According to New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya, Daily News reporter Adam Rubin wanted to come to work for the team in player development, and his rebuffed efforts led to Rubin writing critical stories about assistant general manager Tony Bernazard that led to Bernarzard’s firing on Monday.
He made this charge in a press conference Monday that turned into a shouting match between Minaya — the former Montreal Expos GM before the franchise moved to Washington — and Rubin.
We don’t have press conferences like that in Washington. No one in the press box at Nationals Park is lobbying to work for this organization, as far as I know.
Then again, maybe it just never occured to any of us to ask.
So what the heck, I’ll take a shot:
Dear Mr. Kasten,
I would like to be considered for the job as general manager of the Washington Nationals.
Minaya may have been way off base in his suggestion that Rubin wrote the story about Bernazard to get back at the Mets for not hiring him. If he is like most reporters I know, he wrote it because it is a good story — a club official behaving in what can best be described as erratic, throwing clubhouse tantrums and challenging minor league players to fights.
But there is enough smoke to suggest that Rubin stepped over the line somewhere with people in the organization about possibly working for the team.
The Daily News reported that Rubin talked to scouts and a lot of baseball people on several different teams “over some time about possible routes into the development business at some future time. Beat reporters spend a lot of time talking about stuff with baseball guys during the eight months a year they cover the sport. There is considerable chatting, in both directions.
“Rubin never expected to be instantly anointed head of player development for any major league team, let alone the Mets,” the News wrote. “As Rubin says, he isn’t George Costanza.”
He may not be. But those are conversations you can’t have if you are a beat writer — or else you find yourself with your motives being questioned, like Minaya did on Monday.
It is not unprecendented for writers to make the transition to the management in the sport they cover. A Washington Times alumni, Marty Hurney, covered the Redskins in the 1980s and then went to work for general manager Bobby Beathard when Beathard left Washington to run the San Diego Chargers. Hurney is now the general manager of the Carolina Panthers.
Frank Cashen, who built those great New York Mets teams of the 1980s, had been a sportswriter at The Baltimore News-American years before. Baseball commissioner Ford Frick had been a sportswriter.
So I will put my hat in the ring, and if anyone questions my motives, let me reveal them right now — I just want to drive Jim Bowden’s Nationals Segway.
Tune in Monday through Friday from noon to 2 p;m. to listen to The Sports Fix, co-hosted by myself and Kevin Sheehan, on ESPN 980 AM Washington.
To learn more about Thom Loverro, go to www.thomloverro.com