The Week That Was: Welcome Back Omar


     The Mets surprised everyone last Friday when they announced that they were bringing back Omar Minaya into the organization, and specifically, as an adviser to the man who replaced him as general manager in 2010, Sandy Alderson.

      While many Mets fans remember Minaya, who grew up in Corona and attended PS 19, IS 61, and Newtown High School, for his splashy trades and free agent signings that netted Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, and Cliff Floyd, what is often overlooked about him is that he has a keen eye for amateur talent that has succeeded at the big league level.

      At the recent winter baseball meetings in Orlando Sandy Alderson admitted that the Mets’ minor league system was pretty threadbare in terms of potential major league talent. It’s natural that Mets CEO Fred Wilpon would want to reach out to Minaya to do a third tour of duty with the team and that Alderson would wisely accept his assistance.

      Omar handled his dismissal as Mets general manager seven years ago with a ton of class. He knew that it was part of the business that he had chosen and did not burn any bridges. He has actually been a frequent visitor to Citi Field since then first working as a talent evaluator for the San Diego Padres and later as an executive for the Major League Baseball Players Association of America. Omar’s career shows the value of both being good at your job and being likable.

      A lot has been written in the dailies about how Mets fans got coal in their Christmas stockings. I am not in the habit of defending Mets management but Sandy Alderson may be right in being patient. Aside from the Yankees’ splashy trade for slugger Giancarlo Stanton, both the baseball free agent and trade market have been slow to develop for all teams.

      I was saddened to learn of the  passing of sportscaster Dick Enberg last week at age 82. He broadcast nearly every sport and won countless Emmy Awards for his work over the years on the US Open at Flushing Meadows.

     The last time that I spoke with Dick was in the summer of 2016 at Petco Park after he had announced that he was retiring as the San Diego Padres play-by-play voice and from broadcasting. I asked him if it was difficult to walk away from something that he loved.

     “It sure is but I am 81 and I don’t know how much time I have left to spend with family or travel or a lot of other things. I don’t want to die in the booth the way (Phillies broadcasters) Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn did.”  It’s a shame that he didn’t have more time.

     Dick’s greatest gift was that he had a way of making anyone who spoke to him feel special.

     The Jets lost14-7 to the Los Angeles Chargers on Christmas Eve. Since Gang Green had already been eliminated from the NFL playoffs this year, the only storyline that mattered was whether Bryce Petty could be the Jets starting quarterback in 2018.

     The answer was a resounding “no.” Even though the Jets offensive line played great as they kept Chargers defensive ends at bay giving Bryce plenty of time to throw the ball, it was no avail. Petty either bounced passes to open receivers or overthrew at them.

     Running back Bilal Powell scored the Jets’ only touchdown on a 57-yard rush from scrimmage. Powell is a mystery and has a knack for pulling off big yardage runs but when the Jets need just a yard to pick up a first down he always seems to get stopped by the defense.

     Can someone please explain to me why Giants fans were upset that Eli Manning was benched a couple of weeks ago? He looked awful in Sunday’s 23-0 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, AZ.

      Miami Marlins president Derek Jeter, who was hectored in a town meeting with fans in Miami following the trades of stars Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Dee Gordon which were done strictly to shed expensive payroll, is quickly learning that going from a beloved shortstop to a baseball executive concerned with the financial bottom line is not an easy transition.

      The end of the year is the time we all make resolutions to improve in a variety of ways. That is why you see those TV ads for car companies trying to entice you to improve your commute with a new car; those ubiquitous Soda Stream TV ads with drill sergeant fitness trainer Jillian Michaels telling you how to cut down your calories by choosing a better beverage option; and finally those time-honored health club membership ads.

      Everyone wants to improve their appearance and look as youthful as possible. These days that’s not just a matter of vanity but the realities of the job market which now more then ever values younger workers over older for a multitude of reasons.

       Thinning hair, which has long been associated with guys (“male pattern baldness”), also affects a lot of women. That is why you are now seeing Hair Club ads targeting both sexes.

     An Australian biotech company, evolis (small “e” for some reason) has come up with a shampoo, conditioner, and application serum that purports to reverse hair loss (the Food & Drug Administration has not confirmed this but trial studies in Europe and a number of American dermatologists have given evolis good marks)  or at the very least make your hair look fuller.

     In 1994 a clinical study at the University of California at Berkeley discovered that a protein in the scalp known as FGF5 helps causes hair follicles to stop growing and eventually fall out. The evolis regiment helps block FGF5 and replaces it with keratin and proteins that are beneficial to the hair root.

     It has been 30 years since the FDA approved Minoxidil as a treatment for hair loss so it was inevitable that there would be some advances in this area although nothing of course is a sure thing when it comes to hair restoration. For more information, log onto

     California has certainly taken it on the chin the last couple of months because of wildfires. The infernos though have not affected the Golden State’s ski resorts in Lake Tahoe, Squaw Valley, and Big Bear Mountain. California is amazing this time of year because  you can ski and then enjoy palm trees, warm sunshine, and dip your toes into the water at Pacific Ocean beach a few hours later by car.



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