I thought I ought to pass along this bit of news, so all of you have a sense of what the blog will and won’t be this coming year, and why that is.
Since taking over the LoHud Mets Blog in March 2011, I have been credentialed numerous times by the New York Mets-100 percent of the time my editor here, Sean Mayer, has requested credentials. This is nothing new. In my years covering sports, I have been credentialed by every major sports team in the New York area, writing for ESPN.com, The New York Times, New York Magazine, The New York Observer, and many other outlets.
So it was odd that last week, Sean received a call from Jay Horwitz, the Director of Media Relations for the New York Mets, telling him that while the Journal News can continue to receive credentials, the Mets would not be credentialing me.
Sean asked why that was, and Jay responded that the Mets “don’t like his reporting”. The team declined to respond to my multiple attempts to reach them for a fuller explanation.
But I don’t think much investigation is required. As of the final game of last season, I was credentialed. I participated in a conference call with Sandy Alderson in December.
Later in December, Wilpon’s Folly was published. The book details the financial and legal problems facing Met ownership due to their investments with Bernie Madoff. The book was no surprise to the Mets- I reached out to them once I was asked to write the book by Bloomsbury, and spoke many times on background to multiple people within the organization about all specific reporting within the book.
The book’s reporting, incidentally, has not been challenged. It has been reinforced by subsequent articles in The New York Times, Adam Rubin at ESPN.com, and numerous other places. The only response the Mets have provided is to attack me personally.
The Mets can’t very well keep out Adam Rubin, whose right to be in the clubhouse is guaranteed by his membership in the Baseball Writers Association of America. Though I am a full-time sportswriter as my profession, I am ineligible for the BBWAA because I make my living through regular, part-time gigs, not a single, full-time one. So the team is lashing out where it can.
To his immense credit, Sean is standing by me and my work. I am grateful for his support.
From my perspective, little will change. I will continue to write about the stories that I think impact the New York Mets in the most significant ways. That’s the reason much of my reporting has focused on the financial and legal problems facing the team, after all- judging how the team might fix on-field problems while ignoring the problems necessitating the largest one-year payroll decrease in baseball history would do my readers a disservice.
I’ll continue to write about the interesting trends and possibilities on the field as well. Next month, I’ll be at spring training, and will report all that I see. I’ll continue to speak to my contacts within the industry, attend many games, and keep you on top of everything relevant that is happening with the New York Mets.
What the Mets manage to do by keeping me out of the clubhouse is deny me the chance to give you a better sense of the Mets players as people, thus giving the fans a greater stake in the success and failure of the team. Why they think that is somehow to their advantage, I couldn’t possibly say.
I consider it a privilege beyond compare that I get to write about the sports that interest me most for a living. I look forward to doing all I can to make the product of my dream job something that all of you enjoy. But I certainly will not shy away from the topics that I believe need to be addressed, even if, in this case, it has made day-to-day operations a bit more challenging.