The Mets could have blamed their manager. They could have blamed general manager Omar Minaya. They could have blamed their injuries. They could even have blamed Citi Field's effect on their bats (read: David Wright's power outage).
But no, the Mets decided to instead pin their miserable 2009 season on the shirtless shoulders of their disgraced former vice president of player development -- at least, if you believe Tony Bernazard.
Bernazard, who infamously lost his job last year after reportedly tearing off his shirt and challenging players at Double-A Binghamton to a fight -- among other examples of his misconduct -- told Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports on Tuesday that he took the fall for a lost summer.
"This is the thing: I was blamed for everything that happened to the Mets last year," Bernazard told Rosenthal in a Q&A posted on FoxSports.com. "... why do people choose to be so naïve, that one person was responsible for everything that happened to the Mets?"
As for his conduct, Bernazard blames the media and the Mets for blowing it all out of proportion. "I'm telling you, I didn't do anything wrong," he said.
Bernazard, clearly bitter about his dismissal from the club, said he doesn't feel blackballed from baseball -- he just hasn't started looking for a new job yet.
"I've always been a hard worker, very dedicated. But I'm taking it easy right now. If I would have been offered something that I thought was worthwhile, I probably would have done it. But I don't want to force things," Bernazard said. "I can help people. I can help an organization. I'm available. Let's put it that way."