Sandy Alderson is Friend of Bloggers
This past Friday, the New York Mets held a conference call between General Manager Sandy Alderson and a group of Mets bloggers. No beat writers, TV reporters, radio jockeys, or other “traditional” media types were allowed.
During the call, each blogger was allowed to ask Sandy one question. He answered every question in detail, and addressed each blogger by his/her first name. There was no hint of annoyance or condescension in his tone — he treated the call and the bloggers with complete professionalism.
One of my favorite Q&A’s from the call came in an exchange between Sandy and one of my blogging colleagues, Shannon Shark of MetsPolice (if you haven’t seen MetsPolice it is well-worth visiting regularly):
Shannon Shark, Mets Police: Hey there, again, thank you so much for giving us your time of day. I guess that leads into my question. How are you finding dealing with this particular passionate fanbase and even to the point of having to deal with blogs. I can’t believe you’re listening to me ask you a question. Does that go through your head, why do I have to talk to this guy from the upper deck?
Sandy Alderson: Actually, I’m very familiar with the blogosphere and understand how it makes connections with fans. The various platforms for communication these days are different, more varied. People are going to form their own opinions, you all will form your own opinions, but at least if you’ve heard from me you’ll be able to do it on the basis of direct communication rather than something indirect or secondhand.
I don’t mind spending the time. I think that’s part of what one buys into here in New York. In a sense, you guys probably reflect the most passionate elements of the fanbase. If I’m right about that, it’s probably as important, or more important, to be in contact with you all than it is with any of the rest of the media.
Sandy indicated that this was the first but not last such call — he would make himself accessible to we bloggers again at some point in the future.
Quite a breakthrough for the blogosphere, and perhaps a hint of how blogs and bloggers will be viewed and handled by pro sports franchises in the future. Progress like this suggests that the fans have a voice — and their team is listening.
By the way, if you want to see a transcript of the entire call, visit Amazin’ Avenue, where James K did an outstanding job of typing up the entire thing.
More coverage from the call can be found from Faith and Fear in Flushing, Mets Police, MetsGrrl, Kranepool Society, MetsMerizedOnline, NY Baseball Digest, OnTheBlack (includes a video), OptimisticMetsFan (aka, Ceetar), Always Amazin’, and of course, MetsBlog. (If I missed anyone, my apologies — please let me know in the comments and I’ll update this post.)
And I wouldn’t be so quick to assume that this happened because of Sandy Alderson; it’s more a matter of timing. The Mets PR dept. has been developing blogger relations since mid-2008 and this is another step in the process. A giant step, yes, but a step that was coming and I’m sure part of the plan that began over two years ago.
Though, I think that Alderson — who can think quickly on is feet and answer questions intelligently — certainly accelerated the process. I’m not sure Minaya would have done this, though I think both Phillips and Jim Duquette would have had they been the GM right now.