As if things hadn't gotten comically bad enough for the Mets this year, there's now word that their VP for Player Development, Tony Bernazard, recently ripped off his shirt and challenged the Double-A Mets to a fight. Seriously.
Via the Daily News:
Bernazard particularly went after middle infield prospect Jose Coronado, using a slang term associated with a woman's anatomy, a source indicated. The confrontation happened about 10 days before the All-Star break, according to insiders...
While the 52-year-old Bernazard's actions were over-the-top no matter what the motivation, alleged underage drinking on the team apparently was one motivation for the eruption, an organization source said. Still, sending players to counseling rather than challenging them to a rumble might have been a more appropriate course of action...
The shoddy treatment of people in the system has led to mocking of the VP behind his back.
The News reported Tuesday that Bernazard, one of GM Omar Minaya's top lieutenants, recently erupted at the organization's manager of baseball operations. During a game at Citi Field, scouts took their customary seats in a row behind home plate. Bernazard showed up during play and wanted a seat occupied by a D-Backs scout. Bernazard's deputy, already seated in the row, suggested to the Mets VP that he wait until the half-inning ended, to minimize the disruption. Bernazard ripped into his deputy with a profanity-laced tirade as scouts and patrons watched in disbelief.
Bernazard, remember, was the guy many accused of weaseling behind the scenes and orchestrating the firing of Willie Randolph last year. Carlos Delgado was also turned off by Bernazard when the Mets pursued him as a free agent before the 2005 season, claiming that the VP overplayed their common Puerto Rican heritage as a selling point.
Well, at least this takes some of the spotlight off getting shutout by the Nats last night.