It was the best of times, it was the worst of times the day Scott Boras shill Jon Heyman joined WFAN and Mike Francesa (aka Diet Coke) became a shill for Omar Minaya. Heyman’s antics have been detailed elsewhere, so I won’t be repetitive.
One excerpt from this link sums it up best:
“Boras throws Heyman a bone on a Varitek or Teixeira signing but also uses him to spread rumors about the level of interest and terms in ongoing free agent negotiations to create a false sense of demand. Teams that fall for this trick wind up competing against themselves, which is exactly what Boras desires. While Boras is no fool, Heyman is a tool for the Scott Boras Corporation (SBC). Boras knows how to game the system to get the best deals for his clients and will gladly use Heyman as long as the latter plays along or until the market realizes what is going on. As it stands now, it's almost as if Heyman, who is no stranger to the Boras suites during the winter meetings, is on the SBC payroll.”
This is exactly what happens. Another of Heyman’s favorite tactics is to report that a “mystery” team is involved which is code for “no other teams are interested, but let’s try and see if anyone is gullible enough to think there is”. Since he is “tight” with Boras, this has made Heyman a well-known “baseball insider” (e.g. WFAN, SI, MLB.com, etc). But beware within all his stories and radio/TV appearances his motivating factor is pushing Boras’s agenda…you’ve been informed again.
This leads me to another “tag-team” that has developed over the last couple of years on WFAN between Diet Coke and Omar Minaya. Remember the days when Omar would come on Mike and the Mad Dog and get ripped left and right (mostly by Dog)?! Well since Mad-Dog left, Diet Coke has become a shill for Omar (not the Mets, just Omar). In return for protecting Minaya, Omar “leaks” stories to Mike, so he can break them on his show. For example, 2 weeks ago Diet Coke said he had big news regarding the Mets. He held it for a day to build ratings/interest and then announced the Mets were signing Bay. Yesterday he did the same thing, stating he had more “Big” Mets news coming later this week, stay tuned (that’s what Mike wants you to do). Even today Diet Coke stated emphatically, that he knows the Mets will bring back Delgado and will give him a chance to win the 1B job. How do you think he knows this? Surely not from burning up the phone lines, since we all know Mike has been mailing it in for several years now (different story, for a different day). Nope it’s all through Omar. In return Mike has made Omar teflon. For example:
• Last season he gave Omar a complete pass on the season due to the injuries, yet the year before when the Yankees lost ARod (24 gm missed), Matsui (70 gm missed), Posada (100 gm missed), Wang (missed half the season coming off back to back 19 win seasons), Joba (2 months), Hughes (most of the season), and still won 89 games in the hardest division in baseball, he never mentioned injuries as a reason for the team missing the playoffs for the first time since ’95. He only said that with the highest payroll you should still make the postseason and criticized Girardi and Cashman for building a flawed team. But then again the Mets had the highest payroll in the NL last year, and had an extremely flawed roster that was top heavy with little depth. But Mike won’t mention any of this…it’s all about the injuries. Get the violin out for Omar and Jerry.
• Mike repeatedly stated Omar did his job because Vegas and Sports Illustrated had made the Mets the favorites coming into the season. Funny how that twisted logic only applies to the Mets/Omar. It’s a win-win: if the Mets do well and reach their “number” Omar does his job (and Sal and he collect on their bet). If the Mets get ravaged by injuries and have a terrible farm system with no depth to provide suitable replacements, then Omar is able to “wash his hands” b/c on “paper” he built a championship caliber team. Were the Mets crippled with injuries…of course, but does a championship rotation include the likes of Pelfrey, Perez, Maine, L Hernandez (2-5 rotation spots)?? I don’t think so.
• Remember when Omar made a fool of himself several times with the “You know, you know, you know what I’m saying” routine and accusing Adam Rubin of wanting to steal Tony Bernazard’s job. Well while everyone ripped Omar for looking and speaking like a buffoon, good old Mike came to his defense saying Omar’s lack of public speaking is only an issue because the Mets are losing, clearly trying to deflect and smoke screen his way from addressing the real issue at hand.
• Notice now every chance Mike gets he mentions how good Luis Castillo was last year, pointing to his OBP, but never mentioning his postage stamp sized range and horrible defense. This is all an underlying defense of the terrible 4 year contract Omar gave him 2 years ago.
• He gives Omar credit for signing Pedro Martinez to a 4-year deal, b/c that “changed the culture” of the Mets franchise…laughable. What he fails to mention is that Pedro had one good season, winning a grand total of 32 games in four years with the Mets. His signing did nothing to change the culture, Beltran came to the Mets because the Yankees didn’t want him and the Mets were willing to pay him $20 million more. The other big FA and trade acquisitions (e.g. Wagner, Delgado, KRod, Santana, Bay etc.) had nothing to do with a changed culture, but rather the money the Wilpon’s were willing to spend.
I could keep going on with more examples, but this article would then become as long as Dickens’s “A Tale of Two Cities”. Simply put, Mike has become Omar’s mouthpiece to influence the NY audience and Met fans thinking. Similar to Heyman/Boras, Mike and Omar have developed a symbiotic relationship from which each can benefit. In return Diet Coke gets to break many of the Mets stories on their flagship station (and then ridicule ESPN for taking credit which he loves to do).
Soon, I’m sure you’ll be hearing from Mike that Omar was handcuffed by the Wilpons and that’s the reason he wasn’t able to build a decent rotation. What Mike won’t tell you is that Omar handcuffed himself by wasting $18M annually on Perez/Castillo and during his time with “full autonomy” has failed to develop a single impact player from the minor league system (remember Wright and Reyes were from the Phillips regime).
Today, Diet coke will “interview” Omar at 5pm…We know one thing is certain, the mouthpiece will be sure to treat the GM with kid gloves…you know, you know, you know what I’m sayin?!
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