Uncle Tony's at it again:
The Binghamton Mets clubhouse nearly turned into a scene out of WWE Raw recently, when VP for player development Tony Bernazard removed his shirt and challenged the Double-A players to a fight during a postgame tirade, multiples sources told 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.
Nothing sets an example for model behavior like running around topless while slinging profanities at minors. As the story goes, Bernazard was upset with some of the Binghamton Mets players, most notably Coronado, for underage drinking. As with any sort of kerfuffle, I'm sure there's more to the story than our anonymous source is letting on, but whatever precipitated Bernazard's actions hardly justified this manner of behavior. For his part, Omar Minaya is doing what comes so naturally to him: playing dumb.
"I know he did have a team meeting with them," Minaya told the Daily News. "It was not a 'you-guys-have-been-great meeting.' I know he spoke to them in a stern voice. But as far as what he was wearing, what kind of shoes he was wearing, I don't know anything about that."
It certainly isn't the first time Bernazard's name has come up under less-than-exemplary circumstances. Following the failed negotiations with free agent Carlos Delgado in 2005, Bernazard was accused of trying to exploit their mutual Latin heritage to gain favor with the slugger. And after Willie Randolph was fired, reports swirled that Bernazard had an axe to grind with the Mets' former manager and that his divisiveness may have led to Randolph's being canned; meanwhile, Ken Davidoff reported in Newsday that Bernazard's reputation around the league was sub-stellar, as two industry sources indicated the Mets' executive was "a really bad guy".
In my fantasy scenario where Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya are shipped out of town on the back of a mule cart, let's just say that Tony Bernazard is riding shotgun.