Wednesday, August 01, 2012

N.Y. Mets ~ The Curious Adam Rubin-Sandy Alderson Exchange

From the desk of:   HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET

NEW YORK METS:  As a Fan, I Like To Know My Team's Deputies Are In Full Control at All Times.

After this season's non-waiver trade deadline came and went with no activity by the Mets, reporter, Adam Rubin, touched a sensitive chord with yet another Mets' General Manager during a conference call between Sandy Alderson and the Media.

In July of 2009, when Adam blew the doors open on Bernazard-Gate, Omar Minaya shot back with a scathing assertion Adam Rubin's motivations were born in part from a greater effort to nefariously secure a position within the Mets organization.  To my untrained ear, it sounded like Omar insinuated Adam Rubin was cozying up to Jeff Wilpon, and engaged in reporting designed to get Tony Bernazard fired.  As far as the resulting fallout, I do not believe anyone (fans, or colleagues) found fault with Adam Rubin's reporting.  But the incident effectively sparked the beginning of the end, for the Omar Minaya era in Flushing.

Fast forward; Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - almost three years to the day later, Adam Rubin questioned why the Mets couldn't perhaps entertain the idea of concurrently be sellers as well as holding on to the possibility of being buyers during this season's trade deadline.  That line of questioning inspired this response from Sandy Alderson:

"Well, maybe you're not a Mets fan, Adam. Or you're not a Mets employee.  Or you're not a Mets observer.  You're certainly a Mets reporter.  It's not clear to me you have the same mindset as all the other constituencies that relate to the Mets.  It's a good question, but if we're just going to get marginal talent, and I'm talking about let's say maybe not even top-30 prospect status in an organization, then we have a choice to make."

For further elaboration by the General Manager and for context sake, read Adam Rubin's own article on the matter.  Otherwise, I believe Rubin's inquiry was fair.  I wondered the same thing myself.  On the one hand, I find it amusing how Adam landed a clean punch, and Sandy jabbed back.  On the other hand, I'm very satisfied Sandy Alderson took a clean hard hitting question to the body, and responded with conviction; of you get my drift.  It is now time to separate Adam Rubin from this post, and talk solely of Sandy Alderson and his engagements with the Media.

The trade deadline in no way reflects poorly on Sandy Alderson's handling of the Media.  The current General Manager of the Mets is an Alpha-GM, and will not be taken aback by even the savviest scribe.  Bernazard-Gate withstanding and towards the end of his tenure, Omar might have resorted to donning his tap-dancing shoes in an attempt to shuffle away from such lines of questioning.  As Minaya's METropilis started to crumble around the former GM, his ability to convey a message, much less explanations, deteriorated as well.  That dilemma had absolutely nothing to do with language, and everything to do with thinking on the fly.

The first portion of Omar's reign was free of such incidences or dilemmas.  Instead he was widely respected, and deemed as being on the right track.  After Carlos Beltran looked at strike three one night in Octobers-past, the relationship between Omar, Willie, Randolph, then Jerry Manuel, and the Media radically changed.  Gallons of fuel were added to an already raging fire after infamous collapses during the 2007 and 2008 seasons.  In their respective ways, the three gentlemen all lost their ability to negotiate the Media.  Instead of merely engaging in post-game Q and A, they were subjected to a nightly trial by jury and executioner.  The verdict always turned out the same way; against them.

Aside from what afflicts this 2012 Mets team, I am very contented with Sandy Alderson's and Terry Collin's confident, and intellectually strong handling of the Media.  These guys give it to you straight and hold back no punches.  Their tact has contributed greatly towards influencing, and even directing, if not deciding, a given reporter's next question, where as the previous regime fell lame after continually getting run over by the Media's big bad New York City bus.  Too often the old regime tried tip-toeing around and through issues.  Before long, they all tripped and fell.  This is not to say Sandy hasn't tap-danced around an issue or two himself.  He's just better at it and seems to have mastered, tact.

OK.., Sandy and Terry sometimes resort to utilizing the stomp method.  But I like it.  I like to know my team's deputies are in control.  Their overall exercises in control, are another matter.

Follow Adam Rubin on Twitter @AdamRubinESPN


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