Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Only bleach can wipe away this stain

I won't bore you with a recap of what Tony Bernazard allegedly did to get himself investigated by the Human Resources department of the New York Mets. That's been well covered. I found it interesting that HR was investigating him before any news reports came out accusing him of some pretty heinous behavior. I do wonder if the Mets were going to sweep this under the rug had Adam Rubin not played whistleblower (and to be fair, if Tony B. is getting into it in public, you don't really need a whistleblower).

Tony Bernazard lost his job on Monday. Joel Sherman in the Post explains why. This explanation came out before the press conference. Tony B. would be a distraction to the on-field product (had he remained) and if something else were to be reported, it just makes everyone look bad. Dismissing him closes the investigation (who wants to beat that dead horse by trying to find more dirt on someone who already lost his job from said dirt?). Without saying so, they're saying that these allegations are true.

Listen to the entire press conference at WFAN.com.

The more Omar talked, the worse he seemed to sound. He repeated himself a few times (especially about the internal investigation and Adam Rubin). Really on the defensive over having to fire Tony Bernazard. He had to be asked the same question a few times because Omar was evading some answers. Keep your statements and answers simple. The more you talk, the more your foot goes in the mouth. I've been there myself. He also let the reporters control the show by allowing way too many questions (and not just about Adam Rubin, which seemed like a small part of the show now that I've listened to it).

It could have all been left at that. Then things got strange. SNY has the video of the strange part of the press conference, because frankly, you need to see it to believe it. Neil Best covering the Sports Media for Newsday looks at SNY's coverage of the bizzare press conference.
Nice job by SNY doing a split screen of Rubin's shocked reaction as Minaya spoke

One thing that's a shame is that Tony Bernazard was fired for some stupid things and not for failing to do his job successfully. It's also a shame that it took a public outing of Tony Bernazard misconduct to get him fired when I seriously have my doubts that anything would have happened had it stayed under wraps. That's how dysfunctional I think the Mets franchise is right now. Tony B. should have been fired earlier this season for not developing the farm system enough to (even with Omar's vote of confidence at the press conference).

Even before the Adam Rubin sparring, Omar Minaya really didn't look too good as the head of the Mets baseball operations.

SNY has some reactions to this in the form of video:

After listening to what appeared on SNY on Monday afternoon, both during the press conference and after, and hearing some of what Tony Bernazard did, Tony looks bad. And Omar looks bad. Omar looks really bad by calling out a reporter for something that doesn't seem to be true or even within the realm of possibility. Brooklyn Met Fan says Omar has jumped the shark. It really is the beginning of the end for Omar. Let's see how long it takes Fred & Jeff Wilpon to make the move.

One thing that I thought as I'm reading the live blogging on MetsBlog.com, is this going to be a problem for Adam Rubin covering the club, and could there be some legal action against Omar Minaya and/or the Mets over what was said (either libel or slander, I forget which).

But wait, there's more. Omar Minaya apologized, which you can listen to courtesy of WFAN.com. This aired just before first pitch (delayed on Monday night by a few minutes because of rain). Jeff Wilpon was there, taking charge finally. Omar sounded even more flustered. Omar apologized for the "forum" in which his calling out Adam Rubin was conducted. But never for what was said. He even said he never regretted saying it in the first place. Someone during that last press conference said that Rubin could have some serious job issues (in a real stern voice). I hope this doesn't spin into a legal matter or a job "issue" for Adam Rubin. He's just trying to do his job in reporting on facts, and some private conversations about casual inquiries turned public.

Jeff Wilpon had to come back to the table today, seen on SNY, with some "reflection" and apologies all around. It is good to see Jeff Wilpon taking charge. I really wonder if this will lead to Omar's dismissal (or resignation).

Now the fallout...

In the end, Tony Bernazard lost his job, this could lead to a few other jobs being lost or changed, and it's an embarrasment to the Mets organization for the way that Tony B. conducted himself on the job and for the way Omar Minaya conducted himself during the press conference.

I am thinking that this is a real low point in the franchise's history, right down there with the bleach spraying incident, which coincidently, Monday was the 16th anniversary (thanks to Mets Fans Forver for that reminder.