The Baseball Worlds of Tony Bernazard (1979-2009)
Tony Bernazard was fired by the Mets this week for many reasons, here's a look back at his career.
Bernazard was born August 24, 1956 in Puerto Rico. He was drafted by the Expos in 1973 and didn't get to the bigs until 1979. He played two seasons sparingly in Montreal before becoming the regular second baseman for the White Sox, then the Indians through out the eighties. He was traded to the Mariners midway through the 1983 season for Julio Cruz, who helped the Sox win the AL West. In 1984 Bernazard tied a record by going hitless in a 44 at bat stretch. He was a good sacrifice guy, and hit over .300 in 1986. That year he had career highs with 17 HRs 73 RBIs & 169 hits. When he was on a hot streak at the plate all he would eat on his dinner plate was chicken, much to the ridicule of his team mates. By 1988 he was playing in Japan for three seasons & retired from playing in 1991. A lifetime .262 hitter with 177 doubles, 75 HRs, 391 RBIs, playing over 1071 games with a .977 fielding percentage.
Bernazard was an MLB Players Association special assistant to the Director from 1992-2003. He was involved in labor negotiations, and served as G.M. for MLB All Star teams playing against Japanese All Star teams. In 2004 he became the Mets V.P. of Player Development. He & his family moved into the Princeton New Jersey area.
In 2008 it was said in Mets camp that Bernazard had alot to do with Willie Randolph getting axed. This season Bernazard and his hot head had a bust summer. He argued with a Diamondbacks scout at Citi Field when he wanted a seat the scout was occupying. Then he had an shouting match with Mets closer, Francisco Rodriguez on the team bus in Atlanta. Then he ripped his shirt off and challenged the players of the Binghamton Mets to a fight. Not proper conduct for a 53 year old front office guy. He was fired with alot of drama at at Omar Minaya press conference this past week. If the Mets were winning, this would not have been as big of a deal as it became.