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Adam, Tony, and Omar

By Matt Himelfarb
Posted Monday, July 27, 2009

Talk about dropping a bombshell.

There’s undoubtedly more that will come out of this within the coming days. My initial reaction, however, is that Omar's already been told he is gone by the end of the year, and he wants to bring Rubin down with him.

For one, it's kind of ridiculous for Omar to call into question Rubin's objectivity; by firing Bernazard, he more or less acknowledges that his reporting was true. Either that, or fact based reporting is the new power grab and Sean Hannity’s been vindicated.

Omar clearly has an axe to grind with Rubin. It's a personal grudge. Had Rubin not broke the Bernazard stories, Omar might have been able to keep the lid on Bernazard's bizarre behavior, and ultimately his job. Whether he is really distressed to see Bernazard leave is debatable. Regardless, the popular perception is that Omar brought Bernazard aboard. Even if that isn't true- that Bernazard was, in fact, a hiring forced upon him by the Wilpon's buddies in the commissioners office- Omar, as General Manager, has to take the fall for Bernazard's actions.

I don't think Omar would have called out Rubin if there were any chance he would retain his job. It's beyond unprofessional to call out a reporter at a news conference, to put it euphemistically. You could argue it's more embarrassing than anything Bernazard did. It seems as though he's doing this to get back at Rubin for basically costing his job, plain and simple.

Maybe Omar's job is still safe, indicating that he took Bernazard's firing to heart. Or the Wilpon’s are just using him as their whipping boy for the time being. At any rate, Rubin’s made his case- the burden of proof is on them now. Omar is yet to articulate his position, but the media’s going to haunt him until he does. Omar’s just nailed his own coffin.

Of course, if it really did pain Omar to fire Bernazard, it kind of goes against the theory of factions developing in the front office between people supporting more autonomy for Omar and those pushing for Bernzard to have the Wilpon's ear. I would at least imagine everyone's job in the front office, and the Wilpon’s reputation, is in jeopardy now because of Rubin's reporting

Thus, maybe the Mets have launched a united front against Rubin. If they can find- or fabricate, for that matter- ample proof that Rubin was angling for a job in the Mets organization, or resented Bernazard or whoever else was close with him in Player Development for not hiring him on a previous occasion, than it damages Rubin's credibility. Right now, however, it looks as though their plan of attack is for Rubin to prove a negative.

And no one’s giving Omar the benefit of the doubt either.

It's likely someone's been carefully crafting this story for some time now, finding allies in the Media like the New York Post's Bart Hubbach. The Post-News rivalry is enough of an incentive for Hubbuch to do Omar and co.’s dirty work. If you recall, Hubbuch, after being nailed by Keith Olbermann last year over Jerry Manuel’s fertilizer comments, called Rubin a “gutless, sycophantic counterpart.” When asked last Wednesday why Rubin and the Daily News have a propensity to publish Bernazard stories, Hubbach said, “I'm not going to get into a "p" match with the Daily News or defend Bernazard, but I will tell you there is a bit an agenda there. Someone's taking this awfully personal.” He was also singing the organization’s tune when it came to Bernazard, saying, “He's not the most pleasant person I've ever dealt with, but it's more of him scowling all the time rather than him being openly angry. He's actually a quiet guy, at least the times I've been around him.”

Thanks for pointing out he’s not Sean Casey, Bart.

Jon Heyman, who has been working for SNY and WFAN for awhile now, also voiced skepticism about the Daily News’s habit a couple days back; although to his credit he was fairly supportive of Rubin after the press conference. Ohm Youngmisuk and Roger Rubin from the Daily News obviously had Rubin’s back. Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez, who really have nothing lose given their stature, also supported Rubin.

In other words, the Mets might as well have attacked a popular professor on sabbatical.

All in all, it looks like Omar, the Wilpon’s, and everyone else took a reactionary stance, and they're going to pay for it. Congratulations to Adam for bringing down Tony Bernazard- and perhaps an inept GM as well.

 

You can contact matt at: matthimelfarb@gmail.com and read his blog

 
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