Thursday, January 29, 2009

Positive signs for Manny Ramirez?

After watching tonight's "Mets Hot Stove Report" on SNY, I'm beginning to think the Mets might have a shot at Manny Ramirez. Granted, the commentary on the show from Ken Rosenthal and Adam Rubin continued to stress that it was not likely to happen, particularly if the Mets first signed Oliver Perez, which appears to be their primary goal at this point. But the way SNY covered what was happening outside the studio told a different story.

As planned, a group of pro-Manny Met fans held a rally outside the SNY studio while the live Hot Stove show aired. The rally was clearly visible through the studio window, and host Kevin Burkhart had no choice but to acknowledge it.

But the SNY show did more than that. Burkhart mentioned the rally several times. SNY went outside to film the fans and air their chants.

At this point, SNY had done what might be expected of them - acknowledge what Burkhart called the "800-pound gorilla" - the desire of many fans for the Mets to get Manny. The last segment of the show was an interview with Mike Pelfrey in Kansas, and it would not have been surprising to see the show end there, or to have them return to the studio and quickly sign off with the fans barely visible through the studio window.

Instead, as Burkhart was signing off in the soundproof studio, the audio of the chanting fans was turned up. Then SNY again showed shots of the fans from outside, and from multiple angles, as the chanting got louder.

Now SNY seemed to be doing more than acknowledging the fans. They seemed to be encouraging them.

Just when I was wondering if I was reading too much into the camerawork of the Mets-owned station, the next SNY show came on. The show was Mets Classics and the game was Mike Piazza's first as a Met. Here's how it began:

Yesterday afternoon, Mets' GM Steve Phillips gave Mets fans what they had been longing for - a marquee player.

Coincidence? Perhaps. But I'm someone who is actually more concerned with bolstering the pitching with Ollie than with signing Manny, yet by the end of this telecast, I was practically ready to join the next Manny rally.

Squawker Lisa warns me that she might stage her own Manny Rally outside the YES studio, completely with a mockup of a Manny Yankee jersey - with number 6.

Do the Mets have a better chance of signing Manny Ramirez than they are letting on? Tell us what you think.

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