A Tale of Two Shills: Boras’s Henchman & Omar’s Mouthpiece

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

By: Eduardo Perez

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?!

...To follow Eddie on Twitter, which I definitely recommend, click here...


Eli From Brooklyn said...

Well done, Mr. Perez. Well done.

nuyoricansol said...

Great piece. Never read your blog before, but will look forward to future posts.

twayword said...

Mike lives 2 rip #Mets & all insiders=shills, esp #ESPN

sportspope said...


metspolice said...

its the way of the world, go along to get along. way back when, most media knew about Rudy's affair with letegano, nobody reported it.

michaelgbaron said...

interesting stuff. how do you know this?

metsfanmurph said...

Couldn't agree more...

Eddieperez23 said...

Thanks guys for the props. Sure in the media you need to "go along to get along", but what Francesa is doing with Omar is over the top. For example, I only caught the 2nd half of the interview today on WFAN, but Mike asked Omar do you think this staff is good enough to win 90+ games. Omar's response to paraphrase was, "well, last year with the same staff all the "Experts" were picking us to make the playoffs, so while they're all coming off bad years its the same staf", so I think we're good enough". WOW!! WTF logic is that. So b/c the "media" thought your staff was good last yr before the season started, that means it is?! huh...This at least merited a follow-up from Mike, especially since he's said multiple times on his show that the Mets need to improve the pitching staff...but what did Mike do..NOTHING. I don't mind if he's in Omar's pocket, that's fine, but you can't be afraid to ask the obvious questions and challenge idiotic statements like that. I mean who really thinks that the staff behind Santana...Pelfrey, Maine, Perez, Niese is anything more than mediocre at best (and that's being kind).

Matthew Cerrone said...

This is excellent. Nice work.

Anonymous said...

Sad but very true. Excellent work. I am new to your site, I enjoy it. You know damn well if the Met rotation was the Yankee rotation and if Mike asked Cashman if he thought his pitching was good enough to win 90 games and Cashman said yes, Francesa would have lost his mind. I heard the interview with Omar, they were playing patty cake.

Eli From Brooklyn said...

Well said, anonymous.

Mike's a hard listen these days.

Thanks for the follow.

Scott said...

This is excellent. Do you have an email or phone I can contact you at?

I am working on something and want to bounce an idea off you.


Happy said...

Be very careful when questioning someone’s ethical integrity in their profession. If the Mets feel they want to break news by giving it to him, then so be it however that is a far cry from risking your journalistic integrity for inside news. Francesa has flaws as do we all, but I find him to be fair and after all he is entitled to his opinion of the Mets and any other team. Sometimes his opinion is wrong and as he admitted yesterday with all the Jets talk, calculated to get us riled up. Go easy here.

NolRog said...

Fans are trying to figure it out because Francesca is the biggest Met Hater on radio and all of a sudden he’s breaking big time Met news that none of the other guys who follow the team every single day knew about.

Eli From Brooklyn said...

Scott, you can contact me at Shlevyapoo@aol.com if you so wish.


Anonymous said...

call mike up and tell him that.

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