Just when you thought you’ve seen it or heard it all when it comes to how the Mets do business comes word that team has denied Journal News Mets blogger Howard Megdal’ request for a media credential for the upcoming season. Megdal’s crime? Telling the truth.
According to Megdal, the Mets VP of Media Relations Jay Horowitz reason for reneging on the credential was that “they don’t like his reporting” Megdal has tried to get a further explanation from the club but so far his request has fallen on deaf ears.
When the Mets claim that they don’t like the way Megdal reports they mean they don’t like the truth of their financial difficulties being made public. Megdal has written a book, Wilpon’s Folly” that looks in depth how the Wilpon’s have gotten themselves into a mess of debt that they may not be able to get out of, that could cost them ownership of the Mets. It bothers the Mets greatly that Megdal, through hard work and dogged investigating, has laid out in full view, how the Wilpon’s were duped by Bernie Madoff and swindled out of the family fortune. What’s most bothersome about the Wilpon’s is they have not been forthright in telling how this great swindle has affected the operation of the Mets and Megdal with his thorough investigative work has uncovered the truth.
To call Megdal a blogger is like calling Martin Scorsese a guy who makes movies, Megdal is an accomplished author and freelance writer who has been credentialed by all the pro sports team in the area and his work has been published on ESPN.com, New York Times and MLB Trade Rumors. I could see if Megdal wrote a book that was not factual and that the Wilpons could prove it but he hasn’t and they can’t so they’ve decided to go take the bully route and not allow Howard to have a credential thus not allowing him to enhance his livelihood. See Megdal does not do this for fun, this is his job, it’s how he puts food on his table and because he did what no other writer had the guts to do, and give Mets fans and the other readers the truth behind the crumbling Wilpon Empire he’s being punished.
I do not believe this edict came from anyone in the media or public relations department; it had to come from only one place, the owner’s office. The folks who work in the Mets PR department know how badly they need sell this product that is Mets baseball. The fan base not only has disdain for this ownership but distrust as well, banning Megdal from obtaining a media credential is not only petty, it’s stupid. Beyond his talents as a writer, Megdal is as passionate a Mets fan as there is which makes this even more of an underhanded nasty move by the club. He’s not a go for free guy, no; he’s a paying customer and a frequent customer of the Mets product I might add.
The Wilpon’s just don’t get it, if they would have come out and told the truth from day one about getting had by Madoff and that it would affect the operation of the team to where they’d have to adjust the way they do business, Mets fans would have embraced them. There is no more forgiving fan base than Mets fans. Ask Keith Hernandez about the standing ovation he received after he testified in the Pittsburgh drug trials? Or ask Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry about the way Mets fans treated them after their bouts with drugs and alcohol. Mets fans and Mets bloggers are good people and should be treated with more respect by this ownership, none more than Howard Megdal.