Seven possibilities for a Mets front man
Updated: August 27, 2009, 12:04 PM ETBy Buster Olney
Ordinary news briefings have become public-relations disasters for the New York Mets, writes Ben Shpigel, and members of the team's ownership have endorsed Omar Minaya's return for 2010 but are still evaluating him. Simply put, Minaya -- who is one of the best-liked people in the game -- will remain as the Mets' general manager. But whether he retains actual power is probably another question altogether. If the Mets don't allow Minaya to represent the organization in public -- and the recent semi-muzzling suggests they have been moving in that direction -- he could have the titles of The President and Prime Minister and Super Chief and the Big Guy Who Runs the Mets and it wouldn't mean a thing. Fred and Jeff Wilpon should ask themselves the hard question of whether they want Minaya to be the face of their franchise, and if the answer is no, well they should be making phone calls to find the next guy who is. It remains to be seen whether the Wilpons -- Jeff, in particular, after his slow ascent to power -- will be willing to bring in a big name and hand over the reins of the organization. But there is no doubt about this point: They need a Bill Parcells type, because of their internal dynamics, because of their current quandary, because they are in New York. They need someone to take control and make their fan base believe that a team with an incredible potential for growth is going to take advantage of its financial might and start building a dynamic farm system while competing at the major league level, as the Boston Red Sox and, more recently, the New York Yankees have done. If the Wilpons decide they want somebody other than Minaya representing the organization, they need someone who is going to be a symbol of dynamic change merely by walking to the podium the first day on the job. Here are seven candidates -- in no particular order -- some not necessarily available, some not as realistic as others, but all should be considered by the Mets: To see Buster's list of possible Mets front-man candidates, as well 37 other items on MLB news, notes, injuries and the possible ChiSox debut of Jake Peavy, you must be an ESPN Insider.
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