Yesterday was my first day in Mets camp, and -- despite this being my 10th season covering spring training -- I had a really difficult time getting my bearings on field. At first, I thought it was me. But, I quickly realized the Mets are doing things slightly different than they have in the past.
Interestingly, they are adjustments every team probably should have implemented years ago -- especially in a world where every person is holding a camera capable of live streaming information to thousands of people.
For instance, the day's workout schedule is no longer posted in public. And, whereas media had long been able to walk up and down the dirt surrounding the grass (from left field to right field to behind the backstop), we are now only allowed to be in a designated 15-20 foot area marked by yellow lines in front of the dugouts.
These new restrictions -- be it no longer being able to walk behind players when they're throwing to keeping media out of the player parking lot -- is all smart business, likely designed to protect reporters and photographers from being injured by a ball, as well as protect the privacy of the players and team personnel. It also means that the most unique images and moments become exclusive to team photographers and their social media team, which -- given that they, too, are now a media company -- makes complete sense.
In short, these new policies are all fair, they're the right thing to do and increasingly common around baseball. The real difference is simply that they're new. So, as a content creator, while it may take a minute to get used to the new rules, I'll adjust -- and so will everyone else wearing a press credential.
That said, as a Mets fan that wants the team to be only focused on their health, performance and winning, I think all of the above is great.
Sure, it's funny getting to see Yoenis Cespedes and Noah Syndergaard ride to camp on a horse, and it's interesting to read in depth stories about what the front office is working on. But, in the end, none of those things stack up to how much fun I had in the stands with my friends during 2015 watching the Mets win postseason game after postseason game and compete in a World Series.
I want that experience again. And, if the Mets (as a business) believe being more private and exclusive will help create a more serious, safe and comfortable environment for the players to succeed, I'm all for it.
The time for horses and hot rods is over. This is Camp All Business. And, I like it...
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is the lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He recently left his position as Executive Editor and Dir. of Digital Content for SNY.TV to work with sports brands digital content businesses...