While Omar Minaya got a vote of confidence from the New York Mets' front office, odds are he won't be back next season as general manager.
Internet gambling Web site BetUS.com has posted 1-2 odds that Minaya will be fired before the end of the year. A winning $100 bet would return only a $50 profit plus the initial stake.
Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon said two days ago that Minaya's job was safe this season even though the team has a losing record and is in fourth place in the five-team National League East. Wilpon's comments came a day after Minaya sparked a verbal confrontation with a reporter.
Wilpon "doesn't want to rock the boat before the end of a doomed season on the off-chance the Mets sneak into the playoffs,'' BetUS spokesman Reed Richards said from the Web site's Costa Rica-based office. "Our bet is they don't make it though, in which case Minaya will likely be gone at some point following the season.''
Minaya has a three-year contract extension that's set to kick in next season. Even so, he's the overwhelming favorite to be the next Major League Baseball general manager to be fired, according to BetUS.
Following him are Toronto's J.P. Ricciardi at 5-1, San Diego's Kevin Towers at 13-2 and Florida's Michael Hill at 7-1. Brian Cashman of the New York Yankees and Dayton Moore of the Kansas City Royals are both listed at 8-1.
The Mets missed the playoffs after late-season collapses in 2007 and 2008, and this year - their debut campaign at $800 million Citi Field - they're 48-51, even with the second- highest player payroll in baseball.
The team has been beset by injuries to All-Star players such as Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado, and has also had issues off the field.
Minaya two days ago fired Tony Bernazard after confrontations between the head of player development and players and other members of the organization.
Minaya caused further controversy when he questioned New York Daily News reporter Adam Rubin's coverage of the story because he'd lobbied Mets executives in the past for a player development job.
Minaya said later that the news conference wasn't the proper forum to mention Rubin, who denied any impropriety, and Wilpon apologized for the general manager's actions, saying that Minaya made a "very large mistake'' that was damaging to the organization.
Wilpon also said that Minaya would remain in his job, though BetUS's Richards doesn't expect him to be back for a sixth season with the Mets in 2010.
"We aren't necessarily buying the whole vote of confidence thing,'' he said.