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.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.