When news broke last month that the New York Mets, led by GM Omar (the Maniacal) Minaya, signed Clint Everts, a minor league pitcher for the Washington Nationals, most of the reaction by the Mets faithful was ho-hum.
At least this signing wasn’t another back up catcher like Chris Coste and Henry Blanco.
The Mets did say this off season was going to be spent looking for a left fielder (Jason Bay – check), catching and pitching. What Met fans did not realize that by pitching, they meant the career minor leaguer Everts.
Who ever heard of this guy, a Washington Nationals reject?
Actually, I have and wrote about him (although he was a spare part to the story) on several occasions.
Clint Everts* was the first ever draft pick (5th overall) in 2002 by Omar Minaya when he was GM of the (then) Montreal Expos. Coupled with the acquisition of Jason Bay, it appears Omar really loves to have his old chums back in the fold.
Minaya chose Everts over such also rans as Zach Greinke (6th – one pick later), Prince Fielder (7th), Jeff Francis (9th), Jeremy Hermida (11th), Joe Saunders (12th), Scott Kazmir (15th – Mets), Nick Swisher (16th), Cole Hamels (17th), James Loney (19th), Denard Span (20th), Jeff Francoeur (23rd), Joe Blanton (24th) and Matt Cain (25th).
*Interestingly, Everts played HS baseball with Kazmir. Imagine two high school players both chosen that high in the draft? (That also happened in 2007 when Mike Moustakas was taken second overall by the Kansas City Royals and his teammate Matt Dominguez was taken 12th overall by the Florida Marlins.)
Kazmir was traded away to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, a trade which cost the job of GM Jim Duquette. Minaya then replaced Duquette as Mets GM.
See how everything comes full circle in baseball? Minaya has very few of his drafted players which have made the majors, with virtually no players making an impact. Mike Pelfrey is the best Minaya draftee thus far.
For all his supposed scouting prowess, Minaya is a terrible drafter.
I wonder if all those ex-Expos guys like Bay, Everts, and Orlando Cabrera (Why not Omar?, Cabrera is Latino and once played for you in Montreal) are making the 360 degree turn and coming back. Why does Omar insist on bringing back all his former players that he once rid himself?
Because Omar never has, is not now or never will be a good General Manager.
A little refresher course on how Omar became a MLB General Manager. He was assistant GM of the Mets and interviewed for several GM jobs which had opened up.
Minaya interviewed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1998, then interviewed with the Colorado Rockies, Seattle Mariners, Anaheim Angels, Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers (his old team which gave him his start).
All for their open GM positions!
And no one wanted him, as John Houseman would say, the old fashioned way…by earning it! Even the lowly Pirates, probably the worst managed organization in baseball did not want Omar to head their team, to be the face of their franchise!
Looking back at this past season, with all the terrible press conferences he held where Omar had a terrible UZR on the English language, most likely did not help him in the interview process.
Despite all the people throughout baseball who thought Omar was a great guy and terrific ambassador type for baseball with the Latin community, he still did not impress enough to warrant a real, earned job.
But in December 2001, MLB wanted to contract two teams from its “roster.” One targeted team was the Montreal Expos (the other was the Minnesota Twins). MLB wanted to appease the Expos owner Jeffrey Loria so when the Boston Red Sox franchise became available, MLB allowed Florida Marlins owner John Henry to buy them. Then the Marlins were purchased by Loria and MLB assumed the ownership of the Expos.
A nice, tidy, three way swap.
But since MLB was desiring to have their first Latino GM, it was a great triangle for MLB as they get to kill two birds with one stone. They would rid themselves of two undesirable franchises and hire themselves MLB’s first Latino GM, something Bud Selig was being pressured to do.
All involved knew that contraction was NOT going to happen due to the Minnesota lawsuit, and the likely result was that both teams, but primarily Montreal, were going to switch cities. Even though the franchise would remain viable, MLB allowed Minaya to make terrible trades as Montreal GM which continues to ruin the franchise even today after the team moved to Washington.
And now Minaya has continued his trend of ruining teams by running the New York Mets into the ground. His total lack of player development has put the Mets into a Ponzi scheme type hole of continuously needing to sign big money free agents to fill needs.
With his job on the line Minaya continued that trend by signing Jason Bay and Everts, of course.
Why would Mets ownership continue to put their future into Minaya’s hands knowing he is desperate save his job? Desperate men do desperate things, which is detrimental to the future of the organization. If Minaya fails this season and gets fired, he will NEVER get another top job within baseball.
But at least Clint Everts will still be working.