Minaya: 'Everybody is going to have a job description'
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- The New York Mets hired two special assistants Tuesday, getting former major leaguer Tony Bernazard from the players' union and grabbing Sandy Johnson from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
New general manager Omar Minaya made the moves, adding to a crowded front office. The Mets already have former GM Jim Duquette and assistant John Ricco, along with special advisers Al Goldis and Bill Livesy, and they're all staying on.
"Everybody will have a responsibility," Minaya said. "I do have a plan that everybody is going to have a job description."
Bernazard and Johnson will spend much of their time as talent evaluators. The Mets and first-time manager Willie Randolph still have to fill out a staff, with Sandy Alomar Jr., Rudy Jaramillo and Manny Acta in the mix to become coaches.
Minaya said he didn't yet have a "full, clear picture" of what the roster would look like as he tries to reshape a team that went 71-91 last season. He said talks were continuing with pitchers Al Leiter and Kris Benson, who both filed for free agency.
Bernazard, 47, had been a special assistant with the union since 1992. He will start Dec. 1.
"Tony brings credibility," Minaya said at the GM meetings. "He'll be around me with the major league club."
Among his duties with the players' association, Bernazard helped make sure Latin players were involved in the union.
"I'm looking forward to working with Omar and the New York Mets organization," Bernazard said in a statement released by the team. "The opportunity to use my expertise on the club level to help bring a championship back to the New York Mets' fans is very exciting to me."
Johnson, 64, hired Minaya to work for the Texas Rangers about 20 years ago. He had been special assistant to Diamondbacks GM Joe Garagiola since 1996. He will start this Saturday.
"There is no baseball executive I respect more in this game than Sandy Johnson," Minaya said. "Whether it be scouting, player development or international play, Sandy has been involved with it all. I was with him in Texas and I can't tell you how excited I am to be with him again here with the Mets."
Johnson managed the old Seattle Pilots and managed in their minor league system when they moved to Milwaukee. He worked for San Diego and Texas before joining Arizona.
"I got my job in Texas on Oct. 31, 1984, and I think I hired Omar two days later," Johnson said. "I've pretty much done everything there is to do in baseball and I'm here to do whatever Omar wants me to do."
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press