Archive: September 4th, 2008

Without Willie

Could Tony Bernazard have been any more clear about how he felt about Willie Randolph? Do we need any more evidence of his questionable character and lack of professionalism?

In the Daily News, John Harper spoke with Bernazard about the resurgence of Carlos Delgado, and Tony B just couldn’t leave Randolph — or his own ego — out of the conversation.

“The other thing,” said Bernazard, “is that maybe it has something to do with the new people running the team.”

He didn’t refer specifically to either Randolph or Jerry Manuel, but with that one sentence, Bernazard may as well have declared:

“See? We were right.”

Bernazard still won’t say so publicly, but it’s clear in conversation with him about the state of the ballclub that he felt Randolph had to go, perhaps felt more strongly about the need for a change than anyone in the organization.

And even though the Mets can never defend GM Omar Minaya’s clumsy, insensitive handling of the firing, you can’t argue these days with the idea that indeed the front office was right.

The last sentence, by Harper, is incredulous and typically short sighted. The front office wasn’t “right” about Randolph being the wrong manager — they had no choice but to remove him as long as Tony Bernazard was going to repeatedly undermine his authority and bad-mouth him to anyone who would listen — be it players, coaches, journalists, team officials, or Jeff Wilpon.

Imagine trying to manage a group of 25 men, and a middle manager from another department is constantly hanging around the cubes of your workers, and whispering bad things about you to them. For example, telling your receptionist that in a closed door meeting with the higher ups, you questioned her phone manners? You think your group would be working at optimum efficiency with that sort of thing going on?

More gems from this article:

… the Manuel Mets barely resemble the Randolph Mets.

Bernazard feels it’s no coincidence. Although he avoided specific discussion of Randolph, his praise of Manuel seemed to be a commentary on the old manager as well.

“You have to have the pulse of the team,” Bernazard said. “You have to be prepared and you have to communicate with your players. Jerry does all of that.”

and, in regard to whether Delgado’s comeback had to do with the managerial change:

“Delgado is such a student of the game,” said Bernazard. “If you’re running a good game, he knows. When you’re running a bad game, he knows.”

Tony Bernazard made it crystal clear that there wasn’t enough room in town for both he and Randolph. His pitbull tenacity in pushing Randolph out had no boundaries nor ethics, and in the end he comes out smelling like a rose because on the surface, it looks like Jerry Manuel is a genius and Willie Randolph an idiot. In truth, the tense dark cloud that surrounded the team in Willie’s last 8-12 months was a calculated and despicable manipulation by Bernazard, designed to dispose of Randolph. Hopefully, Bernazard gets a GM job on the West Coast this offseason, as has been rumored — because who knows who he’ll turn on next.

But who cares, right? Because the Mets are winning and that’s all that matters. Why am I being so negative?

Well, when a situation makes me sick to my stomach, the easiest way to soothe my tummy is to let it out by blogging about it. I’m still rooting for the Mets, still love that they’re winning, and am happy with Jerry Manuel in charge. But all this behind-the-scenes drama centered around a guy who has ZERO qualifications for his position and an equal amount of professionalism, yet gains more power with every Mets win, cannot get swept under the rug.