Write a book critical of the Mets, lose media credentials

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Note: if you write stuff the Mets don’t like, they’re probably not gonna give you media credentials. Just ask Howard Megdal of the LoHud Mets blog:

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. 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 my reporting”. The team declined to respond to my multiple attempts to reach them for a fuller explanation.

Of course, Howard just published a book about the Wilpons, Madoff, David Einhorn and such, so I presume that’s the reporting they “don’t like.”  Earlier this winter the Mets accused Megdal of being a liar and a self-promoter, but his account in the book has held up as far as can be determined. Megdal and his publisher stand by it and much of it has been corroborated by other reporters.

My view:  if a reporter abuses his access by either breaking rules of the ballpark or acting unethically, sure, cast him out.  But keeping him out simply because you don’t like what he has to say?  Please.

Of course, ultimately, the Mets can do whatever they want with their media credentials. It’s their business and their ballpark and they have complete power to keep people out if they want to. They just have to realize, however, that when they do this kind of thing they look like petulant and thin-skinned children.

Mets sign Jose Lobaton to minor league deal

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The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.

Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.

In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.