Report: 'No way' Singer can save job

Updated: November 18, 2003, 10:43 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Bill Singer's new job with the Mets appeared in jeopardy amid speculation he would be let go following his racially insensitive remarks last week to a Los Angeles Dodgers executive.

Reports in New York area newspapers said Singer, hired as a superscout Nov. 6, could be fired or asked to resign this week.

"He's still employed by us at the moment, but the matter is under organizational review," Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz said Sunday night. "No decision has been made."

Singer and the team have apologized for racially insensitive remarks to a Los Angeles Dodgers' official during the general managers' meetings this week.

Singer's apology is not likely to save his job, however. The Mets have already begun looking for his replacement, according to a story in the New York Daily News on Sunday. And sources told the newspaper there is "no way" that Singer will survive the controversy.

Singer made the comments to Dodgers assistant general manager Kim Ng at a hotel bar in Arizona on Tuesday night, prompting Yankees general manager Brian Cashman -- Ng's former boss -- to step in, sources familiar with the conversation told the Daily News. The Los Angeles Times also reported that Singer confronted Ng, citing unnamed baseball officials who were present.

After the incident, Singer met privately with Mets general manager Jim Duquette and claimed that he had been on a low-carbohydrate diet, which caused him to suffer a chemical imbalance in conjunction with consuming alcohol, the Daily News reported.

"That didn't wash with Jim and it sure as hell won't wash with [owner] Fred [Wilpon]," a Mets source told the Daily News. "Plain and simple, there's no excuse for that kind of behavior, and there's no saving this guy."

Singer issued a statement released by the Mets on Friday.

"I am embarrassed by what I said when I met with Ng on Tuesday evening," Singer said. "My comments were truly inappropriate and I'm truly sorry. I have apologized to her and hope she will forgive me."

According to The Times, Singer approached Ng as baseball people gathered in the hotel bar after attending an instructional league game Tuesday. Two officials within earshot described the exchange, which Singer initiated, to The Times as follows:

Singer: "What are you doing here?"

Ng: "I'm working."

Singer: "What are you doing here?"

Ng: "I'm working. I'm the Dodger assistant general manager."

Singer: "Where are you from?"

Ng: "I was born in Indiana and grew up in New York."

Singer: "Where are you from?"

Ng: "My family's from China."

Singer: Nonsensically mock Chinese, then "What country in China?"

"There was a situation," Ng told the Daily News. "I've talked to Jim Duquette about it. That's all I'm going to comment about it."

Cashman declined to comment to the Daily News.

"His conduct was inexcusable and extremely disappointing," Dodgers GM Dan Evans told the Times. "Kim handled the entire situation in a professional manner, and we addressed the matter with the New York Mets the next day. I would prefer to keep that discussion with the Mets confidential."

Singer, 59, a two-time 20-game winner during his 14-year pitching career in the majors, joined the Mets as an assistant and talent evaluator.

"We learned of the matter recently and have addressed it with Bill Singer directly," Duquette said. "While I cannot share the particulars of that discussion with you, suffice it to say that his comments were entirely unacceptable and inconsistent with the values and standards of our organization. We have extended our apologies to Kim Ng and to the Dodgers organization.

"Bill continues to be employed by us at the moment. However, this entire matter continues to be under review by the organization. We are reserving judgment on this."

Ng became the second female assistant general manager in the majors when she was hired by the Yankees in 1997. At 29, she was the youngest assistant GM in the majors. Ng resigned from the Yankees in 2001 after her contract expired, and was hired by the Dodgers a month later.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.