Over my nearly quarter century covering New York sports, my focus has been mostly sports media and baseball. The media in New York has a reputation of being big and bad, and it is often cited as something to deal with when players, coaches and managers move to one of our teams. While New York is bigger than other markets, it is not necessarily badder.
No matter the size or attitude of any market, good leaders know how to make their relationship with a city’s reporters an asset rather than an obstacle. At the very least, they can make the media more neutral. That effort centers around being honest and open. In the end, it also gives a tiny window into how a manager or coach treats his players.
Show Time: I’m bringing up this now because Buck Showalter is a master at dealing with the media. After the Mets’ epic seven-run ninth-inning comeback win over the Phillies last Thursday, it struck me that Showalter, in the post-game, playfully chided the writers, “Did you have to rewrite?”
It was baseball humor, born of experience. The ending of the game was amazing, but it is a writer’s nightmare for the angle to switch so quickly, and so late. An initial story is due for most beat men and women at the conclusion of the game. And Showalter was there to good-naturedly joke about it.