For a few scant minutes, it looked like all was not lost in Queens. The Mets, under the capable stewardship of a cadre of nerds and Billy Beane disciples, seemed poised to emerge from the National League East wilderness.

Sure, there was that whole “they made guys play on bloody stumps and with broken noses” thing that surfaced in January, but, in general, they’re making headway.

Until the Mets made waves by refusing to credential a reporter frequently welcomed into the Mets inner sanctum in the past. His crime? Writing a book unflattering of the Mets ownership.

When the Mets told Howard Megdal of the LoHud.com (a Lower Hudson Valley online newspaper and legit outlet. Megdal also published works for the New York Times and New York Post, among many others) that they would no longer credential him in 2012 because they “didn’t like his reporting”, there was understandable outrage.

Writers and bloggers formed a chorus decrying the Mets decision to censor the author of Wilpon’s Folly on the Mets ownership struggles. The Mets, on the surface, seem petty and cheap. Mostly because this is an incredibly petty and cheap move.

The Mets, in the name of consistency, took issue with this book long ago. “The author’s desperate self-promotional campaign for relevance has led to perpetuating baseless speculation and complete inaccuracies.” The publisher and author stand behind the details of this story, many of which were corroborated by numerous other writers.

The “desperate self promotion” part of the Mets’ objection…is difficult to argue. Megdal unabashedly retweeted any and all media mention today, not to mention @-replying big hitters like Keith Olbermann with a link to his plight.

The Mets can only lose a PR war of this nature. The reach of this story of the Mets hamfisted approach figures to be much more poisonous than Megdal’s ongoing presence in the press box. As Hardball Talk notes today, the Mets are well within their rights to limit anyone and everyone from enjoying press privileges. For a team known for their progressive approach to non-traditional media, it is a strange decision indeed.