Write a book critical of the Mets, lose media credentials

20 Comments

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.

Cubs won’t make Kyle Schwarber available in trade talks

Kyle Schwarber
Getty Images
2 Comments

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.

The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.

Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.

Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”