Tony B...Champion of the People
As the Mets Turn: Chapter 12
Who gives a crap and move on.
"There's nothing to that, honestly," Manuel told The Post. "I've always gotten along real well with guys like [Mets assistant GM] John Ricco, guys like Tony Bernazard, Omar [Minaya]. The conversations are always about baseball: What are we doing, where are we going, are we trying different things. I never had any of these meetings secretly. Everyone could always see us talking."
The paranoia has a firm grip on Willie and sensationalism is running rampant in the media. It was clear this was a mistake from the start and the Wilpons had a wiff of that.
Fred Wilpon was enamored of the idea of the Mets becoming racial groundbreakers by being the first New York team to hire a black manager - Randolph, like Wilpon, is also a Brooklyn native - and was mollified by Minaya's contention that he'd picked a manager who would be an asset in working with minority communities in the offseason.
Ooooooh that was problem #1. You hire coaches and baseball people as well as players for baseball reasons and not PR reasons. Perhaps the biggest flaw with the Mets is that they do things for the wrong reasons and for all this negative press on Bernazard, he seemed to be right.
Minaya's assistant, Tony Bernazard, was never a Randolph fan and had pushed for Montreal Expos third base/infield coach Manny Acta for the job. Acta was instead hired as one of Randolph's coaches.
Also, let us say he did lobby for Randolph's firing, a firing I thought should have happened a long time ago. Doesn't that make people feel better that he is fighting for what is right? Why should he champion a guy he believes is the wrong guy. Who cares how it happened, it had to happen and people have lost sight of that. Willie was lucky to even be the manager for any portion of 2008 and that is glazed over as the man was on borrowed time.
Tony is being painted as a bad guy and maybe he is. However, it would not be for lobbying for Randolph's dismissal. That was a solid baseball decision and something that is good for the team. They surely have other holes, but that was an easy one to plug up and a manager may not create a ton of value, but he certainly should not be adding negative value and I truly felt Randolph did that.
“When a guy talks about coming to our place where he has a chance to win and compete against the Yankees and the Red Sox, and then he goes to a place like Kansas City, that’s an eye-opener,“ he was quoted saying in USA Today. ”We may have dodged a bullet with that one.”
Yep, whew, they dodged that bullet. Almost got stuck with Gil Meche and his 128 ERA+ last year. Of course, Ricciardi knew what few others could have understood — Meche would not have HAD that 128 ERA+ in Toronto because he did not have the heart and guts and competitive fire necessary to take on the Red Sox and the Yankees and all that. Yes, J.P. knows more than stats and tools. He can see into the hearts of men.
He could have been a remarkable run producer if he had been able to stay on the field and it is too bad he will remembered as a fragile player who could not stay healthy and often pissed on his hands.