This is the best news I have heard in a long time. My friend Omar Minaya is coming back, restoring his talent and personality to the Mets.
This is what I wrote about Minaya's homecoming in 2006:
I will let fans and writers have their opinions of Minaya's regime as general manager. I only know what with his eye for talent and his positive view of the world he makes the Mets better on this homecoming.
Bienvenido a casa. Benvenuto a casa. Welcome Home.
METS NAME OMAR MINAYA SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO GM
FLUSHING, N.Y., December 22, 2017 – The New York Mets today announced that the club has named Omar Minaya a Special Assistant to General Manager Sandy Alderson.
Minaya, 59, spent the last three years as the Senior Advisor to the Executive Director for the Major League Baseball Players Association. Minaya worked for the Mets from September 23, 1997-February 11, 2002 where he was a Senior Assistant GM who was responsible for overseeing the Mets International Scouting department. He returned to the organization on September 30, 2004 as the club’s General Manager, a role he held until October 4, 2010.
“Omar has a long history with the Mets,” said Alderson. “He has served the club well in many different areas. Omar will be a resource on scouting and player development, will consult on player acquisitions and will serve as a community ambassador. We are very happy to have him back in the organization.”
Minaya became baseball’s first Hispanic GM when he was appointed by MLB as the Vice President and General Manager of the Montreal Expos on February 12, 2002. Minaya served as the San Diego Padres VP of Baseball Operations from December, 2011-January, 2015. He worked for the Texas Rangers from 1985-1997 in the scouting department. Minaya was a member of the Selection Committee for the United States Olympic and Pan American Baseball teams in 2000, when both won gold medals.
“I’m excited to return to an organization that I love,” said Minaya. “I’m thrilled I can return to scouting and developing young talent. I look forward to working for Sandy and his staff.”
Measuring Covid Deaths, by David Leonhardt. July 17, 2023. NYT online.
The United States has reached a milestone in the long struggle against Covid: The total number of Americans dying each day — from any cause — is no longer historically abnormal….
After three horrific years, in which Covid has killed more than one million Americans and transformed parts of daily life, the virus has turned into an ordinary illness.
The progress stems mostly from three factors:
First, about three-quarters of U.S. adults have received at least one vaccine shot.
Second, more than three-quarters of Americans have been infected with Covid, providing natural immunity from future symptoms. (About 97 percent of adults fall into at least one of those first two categories.)
Third, post-infection treatments like Paxlovid, which can reduce the severity of symptoms, became widely available last year.
“Nearly every death is preventable,” Dr. Ashish Jha, who was until recently President Biden’s top Covid adviser, told me. “We are at a point where almost everybody who’s up to date on their vaccines and gets treated if they have Covid, they rarely end up in the hospital, they almost never die.”
That is also true for most high-risk people, Jha pointed out, including older adults — like his parents, who are in their 80s — and people whose immune systems are compromised. “Even for most — not all but most —immuno-compromised people, vaccines are actually still quite effective at preventing against serious illness,” he said. “There has been a lot of bad information out there that somehow if you’re immuno-compromised that vaccines don’t work.”
That excess deaths have fallen close to zero helps make this point: If Covid were still a dire threat to large numbers of people, that would show up in the data.
One point of confusion, I think, has been the way that many Americans — including we in the media — have talked about the immuno-compromised. They are a more diverse group than casual discussion often imagines.
Most immuno-compromised people are at little additional risk from Covid — even people with serious conditions, such as multiple sclerosis or a history of many cancers. A much smaller group, such as people who have received kidney transplants or are undergoing active chemotherapy, face higher risks.
Covid’s toll, to be clear, has not fallen to zero. The C.D.C.’s main Covid webpage estimates that about 80 people per day have been dying from the virus in recent weeks, which is equal to about 1 percent of overall daily deaths.
The official number is probably an exaggeration because it includes some people who had virus when they died even though it was not the underlying cause of death. Other C.D.C. data suggests that almost one-third of official recent Covid deaths have fallen into this category. A study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases came to similar conclusions.
Dr. Shira Doron, the chief infection control officer at Tufts Medicine in Massachusetts, told me that “age is clearly the most substantial risk factor.” Covid’s victims are both older and disproportionately unvaccinated. Given the politics of vaccination, the recent victims are also disproportionately
Republican and white.
Each of these deaths is a tragedy. The deaths that were preventable — because somebody had not received available vaccines and treatments — seem particularly tragic. (Here’s a Times guide to help you think about when to get your next booster shot.)
From the great Maureen Dowd:
As I write this, I’m in a deserted newsroom in The Times’s D.C. office. After working at home for two years during Covid, I was elated to get back, so I could wander around and pick up the latest scoop.
But in the last year, there has been only a smattering of people whenever I’m here, with row upon row of empty desks. Sometimes a larger group gets lured in for a meeting with a platter of bagels."
--- Dowd writes about the lost world of journalists clustered in newsrooms at all hours, smoking, drinking, gossipping, making phone calls, typing, editing.
"Putting out the paper," we called it.
Much more than nostalgia.