Monday, July 6, 2009

A Familiar Rat

You're going to think I'm crazy.......well maybe not all Mets fans based on some recent comments and blog posts I've seen......but one of the biggest problems with the Mets might be their own Assistant General Manager Tony Bernazard. Tony Bernazard is a rat in every sense of the word, he plays the game and it appears he plays it well. He cuddles up to ownership and undermines everyone who stands in his way. Bernazard is the Vice President of Player Relations, which basically is the Assistant GM, and was supposed to build the Mets into a power house in Latin America. Young Latin American ballplayers were supposed to be lining up to sign with the Mets, but that has been far from the case. The Mets have developed very few impact Latin American players, although due to youth that may be a premature statement. They also haven't had the strangle hold on the Latin American pipeline like they were supposed to, they've lost out too many times on the signings of impact players. There is also the constant undermining that seems to be going on when he is around from having Latin American players call him when they have a problem off the field or with a manager or someone from the front office. I know Willie Randolph hated how much Bernazard was on the field and in the clubhouse when he was with the team, and Tony's dirty habit of telling the Latin American players what Randolph said about them in closed door meetings. I might be wrong but I don't think Bernazard would've suddenly become an angel when Jerry became manager.
Fast-Foward to 2010 and you'll see the New York Mets will have Tony Bernazard as their General Manager, and i think its safe to say Bernazards first move will be to make Manny Acta his manager.(That was who Bernazard wanted to replace Randolph) The Mets will also suddenly become that power house in Latin America that they were supposed to be when Omar Minaya became General Manager, but Tony will say that the difference is not because he was gunning for Omars job but because of the renewed commitment the team is making to the Latin American community. Every team has their own rats, those people who seem so determined to work behind their co-workers backs until they get what they want and unfortunately for Mets fans Tony Bernazard is that kind of guy and even more unfortunate is that he seems to have the Wilpons ear.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Big Weekend for the East

Who would've guessed this close to the All Star Break the NL East would be this mediocre. The Phillies and Marlins are both only 2 games above .500, the Mets are at .500 and the Braves are 2 games below .500. With all the teams in NL East within striking distance (besides the Nats but if the Nats folded tomorrow would anyone even really notice?) which can be blamed on injuries and inconsistencies from the Mets and Phillies. That leads us to this weekend when the Mets take on the Phillies, the Marlins take on the Pirates and the Braves take on the lowly Nats. The only team to play as bad as the Mets have at times this month have been the Phillies who have continued their up and down season. This matchup seems to point in the Mets direction as this series is in Philly, where the Phillies have been inexplicably awful this year, Raul Ibanez is still on the DL, as he was the difference the last time these two teams played, and the pitching matchups greatly favor the Mets. However, it seems like whenever Mets fans expect the Mets to step up they always seem to falter. Taking two of three this weekend would provide a huge boost for this team going into the final two series before the All-Star Break. The Marlins and especially the Braves can help themselves out mightily as they get favorable matchups as the Mets and Phillies beat up on each other. All together this should be a great weekend for the NL East and be a preview of a crazy second half.


I love how that whenever the Mets lose or they make a mistake the Mets are criticized for having a lack of leadership, and almost immediately after that David Wright is thrown under the bus for not stepping up and being a leader. While it is true that it seemed like Carlos Delgado, before he got hurt, was one of the leaders and it does seem like now David Wright is taking the more visible leadership role. For example he makes more trips to the mound to talk to the pitcher than ever before and there is of course his, much publicized, dugout talk with Mike Pelfrey in Baltimore. I think the saying "you're never as bad as you as seem and never as good either" applies here. When your losing there is more spotlight placed on the lack of leadership that outsiders believe there is on a team, and when things are going well you're never as great a leader as everyone makes you out to be. When the Mets and David Wright were playing well there was talk of making him a captain and when David is struggling his leadership is called into question. I do believe David Wright is a leader on this team as well as guys like Alex Cora, Sheff, and Johan are. There is so much that goes on behind closed doors that its hard to get a feel for what a clubhouse and the leaders within are really like. John Franco was recently quoted as saying the Mets need to be having more fun out there and while I respect John Franco hes totally off base. Hes an outsider looking in so hes opinion is just as valued as yours on mine should be. Every clubhouse is different some are loose and more relaxed, like the 2006 club and some are more "professional" both are good and both have worked in winning baseball games. The questioning of the Mets "lack of leadership" has more to do with the media and fans yearning for someone to berate a player every time he makes a mistake or strikeouts or walks a batter. If that were the case that player wouldn't be a leader he would be hated by his teammates. I think this leadership question needs to be put to rest until you here someone within the clubhouse say, " we're a sinking ship and no one is leading us."