The New York Mets have given us all an illustration of how to take a small public relations problem and turn it into a big one. If they had the same ability to take a small lead in a ballgame and expand on it, they wouldn’t be in 4th place in the NL East 10.5 games behind the Phillies.
For those of you keeping score at home, here is how the reverse rally got started.
According to media accounts, in early July, 52-year-old Mets vice president for player development, Tony Bernazard, conducted a tirade in the club house of the team’s Double-A Binghamton farm team. During the course of his “motivational” lecture Bernazard reportedly ripped his shirt off and offered to fight the whole team. Since Bernazard is still with us, we presume the team declined.
After the story reached the newspapers — the Mets opened an investigation and on Monday the Amazin’s General Manager, Omar Manaya, announced that the club had fired the feisty Bernazard.
This is where they Mets took it to another level. Instead of making it a one-day story and moving on, Manaya attacked the reporter who first (correctly) wrote about the Bernazard incident strongly hinting that the scribe had done so because he wanted a job in baseball and was helping clear out the competition.
This lead to angry words between the reporter and the GM. A several days more stories on the subject on the back pages of N.Y. tabloids.
The next day Jeff Wilpon,the Mets Chief Operating Officer, came out to apologize for the GM but adding: “Right now the idea is that Omar is our General Manager, period.”
Wow. If we were Omar…we’d worry about that “right now” part.