Agent David Sloane has already demonstrated an almost pathological desire to burn bridges with the New York Mets, and now his client, Marlins 1B Carlos Delgado, shows he’s not above burying New York GM Omar Minaya, either. From the Toronto Star’s Richard Griffin :

Another team that grossly underestimated the total package that is Carlos Delgado was the Mets. New GM Omar Minaya and his assistant, Tony Bernazard, a former official with the players’ association misplayed the race card. They approached Delgado as a fellow Latino, instead of, first, as a man. Mistake.

“At the beginning, that was their approach,” Delgado said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re Latin, American or Italian, if we’re going to talk business, talk business. I’m not doing you any favours, you’re not doing me any favours because we’re speaking in Spanish. I’m a man first. I am nobody to tell anybody how to approach me. You do what you have to do, then, I decide what I want to do.”The Mets could have been front-runners, with a more subtle approach. They had been on an off-season roll, with Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran both responding positively to Bernazard’s culture-first approach. But on the team’s recruiting trip to Puerto Rico for Beltran, they lost Delgado.

“Sometimes you want to kill two birds with the same stone,” Delgado explained. “You’ve known you’re coming to Puerto Rico for a while. So you wait until the last day. It’s not like I live around the corner from the airport. I live two hours away.

“If there’s something so important you’ve got to tell me, call me and say, `I want to talk to you. Can you make it to San Juan or can we come to Aguila?’ Don’t come and stay in Puerto Rico for two hours, then turn around and blame it on me.”

Another frustration for Delgado, in terms of where he wanted to play, was the negotiating style of the Orioles. Face it, if Delgado had signed with the O’s, his numbers over the next five years at Camden Yards would put him in hall-of-fame territory.

“I kept telling David I wanted to talk to the Orioles,” Delgado said. “I’d really like to play there. But they were kind of slow. I know Mr. (Peter) Angelos was dealing with the compensation money with D.C. and this and that. But I made every effort, pretty much until the last day to tell David, `I want to keep talking to the Orioles. I want to see what they have to say.'”