Tony Bernazard, the Mets' vice president of player development, took off his shirt and challenged players on the Double-A Binghamton Mets to fight him during a recent postgame meeting, the New York Daily News, citing multiple sources, reported on Wednesday.
The confrontation, which sources said occurred earlier this month, included a particularly direct challenge to second baseman Jose Coronado. A source said that Bernazard directed a slang term associated with a woman's anatomy at the 23-year-old prospect, who is batting .250 with no homers and 24 RBIs in 58 games for Binghamton.
The report was corroborated by multiple people with ties to the Mets, the newspaper said. Alleged underage drinking among the team's players was a motivation for Bernazard's outburst, according to a source within the organization.
Mets general manager Omar Minaya told the Daily News that he was aware that Bernazard spoke to the Double-A players in a "stern voice," but said he didn't know of anything more that may have occurred.
"I know he did have a team meeting with them," Minaya told the Daily News. "It was not a 'you-guys-have-been-great meeting.' I know he spoke to them in a stern voice. But as far as what he was wearing, what kind of shoes he was wearing, I don't know anything about that."
Binghamton is 37-58 and in last place, 16 1/2 games behind, in the Eastern League's Northern Division. The team lost eight of nine games from June 30-July 7, including three in a five-game span by the scores of 12-1, 10-3 and 12-4.
Bobbie Dittmeier is an editor/producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.