Omar Likes What He Sees In Brooklyn|
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Friday, July 20, 2007
BROOKLYN, NY - Taking a look at how one of the team’s Single-A affiliate’s is developing, Mets general manager Omar Minaya made a surprise visit to Keyspan Park on Tuesday night and was beaming about how well the Cyclones have been playing this season.
“I really wanted to see all of these young guys play,” said Minaya. “With the team [the Mets] on the west coast, I thought it was a good time to come down and meet the manager and some of the players. I’m so proud of the way this team is playing this year. Hopefully, this isn’t the last time I’m down here this season. ”
Citing a pitcher-heavy draft, that saw the Mets pick several young hurlers early, as the reason why New York was able to stockpile so many good young arms in Brooklyn this season opposed to previous years, Minaya loves what he sees from the new additions to the Cyclones pitching staff this season and has also been impressed by the play of the new position players.
“Based on the reports on the kids we drafted, we have some really good young arms here,” said Minaya. “I’m looking forward to seeing more of them as we go along. The position players we have here are doing really well, considering it’s their first time out there. I think it’s a credit to our scouts to be able to put this group together.”
However, despite his appreciation for the play of the ‘Clones this season, Minaya believes one of the big reasons why the team has been so successful this year is because of their manager, Edgar Alfonzo.
“I was happy to have Edgar back here,” said Minaya. “I think he understands how to manage here and he did a great job of putting this team together before the season started. Last year, the team didn’t get off to a good start and I think that had something to with all the changes that were made [within the organization]. This year, Edgar was very prepared to get this team ready and now everyone is ready to play.”
While getting a ringing endorsement from your general manager would make most managers happy as a clam, Alfonzo was worried his players were going to try too hard to impress Minaya and did his best to keep them prepared and focused before they got on the field. Luckily for Alfonzo and his young team, the pre-game pep talk paid off, as the Cyclones played another solid game, defeating Williamsport 5-1, thanks to great pitching and clutch hitting.
“It was a stressful situation,” said Alfonzo. “I told the guys before the game that if they just stay focused and play their game that they’ll be fine. I’m happy with how they played tonight.”
If the smile the Mets general manager was showcasing from the luxury suite during the game is any indication, it’s a safe assumption to make that he was too.