Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Big Top Comes To The Big Apple

Good morning Fackers. I normally look at the Mets with a sort of "live and let live" philosophy. I'm not a New Yorker, so I don't particularly buy into the whole cross town rivalry bit. Sure I want the Yanks to beat them six times a year, but I want them to beat the Twins six times a year too.

So much like Jason at IATMS, I don't take any particular joy in what's going on over in Flushing these days. But at the same time, it's impossible to ignore what's happening there. Reflecting upon the Bronx Zoo years in his autobiography Balls, former Yankee Graig Nettles quipped "When I was a little boy I wanted to be a baseball player and join the circus. With the Yankees I have accomplished both." That nicely sums up the state of the Mets these days as well.

To summarize, General Manager Omar Minaya's top lieutenant is VP for Player Development Tony Bernazard. Bernazard is bat shit crazy. Rumors have persisted for years about his antics, and he's long been considered the key contributor in driving both former pitching coach Rick Peterson and former manager Willie Randolph out of town. But in recent weeks, Crazy Tony has really stepped up his game. First, he tore off his shirt and challenged the entire AA Binghamton Mets to a fight. Then he nearly got into a fight with fellow jackass Francisco Rodriguez as the Mets team bus left the park in Atlanta. Lastly, he unleashed a profanity laced tirade upon a subordinate when a Diamondbacks scout took the seat Crazy Tony wanted at a recent game.

In short, Bernazard had to go. It was long overdue, but the three incidents this month sealed his fate. So the Mets made it official yesterday. But in what has become typical Mets fashion, they can't even get a press conference right. Minaya made a mockery of the English language ("this reflects upon my watch") and rather than putting the issue behind him, he decided to pour gas on the fire. In one of the most bizarre sequences I can recall, Minaya accused Daily News beat writer Adam Rubin of "tearing down" Bernazard because Rubin coveted Bernazard's job. You can watch the uncomfortably bizarre footage here, unless of course Met-owned SNY realizes what an embarassment this is for the organization and pulls the footage.

So let me get this straight. A beat writer secretly wants to work for the team he covers. So, he hatches an elaborate plot to do his job and write stories about all the zany antics of the flat out crazy executive the Mets continue to employ. His plan works to perfection; the executive gets fired, and of course the logical next step is to hire the beat writer who has exactly zero experience working in professional baseball (and he would have gotten away with it too if it wasn't for you kids!). That's where you lose me Omar - but either way, good thing you were around to foil the plot.

I'm not rejecting out of hand that Rubin may have some desire to work on the other side of the notebook. For the most part, sportswriters cover the game because at some point the loved the game. No one's jumping into that dying industry for the fame or money. That said, Minaya's premise is as ludicrous as anything Crazy Tony ever pulled off. The fact of the matter remains that Bernazard acted of his own accord. He, and the Mets, have no one to blame for this situation but themselves. This is not Adam Rubin's fault.

Minaya should be skating on thin ice to begin with given the situation surrounding the organization, yet he's signed for three more years. I'm not sure he can weather this storm much longer. Omar Minaya is the highest profile front office employee of the organization and his antics yesterday were entirely inappropriate and unprofessional. If there's any justice, he'll be joining Bernazard in the unemployment line soon.

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