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The 15-Seconds Blog

  • Unholy Mets

    The New York Mets have given us all an illustration of how to take a small public relations problem and turn it into a big one. If they had the same ability to take a small lead in a ballgame and expand on it, they wouldn’t be in 4th place in the NL East 10.5 games behind the Phillies.

    For those of you keeping score at home, here is how the reverse rally got started.

    According to media accounts, in early July, 52-year-old Mets vice president for player development, Tony Bernazard, conducted a tirade in the club house of the team’s Double-A Binghamton farm team. During the course of his “motivational” lecture Bernazard reportedly ripped his shirt off and offered to fight the whole team. Since Bernazard is still with us, we presume the team declined.

    After the story reached the newspapers — the Mets opened an investigation and on Monday the Amazin’s General Manager, Omar Manaya, announced that the club had fired the feisty Bernazard.

    This is where they Mets took it to another level. Instead of making it a one-day story and moving on, Manaya attacked the reporter who first (correctly) wrote about the Bernazard incident strongly hinting that the scribe had done so because he wanted a job in baseball and was helping clear out the competition.

    This lead to angry words between the reporter and the GM. A several days more stories on the subject on the back pages of N.Y. tabloids.

    The next day Jeff Wilpon,the Mets Chief Operating Officer, came out to apologize for the GM but adding: “Right now the idea is that Omar is our General Manager, period.”

    Wow. If we were Omar…we’d worry about that “right now” part.

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  • Close Shave

    Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger came out swinging today fighting back against allegations made in a civil suit that he raped a woman in a Nevada hotel a year ago.

    Roethlisberger called the charges “false and vicious” and denied sexually assaulting the woman. If that is true, making a strong public statement in his own defense was the right call.

    But someone coaching the quarterback should have told him it was a bad call to go before the cameras (as can be seen in the video above) unshaven and with his hair looking like he had just gotten out of bed.

    It wouldn’t have hurt to put a necktie on either.

    Sure, such steps are mere cosmetics — and we know that Roethlisberger often sports a full beard. But when you are defending your honor and reputation — you ought to work hard to send the signal that care enough to clean up your act before meeting the media.

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  • How To Not Answer Questions

    A lot of heat has been generated by the controversial arrest of Harvard professor Henry Gates in Cambridge, MA recently.

    Allegations of racism are being thrown around and President Obama weighed in last night at his press conference first saying that he did not know all the facts of the case but then adding that the Cambridge police department had acted “stupidly” in the matter.

    Some local TV correspondents ambushed the police officer involved, Sgt. James Crowley, outside his home.

    Crowley elected not to discuss the details of the incident but gives a textbook example of how to not answer questions and yet avoid looking guilty.

    He apologizes for not being in a position to respond about the incident, is polite to the reporters saying “I understand you have a job to do” and does address questions that he wants to handle….thanking his supporters in the Cambridge PD and seeming very reasonable throughout. Sgt Crowley looks anything but “stupid” in the clip below.