Tony Bernazard has not set foot at Citi Field, a place he played a prominent role in designing, since his July firing in 2009. But he was at Yankee Stadium Saturday night, sitting in the fifth row behind the backstop. When asked if he still is angry at the Mets about his dismissal -- a subject he has never addressed at length -- he smiled, held up his hands and shrugged.
"About what?" Bernazard told Newsday. "I know what really happened. It was mostly lies."
Bernazard, formerly the Mets' vice president of player personnel, was fired over accusations that ranged from challenging minor- leaguers to a fight at Double-A Binghamton to getting into a heated argument with Francisco Rodriguez to clashing with another front-office employee over where they were seated at Citi Field.
On Saturday, he said he was a scapegoat used to deflect attention from other problems with the Mets, who were 10 1/2 games behind the Phillies at the time.
He talked proudly about what the Mets' prospects have contributed. He is especially impressed by Lucas Duda, a player he said was moved from first base to the outfield at his urging.
Before Saturday's game, Kirk Nieuwenhuis -- who was at the team's lower levels during Bernazard's tenure -- came over to talk with him, as did David Wright and trainer Ray Ramirez.
Bernazard shrugged off numerous questions about his current employment. When asked whom he is rooting for in the Subway Series, he smiled and said, "I root for players -- not teams."