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Tony Bernazard screwed up Mets hitters

Mar 1, 2010, 8:58 AM EDT

Bernazard.jpgRemember that guy who left your office last year, and when they went and cleaned out his office they found all those files he’d been screwing up for the past couple of years without anyone really knowing it?  Yeah, the Mets had one of those dudes:

Sources say [Tony] Bernazard, who oversaw minor-league development, was so
insistent on players hitting the ball to the opposite field that minor
leaguers were scolded for pulling the ball, sometimes even when they
got a hit . . . The intentions were good but the methods were extreme. In spring
training players took 80 swings a day against curve balls from a
pitching machine, hitting the ball the other way. The drills, which
continued at a modified number during the season, were emphasized to
the point that players eventually thought they were silly, and perhaps
even detrimental.

There could be some value in emphasizing opposite field hitting — Jeff Francoeur notes in the article that it may have helped him, which makes some sense for a guy who tries to jump on every pitch — but a one-size fits all approach to hitting is moronic.  Do you really want to turn David Wright into a slap hitter?  How much of his problems last year were the result of those 80 opposite-field swings a day?

Between this and all the other stuff he did after his buddy Omar Minaya hired him, Bernazard stands as the best argument there is against giving jobs to your friends simply because they’re your friends.

  1. Joey B - Mar 1, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    “The drills, which continued at a modified number during the season, were emphasized to the point that players eventually thought they were silly, and perhaps even detrimental.”
    I think, without more details, this one might be a reach. It could’ve started at 80, and been modified down to 20 for all we know. Maybe 80 was just to break some bad habits. The were references to hitting for more power, but trying to pull a curve ball, unless it’s hanging, isn’t going to resolve that.
    The only outliers on the team were Wright and Francouer, one better and one worse. I’m seeing much of a story here.

  2. Jonny5 - Mar 1, 2010 at 9:21 AM

    Seriously though, How much more evidence is needed before ownership realizes Minaya needs to be fired? You’re managing a MLB team. You do not hire people because they’re your buddy, or because they speak the same language as you do. If I were a Mets fan, i’d stop going to the games until Minaya is shitcanned! I’d start a facebook page asking fellow fans to boycott until he’s gone. This team has second or third highest payroll for gods sake!!!!

  3. jwb - Mar 1, 2010 at 9:49 AM

    I’m assuming that it’s not normal for a director of player development to be the person setting policy for hitting at the major league level adn that is just another case of the unclear lines of responsibility in the organization.

  4. Bill, NYC - Mar 1, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    I agree. I have no interest in going to any Met game and frequently turn down FREE tickets. The new stadium is a dump and management is no better. As a 38yr old life-long Mets fan I have NO PROBLEM with losing…I have had plenty of experience with that. However, I do have a problem with inept management and hiring cronies to fill critical roles. The ballpark LOOKS like a giant carnival with all of the ADs and the team is RUN like a carnival so why should I bother vesting my time, heart and money in it? No thanks.

  5. Old Gator - Mar 1, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    The history of Mutts mismanagement ought to be taught in the sports business program at the University of Macondo. If I hadn’t retired, I’d volunteer to teach that class myself.
    .
    I’d use Without Feathers as a textbook and Used Cars as an audiovisual aide.

  6. GimmeSomeSteel - Mar 1, 2010 at 1:01 PM

    “Get their confidence, get their trust, get their money.”
    Obviously, Omar y Amigos don’t know that one.

  7. scatterbrian - Mar 1, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    Bernazard should have been axed for getting rid of this crumb catcher:
    http://badwax.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/87tbernazardas.jpg

  8. Old Gator - Mar 2, 2010 at 12:04 AM

    I was thinking more along the lines of putting dead bodies to work. Considering their offseason acquisitions this past year, that’s the logical next step, isn’t it?
    .
    On the positive side, I was hoping Omar would pick up some wisdom from Woody’s book – you know, “No thanks, we already have a penguin.”

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