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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Yet Another Sterling Example

The only surprise, one supposes, is it didn’t happen at three in the morning.

No, this time it was around 3:45 in the afternoon, televising the execution live on their own network. They planned to off Tony Bernazard. Instead they shot themselves in the foot — a foot that must be made of titanium.

They shot off their original feet long ago.

They did it again, didn’t they? And when you think of the Mets doing it again, the initial inference you make is never “you mean they won another ballgame in exciting fashion?”

Yet somewhere in there Monday, they did that, too. It was indeed exciting, almost thrilling, the way several Mets players built a little rally in the eighth inning, setting the stage for a big blast by a nice man who hasn’t given them much in 2009. Fernando Tatis had become synonymous with double play. Now you can reclassify him under clutch grand slam, one that beat the Rockies, one that closed the Mets’ remotely plausible deficit for the Wild Card to 6½ games. They’re still behind seven teams, they’re still teetering on the brink of contention extinction, they’ve still got quite a hole out of which to dig themselves before we can say they have redeemed what has been, up to now, a lost season.

Spending a few hours at Citi Field watching the Mets beat Colorado 7-3 was a lovely distraction from the way the Mets braintrust conducted itself Monday. But it’s not supposed to work that way. The baseball players and the baseball games are supposed to be the focus of our attention. If we know who any of these people in suits (or out of their shirts) are, it’s because we bought the yearbook and didn’t flip straight past those first few pages with their pictures. Men like Omar Minaya and Tony Bernazard shouldn’t be our concern. Even in this hyperattentive age when those holding their job titles will inevitably step into the spotlight’s glare, we don’t much care about them as a rule. Make a good trade, sign the right free agent, don’t screw up the draft is about the extent of our interest in the Executive Vice President & General Manager or the Vice President, Player Development.

As much attention as I pay to the Mets, I wasn’t much more than mordantly amused by the Bernazard escapades at first.

• He yelled at someone who worked for him because someone was sitting in his seat? Tacky, but all kinds of idiots get in positions where in they can abuse their underlings and it unfortunately happens. I didn’t know if it was news, but it was certainly bad form.

• He challenged minor leaguers to bare-chested brawls? Sounded unseemly, but what do I know about jocks and motivational tactics? Not textbook management, to be sure, but if it somehow worked, it would seem old-school charming in its way.

• The thing I read Sunday, however, by Adam Rubin (now the world’s most famous baseball beat reporter, if in fact he is still a baseball beat reporter), really bothered me. It was the “bus driver story,” which you can read here; the essence is Tony Bernazard was rude, crude and a world-class jerk to a clubhouse guy on another team for no reason other than he could be. This was not his “deputy,” nor was it a group of Binghamton Mets technically under his jurisdiction. This was the Lakewood BlueClaws’ Clubhouse guy— someone Big Shirtless Ton’ judged not worthy of an answer to the innocent question, “Can I help you?”

About then, I was asking myself, “What is the net benefit of keeping Tony Bernazard?” I hadn’t noticed a cascade of prospects landing at Shea Stadium or heading toward Citi Field on Bernazard’s watch. From a cold, hard self-interest perspective, was Tony Bernazard some kind of baseball wizard whose outbursts were worth indulging as idiosyncrasies because he was going to make my team better? Even if he was (and you can form your own judgment from some evidence presented here), I became less and less interested in divining Tony Bernazard’s magic or acumen or whatever it was that made the Mets value him. Perhaps if the Mets were more successful these sorts of stories wouldn’t seem so damning. Then again, stories like these probably give a pretty good hint as to why the Mets aren’t all that successful.

Personal conclusion: I didn’t want him associated with my team. I felt dirty knowing the team I love was employing somebody reported and corroborated as behaving this badly.

Yet I didn’t feel nearly as dirty rooting for a team that gave Tony Bernazard major responsibility as I did when they got around to firing him.

I’ve always looked for the silver lining with Omar Minaya. I’ve disagreed with many of his decisions and have thought, particularly since the Willie Randolph firing, that he is the wrong man to face a camera or a microphone under duress. But I bought into the idea that he turned the Mets around. He signed Pedro. He signed the first Carlos. He eventually got the second Carlos and then Billy Wagner and then Paul Lo Duca. He didn’t trade David Wright or Jose Reyes, something I’m convinced Steve Phillips would have done. Just for not being Steve Phillips I liked Omar. I liked Omar’s biography, the Queens roots, the experience with the Mets when they were winning in ’99 and ’00, the good college try he gave it with the Expos. We had turned pathetic under Phillips and Jim Duquette seemed overmatched. I bought into Omar.

When I buy in, I buy in for the long term. I cut slack if you’ve given me some reason to recall why I wanted you around in the first place. On some level, I’m still grateful to Fred Wilpon for being part of the ownership group that rescued my team from the deterioration of the de Roulet era. Sterling Equities has probably done more harm than good to the franchise since taking over completely early in this decade, but I keep thinking about what it was like before Fred Wilpon (and Nelson Doubleday) arrived in 1980 and can’t let that residual gratitude evaporate altogether. Same for Omar. Omar arrived in October 2004 and things got better. Things peaked in October 2006 because, I believe, Omar made many good moves. Since then he’s made many bad moves, but I want to believe that the man who rescued us from the abyss is still the man in charge, that’s he a competent executive and a decent person and that he’s capable of returning us to where it seemed we were headed.

I no longer believe that.

Omar Minaya has surpassed the realm of clumsy statements and questionable deals. He has revealed himself — to borrow a phrase that would make the Dodgercentric chairman and chief executive of the New York Mets officer tingle with joy — a bum. He has crafted an inept baseball apparatus, entrusted authority to a lowlife in Bernazard and then, when all else failed, blamed somebody else for his problems.

He blamed the media. It’s what politicians do. Vice presidents and would-be vice presidents have been doing it for ages, and what is Executive Vice President Omar Minaya if not the most lugubrious of politicians at this point? He was the guy who tried to spin two consecutive final-week, final-day choke jobs as strong second-place finishes. About the only thing he did with grace the last two years was not drop the oversized novelty checks as he handed out ginormous contracts to Johan Santana and Francisco Rodriguez.

So now Tony Bernazard (internal investigative findings notwithstanding) is Adam Rubin’s fault. Adam Rubin, if you keep up with what beat writers produce, is the class of the Mets press corps. This is not a latter-day Dick Young or a peer in any tangible way of Wally Matthews. This is not someone who publicly pushes a personal agenda. This is a reporter who does his legwork and presents the facts he’s found in a straightforward manner. If he learned a top Mets executive was making an ass of himself, Rubin looked into it. When he found there was something to it, he published it.

There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s what the media does. It pursues stories. It pursues stories that make you happy if the circumstances add up to “good” news, and it pursues stories that will inevitably constitute “bad” news. For six years I’ve read Adam Rubin. I’ve never once thought, “This is a guy who’s out to get somebody.”

When Omar Minaya flat-out accused Adam Rubin of writing stories about Tony Bernazard’s antics as a way to clear space on the Mets’ payroll for Adam Rubin to succeed him as VP of player development, Omar Minaya crossed to the dark side. Dark and dim. It was, as Rubin put it uncomfortably in the aftermath of the press conference that I hope we Mets fans can look back on someday as Omar Minaya’s richly deserved Waterloo, deplorable.

It was deplorable because it was a shot at someone for doing his job. Adam Rubin works for the Daily News, not the New York Mets.

It was deplorable because it defames someone who, reading him regularly indicates, is a good reporter with an excellent track record when it comes to his beat.

It was deplorable because the Mets don’t get how much good they derive from those pesky reporters informing the ticket-buying public of their every move, flattering or not.

It was deplorable because it makes no sense that Rubin — if we are to believe he was after Bernazard’s job — would seek it by writing for mass consumption one article after another that put his theoretical prospective employer in a bad light.

It was deplorable because it revealed that the Mets have zero sense of media relations or public relations savvy. Does anyone prepare Omar Minaya for these press availabilities?

And maybe it was deplorable because someone did prepare him.

I can’t quite get past the use of one word in particular Omar repeated several times…and no, it wasn’t “investigate”. It was “lobby”. As transcribed by Amazin’ Avenue, Omar lobbed his grenade as thus:

Adam, for the past couple of years, has lobb[ied] for a player development position. He has lobb[ied] myself, he has lobb[ied] Tony.

Lobbied. (Or “lobby” as Omar pronounced it in the past tense.) It struck me as a strange choice of phrasing. It could mean nothing — maybe he walks around the office saying “lobby” or “lobbied” all the time — but it didn’t sound like a natural word for Omar Minaya to toss around in conversation. There was even the slightest pause before he spit it out the first time.

What it sounded like was a talking point, the kind politicians use ad infinitum on talking head shows; the kind that is intended to spread virally so it will become woven into the discussion, a discussion you wish framed on your terms; the kind consultants drill into their clients for maximum impact in the hopes that if it is repeated enough, it will begin to sink in as fact.

If Omar Minaya says “Adam Rubin has asked how you get a job in baseball,” it doesn’t sound particularly nefarious. If Omar Minaya says “Adam Rubin has lobbied…” that’s a whole lot more proactive and opens up the question of a reporter’s motive beyond trying to nail down a story. Now suddenly Adam Rubin isn’t some innocent byline in the News. Adam Rubin is an underhanded sneak who dared to gasp…lobby! the Mets for Tony Bernazard’s job.

As much as it appears Omar went off the reservation in attacking Rubin, his fondness for “lobby” hints, to me anyway, that there might have been more here: that, even with Jeff Wilpon materializing Monday night to tut-tut the notion that Adam Rubin did anything wrong, somebody worked with Minaya not just on a clean, legalese statement about Bernazard but on the most effective way to malign Rubin.

What I’m thinking is this was a coordinated effort to “get” a reporter who wrote things that made the Mets uncomfortable. If my inkling is anything close to right, then I feel even dirtier being a Mets fan now than I did after I heard the accusations in the first place.

Minaya later said he shouldn’t have chosen this “forum” to say what he did about Rubin. Well, no, you shouldn’t have — unless you thought you could get away with it, which you clearly didn’t. If a conflict of interest is what truly distressed the general manager, there were ways to approach it. You talk to Rubin. You talk to Rubin’s editor. You whisper in a competitor’s ear that “you know, there’s a reason Adam’s all over this alleged story.” You sure as hell don’t step on your own Tony Bernazard damage control press conference and turn it into an attack on Adam Rubin’s character.

That’s not baseball. That’s not media relations. That’s politics at its worst. And that’s, per the way this organization runs itself continually into the ground, incredibly deplorable.

Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets, is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or a bookstore near you. Keep in touch and join the discussion on Facebook.

22 comments to Yet Another Sterling Example

  • Anonymous

    It was deplorable because it makes no sense that Rubin — if we are to believe he was after Bernazard's job — would seek it by writing for mass consumption one article after another that put his theoretical prospective employer in a bad light.
    Yeah, but it does make sense that if they shot him down, he might want revenge. Which is why professional protocol among reporters has always dictated that you don't ask the people you're covering for a job.
    Now, if Rubin actually didn't ask for a job and they just made the whole thing up to smear him, then I'll pin the whole thing on the FO, and he can probably sue them and win. But it's hard to prove a negative.
    Meanwhile, in some perverse way, this might actually be good for the team on the field. For once, they're not getting asked over and over again, “Why do you suck? Why don't you care?” That can only be helpful, as no team in history has ever been able to answer those questions to anyone's satisfaction.

  • Anonymous

    Link here to Rubin's explanation on what he was asking, exactly.
    Media and their subjects talk casually and off-the-record in all businesses. “Hey, what do you think of this?” goes both ways. Opinions are traded, ideas are batted around. I'd say it's nearly impossible to do the Caesar's wife thing and have nothing but unentangled interactions with those you cover.
    And none of it makes Tony Bernazard (allegedly the subject of an internal Mets investigation before Rubin's stories appeared) any less of a creep.

  • Anonymous

    Another hallmark of the Sterling Incompetence throughout the years has been the seemingly endless stream of PR fiascos, all of which have taken place on Jay Horowitz' watch. Their inability to realize — or even address — this ongoing media relations problem seems part and parcel of what the Wilpons are all about.
    To me, the crux of the matter can be found in Omar's wishy-washy apology in the pressbox: He didn't regret what he said, just the forum in which he expressed it. That goes right to what Keith Hernandez had asked at the onset of last night's broadcast: Was Omar deviating from his talking points in calling out Rubin — or was it part of an orchestrated effort by the front office?
    While I share your lack of confidence in Omar, I look beyond him and, instead, focus on the systemic problem hinted at by Steve Phillips. I'm coming around to the thinking that it's an organizational issue, as reflected in the lack of a chain of command that essentially makes all decisions based on the whims of the Wilpons. And, if you think about it, the Wilpons have been the one constant throughout all the turmoil that has befallen this organization since 1986. As such, you can run Omar out of town on a rail — but the underlying problems will remain with his successor. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  • Anonymous

    The more I think about this, the more I come to believe the Wilpons were behind this whole mess.
    There was no need to have a press conference to announce the firing of Tony Bernazard. Most people have no idea who works in the front office besides the GM and owner. This could have been handled by press release and Jay Horowitz. The fact that it wasn't makes me suspect the Wilpons told Omar have the press conference and use it to discredit Adam Rubin.
    Had the Mets not been killed on WFAN and 1050, by hosts and callers alike, from 4:30 through game time Omar probably doesn't have his second press conference during the rain delay at the start of the game.
    The whole thing stinks of retaliation. You got our guy, so we're going to get you. Its amateurish and no way to run a business, let alone a baseball team.
    Clearly, the Wilpons are the problem. As long as they run the team we are going to be dealing with these sorts of shenanigans every few years. Whether its front-office guys challenging people to fights, managers getting fired at 3:30 a.m., “Superscouts” trading away top prospects for guys they signed 10-years ago, letting veteran players weigh in on personnel decisions, Suspending employees for sexual harassment for 1 day, building a stadium to honor a team that left town 51 years ago, etc, etc, etc
    At the end of the day we have a second-rate ownership group. We shouldn't be surprised when we find ourselves rooting for a second-rate team.
    The Wilpons are the problem. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to get them out of the picture. Unless of course Bernie really did make off with most of their money. (Speaking of which, why should I trust the judgement of people who thought they could get a 96% annual rate of return on their investments. That is next to impossible. Only the very stupid and the very greedy would fall for a scam like that.)
    As for Rubin “lobbying” for a job, I'm sure the only advice Jeff Wilpon could give him was, “have a father who owns a major league baseball team”.
    Also, I wonder how this incident will affect the relationship between SNY and The Daily News.

  • Anonymous

    To me, Rubin's explanation contained plenty of puzzling things. He says “Just as Omar or Jeff would ask me about a job in journalism” I'm never felt any particular love for Rubin over any of the other reporters out there, with the exception of idiots like Matthews, and Heyman seems a little ignorant as well. The Daily News isn't exactly high class. The media, reporters and papers, do indeed have their own agenda, and when anyone calls them on it's blown off as whining or political scheming, etc etc. (I.E. To sell papers. I don't for one second believe that that wasn't the motivating factor for Rubin to run with the story, and for the Daily News to print it, especially give the timing. I'm sure there were enough reports to write some of this stuff about Tony for months. )
    There have been reports from that scout, from guys in the AA clubhouse, etc, that the Daily News reports were exaggerated. (doesn't mean Tony was a great guy or that he got a short straw here at all..)
    Sure, “reporting” isn't Omar's job, but any reporter should respect truth. They tend to stretch it themselves plenty, and blur opinion and truth in articles all the time. And no one can say Omar is an idiot. Whether it was fed to him or not, this was calculated. He used the right words, he didn't really make it any part of the reason he fired Tony, he just simply stated his opinion. (which is why their is 0 chance, even if it was false, that Rubin could sue) Omar felt he couldn't trust the opinion of Adam Rubin. And that's fine.
    I know the Daily News said they stand behind him. (Duh, that's the pr thing to do. ) But they need to investigate this themselves. At the very least it sounds like Rubin was getting a sense for how a move into baseball is to be made, whether or not he actually specifically suggested he'd want to work for the Mets. When an employee shows interest in another field, another job, the prudent thing to do is investigate it.
    maybe it's just because I lost most of any respect I had for most of the media years ago, but I just have a hard time caring that Minaya took a shot back at the media instead of just sitting back and taking the slanderous crap they fling at the Mets year after year.

  • Anonymous

    When I buy in, I buy in for the long term. I cut slack if you've given me some reason to recall why I wanted you around in the first place.
    Thank you Greg. You once again put into words something that I was clumsily trying to explain to a friend last night.
    Up until yesterday, I still had some slack for Omar. But that's all gone now.

  • Anonymous

    On some level, I'm still grateful to Fred Wilpon for being part of the ownership group that rescued my team from the deterioration of the de Roulet era.

    I have to echo what others have said here about the Wilpons.
    I was having this conversation with a couple of my section-mates at the game last night — in between bellowing at Oliver Perez that he wasn't worth anywhere near what his contract is paying him and braying (pleading, really) for this team to be sold (before the big rally, of course: yes, I am “that guy.”)
    Keep changing GMs, keep changing managers, go with youth movements, spend big bucks on veteran free agents…bottom line is, we still ain't won shit in 23 years.
    Nothing will change, nothing will shift, nothing will move until this team is sold — and I don't mean to the Dolans, since it seems we've already arrived at that place.
    Bring on Mark Cuban…

  • Anonymous

    Adam Rubin could have kissed Fred Wilpon on the lips for all I care.
    It didn't change the fact that the Mets screwed up and protected good ol' boy Tony when it was clear that they had a serious HR issue with him. The topic of the conversation was Tony B. The attack on Adam Rubin was an ham-handed attempt to smear someone to try to divert attention away from the fact that the Mets dragged their feet on this to protect one of their own at the expense of the organization. The only thing Omar's whining accomplished was to out himself as an ineffectual, sniveling, cowardly leader lackey.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Greg,
    I picked up on the use of the term “lobbying” as well- it wasn't a spur of the moment blurt out but obviously prepared in advance by Omar who was waiting for an opportunity during that press conference to bring up the point.
    Rubin gave fourth estate hopefuls the wrong example on how to get a job with the Mets. Sports writers should only write good things about the Mets and keep their mouths shut when coming across and verifying information on incompetency or behavior detrimental to the team. Bad-mouthing management is not the way to achieve employment. One has to keep stories like Rubin's under raps and not adher to journalistic ethics through biased writing to intentionally keep management in a good light (ala Dick Young as you correctly pointed out).
    Omar implied this was Rubin's way of trying to get Bernazardt's job. Take note future job hunters – never reveal your trump card. Adam made the mistake of not showing Omar his article first and using it for blackmail.
    Rubin did his job properly and without bias or ulterior motive.
    Am sure Met management approved of Tony's work style and he would still be with the Mets had it not been leaked to the press, human relations report or not. Omar knew Bernazard too well to need a HR report to bring these things to light. Obviously Rubin got the information somewhere so if Minaya wants to blackball somebody for undermining him, he should look inward at his organization and not outward at the press.
    I''m glad these facts came to light. We're learning first hand that baseball wise the Mets front office is incompetent due to factual investigation, not inuendo or fan emotion. As Keith Hernandez so aptly pointed out, Bernazard's behavior could only hinder the development of raw minor league talent, not help it along. It shows the club is not headed in the right direction and I doubt it begins with the G.M.
    Of course, this was a dispicable act and makes me ashamed to be a Met fan (as did Grant) until reminding myself I root for the guys wearing the Orange and Blue uniforms and not those wearing the white collars.

  • Anonymous

    I gotta say, I really don't give a shit about front office miscues at this point. As long as we stay away from Schott territory, I'm fine. I stopped caring after the Willie firing.
    It comes down to this: until the Mets are on top of the world and the Yankees are below .500, the media will shit on the Mets. It doesn't matter what we do. Our front office can donate 200 million to charity, the next day the front page news will be “Mets have the audacity to ignore the female population by donating 200m to prostate cancer research”
    The bottom line is this: if one of our front office members purposely runs over their neighbor's puppy the day after we win the World Series, are you going to care? Probably not.
    We don't root for our front office, we root for our baseball team. Our baseball team won last night, and that's all that matters to me.

  • Anonymous

    Keep in mind that the suggestions that the Daily News was exaggerating things have come from current employees who, feasibly, could fear retaliation from Bernazard. I mean, do you expect Jose Coronado — he whose future rests largely in Tony B.'s hands — to speak truthfully about the incident?

  • Anonymous

    I had been in Omar's corner until now, believing Tony B. was crossing the line not only in undercutting the field manager by dividing the clubhouse,, but in bypassing Omar in accessing ownership.
    Given Omar's statement yesterday, it's clear that Tony remained Omar's man. Playing bad cop to Omar's good cop.
    It's questionable whether Omar can survive without Tony.
    Several years ago there was the superscouts, now there is Tony B. When a pattern develops over several GMs, only ownership can be blamed. Fred and Jeff have no respect for their organization.

  • Anonymous

    Greg, well said.
    I put a poll on my site, but I'd like to get your take – is this whole incident a bigger stain in Mets history than the firecrackers and bleach incidents of 1993? that seemed like a low point in a low time, and I've felt like the Mets were heading towards a low time and this certainly is a low point.

  • Anonymous

    What a fun topic to contemplate.
    Back then, Fred Wilpon came off as the sheriff who was going to clean up this mess. Bouncing Vince Coleman (after signing off on him) was quite a statement to make. The front office constructed a dysfunctional roster and the manager steered it in the wrong direction (thus the firing of Harazin and Torborg) but it was mostly the players who were the embarrassment. This latest episode has made ownership and the front office the story. Obviously the team has played badly and has been undermanned partly through injury (attributable, perhaps, to chronically bad training and doctoring and not handled well in terms of public prognoses), but the individuals in uniforms don't seem like the bad guys. There's no Bonilla showing the Bronx, no Murray snarling, no Saberhagen with the bleach gun and no Coleman masquerading as a World Famous Grucci Brother.
    My sense then was the 1993 Mets were going to win very few games, but there was always next year. My sense now is that the Mets organization is some combination of inept and devious, and it's hard to frame “next year” sunnily in such an environment.

  • Anonymous

    That's valid, but the scout works for another team.

  • Anonymous

    Keep yer sunnyside up…up…

  • Anonymous

    Nothing could be as low-down as what Grant and Young pulled on June 15, 1977 but yesterday has to rank a close second.
    Adam Rubin told Omar what he did was dispicable but I think Daffy Duck would have said it even better.

  • Anonymous

    You don't have to worry about Omar hanging around for too long. The Wilpons hate bad publicity more than they hate prostate trouble. The only reason they're not firing him right this second is that they're not going to do it right on the heels of firing Bernazard.
    The thing is, that puts Jeff Wilpon as our de facto GM once again. It's hard to imagine that anyone with a good reputation would want this job. Even if the Wilpons agreed to be hands-off, as they did for most of Omar's reign until now (I am pretty sure the “It's all Adam Rubin's fault” meme came straight from Jeffy, although Omar of course could have told him to go get stuffed), who wants the hassle of being constantly compared to the Golden Perfect Yankees? Who wants to get killed every day the team isn't in first place by a wide margin? (I can only imagine the ration of shit “Standing Pat” Gillick would take from the NY media. He probably can, too.)
    You probably need to find someone out of left field, who isn't on anyone else's short lists and would jump at the chance. (Kim Ng, perhaps? I can't imagine the Dodgers wouldn't let her interview for the job, since she's been roadblocked there for 8 years.)
    OTOH, a relatively inexperienced person might not know how to run interference with Jeff, since you have to be able to convince him that you're smarter than he is.

  • Anonymous

    John Hart.

  • Anonymous

    I guess my wish list would look like this:
    1. Kim Ng
    2. Mike Rizzo, if WSH doesn't give him the full-time gig
    3. Paul DePodesta
    And if they insist on staying in-house
    4. John Ricco
    5. Wayne Krivsky

  • Anonymous

    What are the odds that Minaya is going to media people asking them how they got their jobs? Oops, I guess that would be “lobbying”. But right now his continued employment prospects with the Mets or any other baseball team make the newspaper biz look like a guaranteed lifetime gig for Rubin,

  • […] last summer when Minaya, in the middle of a desultory campaign, put his foot in his mouth when turning the Tony Bernazard story into the Adam Rubin story. Omar stopped appearing regularly in front of cameras and microphones. The owner was taking a more […]