Last night, as the New York Yankees took sole possession of first place in the AL East with a win over the Orioles, the New York Mets (44-49) were trying to laugh off the unusually violent motivational tactics of one of their staff in Binghamton, New York.
The Daily News reports that a few weeks back, vice president for player development Tony Bernazard, displeased with the minor league Binghamton Mets’ performance, removed his shirt in their dugout, called player Jose Coronado either a pussy or a cunt, and challenged the entire team to a fistfight. The News says Binghamton players dislike their treatment by the Mets organization, and have taken to “mocking of the VP behind his back,” which may have led to the incident.
“I know he spoke to them in a stern voice,” GM Omar Minaya responded to the paper’s enquiries, “But as far as what he was wearing, what kind of shoes he was wearing, I don’t know anything about that.”
Last year the Times said Bernazard had “emerged as something of a one-man lightning rod, portrayed in various news media reports as a meddler and a divisive force who undercut [former Mets manager Willie] Randolph, partly by forming his own alliances with players, particularly Hispanic one.”
Still, maybe Bernazard should try his farm-league motivational tactics at the major league level; the Binghamton Mets have won six of their last eight games, while the New York Mets are 10 games back in the NL East.