Most Mets fans have dreamed at one time or another about working or playing for the team. One such fan, the well-respected and beloved Jay Horwitz, now a Mets Vice-President, sat down with us for 10 questions.
Jay, thank you so much for taking some time from your busy schedule to join us. You've been with the Mets for, I believe, 29 years. How did you get started in the baseball business?
I was the Sports Information Director at New York University for three years and then at Fairleigh Dickinson in New Jersey for eight years. When ownership changed with the Mets in 1980 someone recommended me for the job, and I have been here ever since.
As Media Director for one of the most popular teams in all of sports, on the world's largest stage, what is a typical day like for you?
I usually get here about seven in the morning, read the papers, make calls, go down to the lockeroom, set up interviews, etc. I then watch the game, let the press know of any records that are set and go to the lockeroom at the end of the game.
How do you and your staff handle adversity? I'm talking specifically about some of the incidents that have happened with the Mets over the years, Vince Coleman, the collapse, Lastings rap album, managerial firings, etc.
Never lie. You can’t lie in New York with all the exposure here. Be up front with people even in the worst of times.
Can you describe the organizational ebb and flow over the roller coaster that is a 162 game season? Is it more even keeled then we'd imagine?
You can’t get up with each win or down with each loss. It’s a marathon, and that’s the way you have to look at things.
We're all such big fans of the guys in the Mets booth—Is this your favorite announcing crew after the Bob Murphy, Lindsey Nelson and Ralph Kiner trio?
They all are great guys. Bob Murphy was the nicest person I ever met. Ralph Kiner is a super guy too.
As we near the end of the Shea Stadium era, can you think back over your long tenure with the Mets and tell us what your favorite memory is of the Stadium?
Mookie’s ground ball that got through Bill Buckner’s legs in 1986.
A little birdie told me you are also a huge Giants fan, as are most of my readers. I thought the Giants handled the post-Super Bowl parades, interviews, etc extremely well. Is that a PR Director's dream?
I have had season’s tickets for the Giants since 1958. I thought Eli handled all the adversity well as did the entire team. Good players make it very easy for a PR Director.
What advice would you give to someone interested in sports and public relations as a career? I'm sure the competition for positions is fierce.
You can’t be a clockwatcher. You have to be ready to work long hours and give up a lot of your social life.
One of the highlights of the season was seeing you in that orange sportcoat. Can you tell us how that came about? Are you the original owner?
Johann Santana asked me to wear it for good luck. We were 3-1 with the coat. The coat originally belonged to Jeremy Burnitz.
Last question, so I'll put you on the spot—give us your fearless prediction for the rest of 2008:
I have a good feeling for this year. I think we are going to play very deep into October
Thanks Jay! We really appreciate your time, and the great job you and your staff do for the writers, fans, and everyone associated with the New York Mets.