Angry Mets Fan Shakes Fist at Cloud

machiavelli.jpgThat last post was my funny-ha-ha one over the current Mets mess. Here’s my Howard Beale extravaganza.

First off, I shouldn’t have to give two rats’ deuces about the VP for player development. I doubt a fan of any other team could even give you the name of the man who fills this job for their favorite squadron. Only the Mets could staff this position with a shirt-ripping, street-fightin maniac.

As for Omar Minaya accusing a beat writer of trashing Tony Bernazard because he wanted a job with the team, that has to be straight-up the rock stupidest thing I’ve seen a GM in any sport do during a press conference.

Many writers have compared this mind-meltingly idiotic move to Bobby Valentine imitating someone who’s high trying to play baseball, which he did during the now-forgotten “the Mets-love-pot” kerfuffle. But at least Valentine did what he did as a failed attempt at humor. He wasn’t trying to ruin a man’s reputation.

The Mets are one of the richest teams in baseball. They play in a huge media market that attracts the biggest and the brightest in every conceivable profession from all over the country. All over the world. Are you telling me they can’t hire better people for their front office?

I’m not even talking about whoever scouts/develops talent–that’s a whole 17-volume set in itself. (Long story short: If the Red Sox can fill their FO with sabermetric geniuses and make a killing in the draft every year, despite big free agent signings, so can the Mets.) Are you telling me that their PR department can’t handle bad situations like these without making sure they turn into raging shitstorms?

They didn’t all just fall off the back of the turnip truck. These people should be very aware of the shark tank that is the New York newspaper world. In preparation for this press conference, did no one raise their hand and say, “We’re going to accuse a reporter of having a vendetta against us. A beat reporter for one of the biggest tabloids in the nation. Excuse me, but isn’t that fucking insane?!”

And let’s just assume for a moment that Adam Rubin, the Mets beat reporter for the Daily News who broke the Bernazard story, did write his stories because of some personal vendetta. Why on earth would you say that during a press conference, even if you had irrefutable proof? And how would that in any way mitigate the fact that Bernazard should be fired?

Woodward and Bernstein couldn’t have broken the Watergate story without Deep Throat. Everyone assumed that Deep Throat was some White House insider who was morally repulsed by the Nixon Administration, who felt the Republicans had gone too far and must be stopped. Turned out it was Mark Felt, an FBI lifer who was annoyed for getting passed over for a promotion. He mostly blabbed to the Washington Post out of spite, not out of some sense of patriotic duty. That’s disappointing as a storyline, but does it make Richard Nixon’s acts any less despicable?

Obviously, what Tony Bernazard did is nowhere near the level of Watergate. But my point is, how or why his offenses came to light has no bearing on the matter whatsoever. Even before yesterday, I assumed the Bernazard reporting had some sort of personal motive, since it was so unrelenting. When somebody gets slammed in the press again and again, it’s because some editor has decided he wants to get that guy fired–and it’s usually due to one agenda or another.

Regardless, if Bernazard really did what he was accused of doing, he deserved to be fired. And if Rubin was truly operating under a conflict of interest, he would have been more seriously accused of doing so. Once again, the Mets were able to take a nasty little molehill and transform it into a huge, festering mountain of stupid.

If my team is gonna engage is Machiavellian tactics, is it too much to ask they be good at them?