New York Mets General Manager Omar Minaya held a 15-minute session with the media in the Bisons' dugout before tonight's doubleheader in Coca-Cola Field and his message was clear: Buffalo's 2009 season was not acceptable and the parent Mets have already started the process of targeting some free agent help for the Herd in 2010.
Asked his reaction about growing rumblings among fans and media that the Bisons ship the Mets out of town when their deal ends after next season, Minaya said, "I hope that's not the case but I understand when the team does not win. It's up to us right now to go out there, work hard. We've communicated with [the Buffalo front office] our desire. We're here hopefully for the long term and we want to be able to improve our club. It's not because of effort. We're still signing guys to make this team better [2006 Buffalo MVP Jason Dubois joined the team Monday].
"We've invested time and effort and communication. ... We want to tell the buffalo fans that we care, we're going to continue to work hard and we're going to try to win a championship here. That's our goal."
Obviously, Minaya was saying what people want to hear. The proof is going to be in the Mets' actions in the offseason. But don't discount the fact he came to town to face the music. It probably should have happened a couple months ago but Minaya had, ahem, a few things to take care of up in New York.
Other Minaya minutiae:
---Farm director Adam Wogan has taken over running the minor-league system in the wake of VP Tony Bernazard's dismissal and the entire hierarchy would be reevaluated after the season.
---Reliever Billy Wagner is the injured Met closest to returning to the big leagues and, thus, closest to a potential injury rehab stint here.
---He had praise for manager Ken Oberkfell and pitching coach Ricky Bones, the latter who has done an amazing job sherherding a club 24 games under .500 to a team ERA that's under 4.00.
---Nick Evans and Eddie Kunz are the likeliest September callups but that non 40-man roster players (think Jesus Feliciano and Adam Bostick) could be called if the big club does not get back in the race and there's playing time available.
As for tonight's games, Ken Takahashi (0-2) and Pat Misch (0-1) are the Buffalo starters. Dubois is batting fifth in left field in tonight's opener. He was an IL all-star and the Herd's co-MVP with Ben Francisco in 2006 (.275-22-87).