Among the many baffling comments (in writing about the LeBron James scandal, for example,  he calls Cleveland “just another New York suburb”), is the one he wrote about the firings and Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel:

Many fans view these dismissals as a positive, but Minaya in particular represented a long-term commitment by the Mets to recruit and sign players from all over North and Central America. He stuck his neck out with minority hires. The Mets quickly dived back into the good-old-boy network to find replacements, Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins.

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Is Bondy saying that Minaya should have kept his job because he is a minority and brought in minority players and front office personnel? And is he criticizing the Wilpons for hiring white men as GM and manager? It certainly seems that is what he is saying.

I guess Bondy doesn’t look any further than the color of a person’s skin while evaluating their performance. Many of the moves Minaya made — moves that involved both minority and white players — did not work. That’s why he was fired, and deservedly so. The same goes for Manuel, who was a horrible manager, whether he was black and or white or green or blue.

There are definitely inequities in hiring in baseball, as well as every other sport. Most front office members are white, but all sports have taken measures to change that. And that’s a  good thing. But to suggest that a minority should keep his job simply because he is  a minority is just plain wrong, as is the suggestion that another minority should be hired to replace him.

In Alderson and Collins, the Mets went out and hired the people they thought were best for their respective  jobs — the same thinking that led to Minaya’s and Manuel’s hirings in the first place. I doubt the color of their skin played any role in the decisions.

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