As someone who’s interested in the history of access in sports journalism, I found this quote from Sean Deveney’s excellent book “Fun City” to be very telling. Deveney, here, is discussing how Casey Stengel’s relationship with the New York City press corps was instrumental in the Mets’ off-field success:
More important was Stengel’s ability to charm fans and the media. Though sometimes cantankerous, he did not treat the local writers as enemies, and he was not the controlling paranoiac that many of his colleagues were. He understood the individual writers and he knew how their papers operated and the ways he could add color to their daily stories. He had an encyclopedia of good-old-day stories always at the ready, and he had a unique ability to peregrinate through the English language as he told them, sprinkled with his favorite phrase, “You can look it up” (which was actually an invitation to not look it up).