Brian McNamee was close to being hired by the New York Mets last season, but Omar Minaya vetoed the decision, according to a report in the New York Times. Manager Willie Randolph and hitting Coach Rick Down supported hiring McNamee, but Minaya turned down their recommendations. "I went to Willie and Willie went to Omar, and it was nixed," Down told the Post on Tuesday. "I think it was nixed because of the Tampa incident [in which McNamee was questioned by St. Petersburg police but never charged in connection with an alleged rape]. There really wasn't much further discussion on it. The Mets didn't want adverse publicity, and in retrospect they were right."