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Mets Won't Allow NYC Tabloids in Clubhouse

It's no secret that the New York Post and New York Daily News have spent much of the past two Septembers ripping apart the Mets for their unique concoction of maladies, be they bullpen meltdowns or the exquisite failure of a future Hall of Famer.

Well, the Mets decided all that lousy press was getting into the players' heads, so they've banned all New York newspapers from the team's clubhouse, only allowing USA Today through the doors in an effort to protect the players' egos, according to this piece from the New York Post's Bart Hubbach.

On the face of it, what the Mets are doing doesn't seem like the biggest crisis. After all, they're just trying to improve the performance of their employees, and they figure that controlling the messages that come into the clubhouse will help breed better attitudes ... and better results.

The bigger problem comes when you think about the deeper significance of controlling the media messages available in a clubhouse. While it's within the Wilpons' rights (they own the team, after all), it's hardly in the best taste, particularly in a market as media-centric as New York.

In fact, banning the New York papers from the players in New York is a little like banning rims (or wheels, whatever you want to call them) for workers at a tire company in Akron, Ohio. No, the wheels are essential to the job, but they are a significant part of the worker's identity. So are the New York tabloids to Mets players, for better or worse.

What may be more interesting is seeing what happens when players try to bring the papers in of their own accord. What happens if David Wright strolls into the team's plush new digs with his nose deep in a copy of the Daily News? And what if he's followed by Carlos Beltran, reading the New York Post? What would the Mets do?

Something tells me they'd backpedal, and fast, but we won't find out until someone challenges the edict put forth by the team this year.

Until then, it's all USA Today, all the time, because "it is the official paper of Major League Baseball." There's only one trick to that: USA Today is owned by Gannett, which also owns the Westchester Journal-News, one of the papers that covers the Mets. If banning one part of a company from the clubhouse while actively supporting another isn't hypocritical, I'm not quite sure what is.

By Cameron Smith  |  May 6, 2009; 11:56 AM ET
Categories:  Mets  
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At first I thought you meant they'd banned reporters from the NY newspapers from the clubhouse; it was only when I got deeper into the post that I realized you meant they'd banned copies of the newspapers' print editions. I take it this means there isn't a big Newsday ad banner at Citi Field like there used to be at Shea Stadium? Or rented kiosks where sales people hawk newspaper subscriptions in return from some premium, as The Washington Post does at Nationals Park and other papers do at other ballyards?

Posted by: greggwiggins | May 6, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Their system works well in China, not so well in Burma. Six of one...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 6, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Although, to be fair, the Mets are not literally shooting the messenger.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 6, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

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