How bad must things be going when your team has the second-highest payroll in Major League Baseball, but is five games below .500, totally out of playoff contention, and that’s not the bad part?
Moreover, how bad must things be going when your VP of Player Development, Tony Bernazard, is fired in the middle of the season for tyrannical, shirtless rants against players in the major and minor leagues… and that’s not the bad part either?
Welcome to The Season of Pain, starring the 2009 New York Mets.
First, we told you last week about Bernazard’s exploits, which included ripping his shirt off and challenging the Mets’ double-A affiliate team in Binghamton to a fight. Oh, and he also dropped a couple thousand Fuclear bombs on his deputy for having the temerity to suggest Bernazard wait until the end of a half inning to take a seat occupied by an opposing scout. Old news, right?
Well, turns out there’s more, including this anecdote reported by the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS (remember them, by the way; you’ll see). We’re just reprinting it in its entirety, because any comment on our part would distract from its beauty:
Tom Romano, who worked in the Mets clubhouse in the mid-1980s and later for the Brooklyn Cyclones, tells The News that he was on the receiving end of a nasty eruption from Bernazard when he ran the visitors’ clubhouse in a game in Lakewood, N.J. According to Romano, Bernazard entered the clubhouse in April, 2006, without identifying himself and when he was asked who he was, refused to answer. After Romano, whose job included keeping strangers out of the clubhouse, asked if Bernazard was the “bus driver” for one of the teams, Bernazard launched into a tirade and called Romano a “stupid (expletive). You stupid f. You dumb m.f,” still refusing to identify himself.
Okay! So with all that, today, the Mets called a press conference to announce Bernazard’s firing. Seems like little more than a foregone conclusion and that any questions about Bernazard’s allegedly outlandish behavior could be easily no-commented out of the media narrative by a semi-competent GM. Oh, I’m sorry, Omar Minaya, I didn’t recognize you. Would you like to send this thing off the tracks and have it burst into flames?
Omar Minaya announced Bernazard’s dismissal at a news conference Monday afternoon in which the general manager and New York Daily News [told you they’d be back!] reporter Adam Rubin squared off after Minaya inferred that Rubin wrote stories to try to get Bernazard fired so he could take his job.
The news conference took a bizarre turn when Minaya said that Rubin, who wrote the initial story about Bernazard’s confrontation in Binghamton, had lobbied in the past to get a personnel job with the Mets.
In an interview with reporters after the news conference, Rubin said he had never asked Minaya directly for a job in baseball.
“I don’t know how I’m going to cover the team now,” Rubin said.
Yes. It took a while, but we’ve gotten to the dreadest worst part: your team’s general manager is picking fights with beat reporters while he’s announcing the firing of his Raging Steroid Psychopathic VP.
It seems only fitting that Minaya and the Mets are stepping into the New York-sized hole left when Isiah Thomas took his special brand of criminally incompetence with a dollop of crazy away from the Knicks. Nothing they can do would surprise anymore. Minaya sacrifices David Wright on a pyre to ward the evil spirits away from the new stadium? Well, his fault for still being a virgin*. Gotta sacrifice a virgin.
*Note: We have absolutely no evidence to support the notion that David Wright has not lost his virginity.