(Long Island, NY) Before the Mets fire Vice President of Player Development Tony Bernazard, they should let him do his thing in front of the parent club. Unless you’ve been on a remote Pacific island the past few days, you have heard that the general manager’s pet publicly embarrassed himself for the umpteenth time since joining the Mets front office.
The former second baseman was with the organization’s Double-A affiliate in Binghamton when he reportedly let his temper get the best of him. Bernazard, 52, removed his shirt (although some said that he was still wearing an undershirt, as if that made it okay) and challenge several of the B-Mets to a fight.
Apparently none of these 20-somethings took him up on his offer. It would have been interesting if one or more of them did.
Bernazard was apparently upset at the team for playing just as lousy as the big league club. Perhaps he was on to something. The fast-fading Mets could use a good swift kick in the pants and heaven knows that their laid-back manager would bake them a cake before calling them out.
The inside word was that Bernazard was the mastermind behind the hatchet job on former manager Willie Randolph. He not only has Minaya’s ear, but COO Jeff Wilpon’s, too. For some reason, this .262 career-hitting journeyman has both of them fooled.
Randolph deserved to get fired, but the manner in which it was done was all wrong. The Midnight Massacre Part II that took place in California was handled completely inappropriately and smelled of a Bernazard-influenced plan. Randolph stood idly by as the 2007 Mets spiraled down to blow the division. Once the team began the next season playing inconsistent, it was time for him to go. But when Jerry Manuel did the exact same thing last September, it proved that he, too, was not the right man for the job.
What the Mets need is a Lou Pinella-type, someone that is going to give them the business when they need it. Should Bernazard get a shot? C’mon now. Let’s not be delusional, but in the same light let’s not kill the guy for being the only person in the entire organization to show some frustration and emotion.
The only problem was that he did it to the wrong group and has a history of making some bone-headed outbursts, such as the recent one at Citi Field when a scout for the opposing team was sitting in a seat that he wanted to use.
The Mets have tried to diffuse the situation, as is their normal course of business, by basically placing Bernazard on house arrest while the team investigates the Binghamton situation.
“I’ll talk to him and I’ll continue to talk to him,” Minaya told a group of reporters in Washington on Wednesday. “We’ll sit down and talk this weekend. I’ve notified him we’ll investigate these things and then I’ll sit down with our owners and ask how we are going to handle this.”
Until then, Bernazard will sit in his New Jersey home and seethe as he watches the losses mount in both the minor and major leagues. His actions were inappropriate and hard to defend but were also refreshing in a lost season.