Thoughts On Rubin and Backman Reactions

An article by posted on November 3, 2010

This is kind of an odd post for me. I came across a couple of articles regarding something Adam Rubin said in a live chat he had with Mets fans yesterday.

“If I can say it cryptically, I just think the Mets know things that are not circulated and don’t feel comfortable. Sometimes organizations know things that are not widely circulated.”

It left a bad taste in the mouth of Mark Healey of Gotham Nation, who by the way is a great guy, a big Met fan, and really knows his stuff.

“If Rubin has something to report, then report it. If not, his commentary is not only unprofessional, but completely unacceptable for a journalist of his stature.”

Healey also refers to comments Rubin made while a guest on Steve Keane’s “Call To The Bullpen” on BlogTalkRadio.com,

“Just because things aren’t seminated to the public doesn’t mean everything is perfect.” Rubin stated on the show.

I can understand Healey’s point, but I don’t feel Adam Rubin did anything that was so way out of line. He made the comment twice, but he did so in an internet chat and then as a guest on an internet radio show where the decorum is much more casual and the atmosphere a little bit more down to earth. It’s certainly not the same as writing a newspaper article that will pass through editing before it is published and where they might do some fact checking if necessary.

What’s ironic is that yesterday we hired Ricciardi, the former Blue Jays GM who said this after reporting a lie to the fans in an attempt to cover up a player needing Tommy John surgery, saying it was just back pain:

“It’s not really a lie if we know the truth.”

Sounds like it lends plenty of credence to what Adam Rubin said on Steve Keane’s show. Here is a general manager actually admitting that it’s okay for a team to withhold information and even report a lie instead of the truth. 

Adam Rubin has been a Mets blogger’s best friend ever since he began covering the Mets for the Daily News in 2003. He has always conducted himself professionally and his reporting is always accurate, meticulous, very informative and always insightful.

I would say that close to a third of the Mets news you have read over the years on most Mets sites and blogs, has been generated due to Adam Rubin’s reporting. Most bloggers just wouldn’t survive if they were to completely cut Adam Rubin out of their equation, that’s how good he is.

Adam was also one of the first Mets beat writers to embrace social media outlets like Twitter where he appears on every single Mets bloggers feed. Others would soon follow. Each day and night he provides us with the most fact-filled tweets, sans the snide remarks and Mets jokes you get from many of the other writers. He continuously keeps the Mets blogosphere churning, and I consider him to be one of MMO’s biggest assets,

Adam has also been gracious enough to conduct five interviews with me in the past. During one of those interviews on July 21, 2009, I asked Adam Rubin a few questions regarding the chaos surrounding the Mets front office in the summer of 2009.

I specifically asked him if there was more to the Carlos Beltran injury than the Mets were actually reporting. Even back then, I had my suspicions. He replied,

It clearly was botched, whether the advice was sound and things unpredictably went wrong, or whether the original treatment course was just plain bad. The Mets knew a bone bruise existed, yet had a $119 million player injected with cortisone. A month later the bone bruise had doubled in size. Sources continue to tell me Beltran is privately upset. And whenever I get Mets officials ranting at me, I ask to point out what’s factually incorrect in my reporting. No one ever has a reply.

Everyone had a problem back then with Adam saying Beltran was upset with the Mets, especially Omar Minaya. The team denied it, and when cornered by reporters the next day at his locker, Beltran didn’t want to talk about it saying he wanted to heal and get back on the field.

By the time January 2010 rolled around, it was abundantly clear what Carlos Beltran actually thought about the Mets handling of his injury when he sought out a different doctor and had surgery performed much to the dismay and outrage of the New York Mets. Obviously Carlos Beltran was privately upset with the Mets as Adam Rubin said he was.

In that same interview, I mentioned my frustration that whenever someone in Mets management speaks, I feel like they only tell us parts of the truth and we don’t get all of the facts until days or weeks later. I asked Adam, are the Mets in as big of a mess off the field as they are on the field? To which Adam replied yes.

Six days later, this happened, the press conference from hell.

Before that infamous press conference, Adam Rubin also dropped hints and allegations that there was a problem with Tony Bernazard. Even then, bloggers and fellow journalists were writing that Rubin was slandering the guy and doing a hatchet job on him. Jon Heyman, who I also admire, had some sharp criticism of Adam back then saying “he has an agenda” which many bloggers took to heart.

A month later, when it all came out and Mets fans learned about Tony Bernazard’s misconduct and his antics which were perpetrated on our young prospects, Rubin was again vindicated. As it turned out, it was the Mets trying to do a hatchet job him for blowing the story out of the water.

One thing I don’t really care for, is when a reporter is called out for not revealing a source, or telling all the facts about a story he or she may be working on at the time. Sometimes, journalists have an agreement not to release the facts about a situation until they are given the thumbs up. To ignore that, a writer faces the possibility of losing a good source and his credibility with other insiders is shattered.

I think many of the ones who enjoy calling out Rubin (sorry Jon), are the same ones who would also refuse to reveal their sources or explain why their own rumors never come to fruition.

Rubin has one of the best track records for reporting the facts and also keeping us ahead of the curve where the Mets are concerned. I would rather know all those little unreported insights than to not know them at all. I am in the information business, the more I have the better I feel because it gives me a competitive edge.

Rubin did not make or drop these hints in a blog post or in an article. He answered a question in two very casual venues where you crave those types of nuggets. He didn’t write an expose or blare what he said in a blog post, bloggers did that.

If by chance something derogatory does come out about Wally Backman in the next week, month or year, and I’m not saying it will, I hope those who doubted him will credit him afterward.

After the demise of Tony Bernazard and then the Beltran surgery fiasco, I waited to see if any of those who called Rubin out would respond somehow, but I don’t remember reading anything that said:

“Adam Rubin warned us that something was amiss, I guess he knew something we didn’t after all.”

They say that time is the great revealer of truth. I’m gonna ride this one out a little while before I ditch it in the trash like I’ll do with the hundreds of unreliably sourced rumors that are coming our way this hot stove season.

From what I’ve seen and read of Rubin’s sources, he has a pretty good track record.

You can follow Adam Rubin on ESPN New York

You can follow Mark Healey on Gotham Nation

You can follow Steve Keane on Kranepool Society

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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