Could anything prove most disheartening for a New York Mets fan than K-Rod, Pedro Feliciano and Sean Green collaborating to gift the St. Louis Cardinals with a 12-7, 10 inning win? How about a report from the New York Times’ Ken Belson on the state of the Mets’ floundering International and Eastern League affiliates in Buffalo and Binghamton, currently a combined 53 games under .500 for 2009.  Even more incredible than one Bisons fan claiming (presumably with a straight face), “they™re trying, but the Mets are taking our best players” (Angel Berroa?), is Belson’s suggestion that publicity stemming from Tony Bernazard challenging the B-Mets to a fight might prove beneficial to the club’s bottom line.

In Binghamton, the team is dealing with a different kind of distraction: the attention that Bernazard™s tirade generated. Manager Mako Oliveras said Bernazard was trying to motivate his underachieving players, not threaten them.

œI™m not going to sugarcoat it, Oliveras said before his team lost to the Akron Aeros, 16-3, on Friday. œYou™re damned if you do, damned if don™t.

Despite the episode ” maybe because of it ” attendance is steady and spending at the park is up this year, according to the team™s general manager, Scott Brown. Like many minor league teams, Binghamton has numerous promotions, like fireworks on Friday nights.

œIt™s not necessarily about wins and losses, but the show you put on, Brown said. œAnd the more people who know about the city, the better.

Binghamton also achieved notice when a video of the team™s mascot, Bingo the Bee, became a sensation on YouTube. After Binghamton™s Lucas Duda hit a grand slam, Bingo was shown dancing in the outfield before failing comically to jump over a fence.