07.28.09

Rubin To Minaya : You Can’t Handle The Truth

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 9:22 am by

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Leaving aside the matter of last night’s 7-3 win over the Wild Card leading Rockies, the Amazins’ third straight, Newsday’s Wally Matthews calls the Mets, ” the only collection of individuals in all of major-league baseball who needed to conduct an internal investigation to discover what everyone else seemed to know – that Bernazard was a foul-mouthed, ill-tempered little cuss with a Napoleon complex and two last-place minor-league clubs on his resume.”  As we’ve know come to understand in the aftermath of a bizzare Citi Field press conference, said investigation had to be super thorough, as Omar Minaya couldn’t simply trust the veracity of reports filed by a guy who at one time or another might’ve wondered aloud about working for a baseball franchise. The journalist in question, Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News (above), went toe to toe with Minaya during Monday’s session and later coaxed an apology out of the Mets GM that even Ron Darling opined should’ve been “more forthcoming”.  How’s it feel to be at the center of the most embarrassing Flushing Q&A since Vince Coleman offered a strained mea culpa for pelting children with M80′s, Mr. Rubin?

Everything I wrote about Tony Bernazard – bombshell stories that appeared in the pages of the Daily News over the last week – is accurate.

As I told the reporters who descended upon me after Minaya left the press conference, I have never, ever, asked Omar Minaya for a job. Or even career advice. Frankly, I’ve never been very close to him.

What I have done, and what Mets COO Jeff Wilpon acknowledged later yesterday, is ask Wilpon for “career advice.” My question: Is it even remotely feasible for a baseball writer to get into an administrative job with a team – any team – down the road and what would I need for that to be achieved?

Wilpon once invited me to his office at Citi Field for an advisory session. I never took him up on it.

I also appear on the Mets’ television station, and I asked Jeff Wilpon whom I should talk to at the network if I wanted to explore television as a part of my career. He told me to talk to SNY exec Curt Gowdy Jr., who told me basically that I was a bit “too flat.”

But again, none of this had any bearing whatsoever on any reporting that I have done while covering the Mets.

While not letting Bernazard off the hook, Amazin Avenue’s James K. is one of the few ready to raise the spectre of a conflict of interest, writing “asking for pointers on how to break into the baseball business seems like questionable behavior at best and a minor breach of ethics at worst.”

Would it be appropriate for a New York Times reporter interviewing Barack Obama to ask for tips on how to enter the world of politics?  How about a Wall Street Journal writer asking Warren Buffett how to start a successful financial services firm?  No, of course not.  Especially if the conversation is kept from the public and not documented in the published work. Such discussion could influence coverage of the subject (either positively or negatively) and give the impression to the public that treatment of the subject is biased.

By asking Wilpon for what amounts to business advice, and continuing to cover the New York Mets for the Daily News, Rubin is saying one thing and doing another.  He went on to say: “I don’t know how I’m going to cover the team now.”

The same statement could have been said after Rubin’s inquiries with Jeff Wilpon.

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