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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sources: Mets hire Alderson as GM

Oh Sandy, the Home Run Apple is risin’ behind us
This pier lights our carnival life on the fetid swamp
Runnin’, laughin’ past the chop shops with the boss’s son

The Mets have settled on Sandy Alderson to be their new general manager, sources say… The official hire of Alderson could come as early as Friday, as announcements are discouraged on days of World Series games.

The District Attorney Posted: October 27, 2010 at 04:16 AM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets

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   1. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: October 27, 2010 at 10:28 AM (#3676610)
Wahoo!!!
   2. Lassus Posted: October 27, 2010 at 11:40 AM (#3676624)
Sure. I mean, who knows?

I wonder who the Manager's going to be.
   3. billyshears Posted: October 27, 2010 at 12:44 PM (#3676643)
I think this is probably the best choice the Mets could make. Luckily for the Mets, it was the obvious choice as well, so they couldn't screw it up. Alderson has not run a team in some time, so I'm not convinced he is the savior, but what the Mets really needed is someone to implement a professional organizational structure, and Alderson is the best person to do that. Of course, this could be like the time the Islanders hired Neil Smith.
   4. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: October 27, 2010 at 01:04 PM (#3676651)
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 27, 2010 at 01:33 PM (#3676673)
Good move by the Mets. Fans should be pleased.
   6. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: October 27, 2010 at 01:41 PM (#3676679)
A reasonable choice. I don't know much about Hahn, the White Sox assistant GM, and would have been more interested to see what he could do. Not saying it would have been better but more interesting.

The Mets need to make a decision regarding Takahashi because if they don't sign him before then end of the month, they probably won't sign him at all.
   7. The Good Face Posted: October 27, 2010 at 01:58 PM (#3676706)
Good move by the Mets. Fans should be pleased.


Yep. Can never guarantee results in baseball, but with Alderson running the show at least grownups will be in charge and there'll be some structure and accountability.
   8. Raskolnikov Posted: October 27, 2010 at 02:02 PM (#3676714)
This is great news. Now let's hope ownership is willing to spend a bit.
   9. Alex Vila Posted: October 27, 2010 at 02:13 PM (#3676726)
As a Braves fan, this is terrible news. One can only hope that the Wilpons will screw it up. ;-)
   10. billyshears Posted: October 27, 2010 at 02:16 PM (#3676732)
One can only hope that the Wilpons will screw it up. ;-)


I think your odds are pretty good on that one.
   11. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: October 27, 2010 at 02:20 PM (#3676741)
Do you think Sandy goes around saying "This is either an offer to be accepted or a threat to be ignored" all the time? Coz if I said something that pithy and cool, I would absolutely break it out every chance I had.
   12. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: October 27, 2010 at 02:43 PM (#3676759)
I didn't know that quote about Alderson. My respect for him has grown already.
   13. asinwreck Posted: October 27, 2010 at 02:54 PM (#3676773)
with Alderson running the show at least grownups will be in charge


I wonder what the chain of command is, given that the Wilpons are still in charge. What promises were made about autonony and power? We'll find out soon enough.
   14. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 27, 2010 at 03:10 PM (#3676787)
Jeff Wilpon: "I want to make you my general manager."
Alderson: "This is either an offer to be accepted or a threat to be ignored."

That would work.
   15. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: October 27, 2010 at 04:44 PM (#3676870)
This makes me happy, from Ducksnorts:

Ducksnorts: When you first started as GM, you were reading some Bill James. I was just getting into Bill James in 1984, and it was kind of an eye opener to me. He was sort of on the fringes at that time, and of course… he’s actually now working for the Red Sox… What impact did his work have on your understanding of the way the game works, and how did it influence the types of decisions you made in a real-time setting?

Alderson: I think it had a significant impact. He was doing some writing, and there were others at the time also on the fringe — a guy in the Bay Area by the name of Eric Walker. Eric we actually hired as a consultant, although we didn’t advertise that fact, and he did quite a bit of work for us over the years in trying to evaluate not just major league players but minor league players for purposes of projection at the major league level.

When I got into the game, I didn’t have any real background in baseball, so I wasn’t burdened by any [laughs] traditional notions of how to evaluate players or construct teams. I was particularly open to people like Bill James and Eric Walker. Walker wrote a book called The Sinister First Baseman, a little paperback, which was actually quite instructive.

Ducksnorts: He’s the guy who does High Boskage?

Alderson: Right… I’d say there were two competitive theories at that time, personified on the one hand by Earl Weaver and on the other hand by Gene Mauch. Weaver believed in the three-run homer, and Mauch believed in little ball.

From my standpoint it was the Eric Walkers and the Bill James who I think were able to very adequately support the Earl Weaver approach to the game in terms of overall success and what created the highest probability for success. That tied in nicely because to me the home run is like the 80-yard pass, like the three-point shot. It’s the kind of thing in which you can enjoy the anticipation.

There are a lot of things in baseball and other sports that are more athletic, and more immediate, and more reactive, but you don’t have the same sense of anticipation. I like home runs [laughs] — people like home runs — and so it was nice to see the concepts support that notion.
   16. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 27, 2010 at 05:03 PM (#3676891)
I don't like home runs.
   17. SoSH U at work Posted: October 27, 2010 at 05:09 PM (#3676896)
I don't like home runs.


I like home runs when their scarcity is more in line with their value. As the most significant event that can happen in a single at-bat, they should be quite difficult to produce.
   18. Rich Rifkin Posted: October 27, 2010 at 05:17 PM (#3676908)
"I wonder who the Manager's going to be?"

It seems to me a lot of GMs will turn to people from the organization where they last worked, the way Walt Jocketty moved a dozen people over to St. Louis from Oakland. Alderson must like some people he worked with in San Diego.

Maybe Ted Simmons? He's getting older (61), and he has had serious health issues. But Simmons is at least very familiar to Alderson, and he is well qualified for a managerial job.

Or, if he wants to go younger and less experienced, maybe Dave Roberts, another Padre coach? Or Terry Kennedy, who managed the Pads AAA club, and has been coaching for a long time and is 54 years old?
   19. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: October 27, 2010 at 05:19 PM (#3676914)
This is the best decision the franchise has made since drafting David Wright.
   20. Sam M. Posted: October 27, 2010 at 05:25 PM (#3676917)
This is the best decision the franchise has made since drafting David Wright.

I fervently hope this is not true. I hope someone now in the farm system -- Matt Harvey, Wilmer Flores, somebody -- ends up being a perennial All-Star, HOF-caliber player whom we will look back on and say, "Signing/drafting that guy was the best decision they made since drafting Wright." We just don't know it yet.

Call me a crazy optimist. But if Steve Phillips could get that one thing right when DW was drafted, then I'm hoping Omar did, too.
   21. sonoran_fox Posted: October 27, 2010 at 05:28 PM (#3676920)
As a Braves fan, this is terrible news. One can only hope that the Wilpons will screw it up. ;-)


Amen to both thoughts.
   22. formerly dp Posted: October 27, 2010 at 06:03 PM (#3676966)
This is the best decision the franchise has made since drafting David Wright.

I fervently hope this is not true. I hope someone now in the farm system -- Matt Harvey, Wilmer Flores, somebody -- ends up being a perennial All-Star, HOF-caliber player whom we will look back on and say, "Signing/drafting that guy was the best decision they made since drafting Wright." We just don't know it yet.

We didn't know drafting Wright was a good decision at the time. We do know that trading for Piazza was a good decision at the time. Signing Alderson, IMO, is more akin to trading for Piazza, in that he's someone you can project to perform well in his role.

I have hugely inflated hopes for Flores.
   23. RJ in TO Posted: October 27, 2010 at 06:19 PM (#3676985)
But if Steve Phillips could get that one thing right when DW was drafted, then I'm hoping Omar did, too.

Wasn't it later reported that Phillips actually tried to trade David Wright to Toronto for Jose Cruz Jr, only to be saved from torching himself by Ricciardi's reluctance?
   24. Win one for Agrippa (haplo53) Posted: October 27, 2010 at 06:21 PM (#3676989)
The last time I said I was "cautiously optmistic" about the Mets was the evening of September 12, 2007 (seriously - the Phils lost 12-0 to fall 7 back with 17 to play; I was at Mahagony in CC Philadelphia where that game was on in the bar area and a co-worker asked me my thoughts on the Mets), so I've refrained from using that phrase and will continue to do so (even typing up this story makes me worry I'm jinxing them).

That said, I think the only way the Mets were going to start heading where we as Mets fans want them to go was to hire a respected outsider with a history of success; never did I think the Wilpons would actually do it (largely because they themselves are the reason they need somebody with that profile). In the last few days (I'll admit it - since strike three on Saturday night) I've felt better about the Mets than I have in a long time, perhaps as long ago as that fateful night in a Philly cigar bar. Now we just have to see what happens. This being the Mets, I fear something unforeseen and unfathomably horrible happening, ripping fragile good feelings away from the hearts of Mets fans; hopefully this time the Titanic doesn't hit the iceberg.

Honestly, I'm simply excited to see what changes a new perspective like Alderson's will produce given the Mets' resources - which is to say, I'm looking forward to the process - his process - as much as I am potential positive results. A new way of doing business should be fun, and I'm so used to my team being a punchline that it's a bit strange to consider the possibility it might become "smart."
   25. danielj Posted: October 27, 2010 at 07:55 PM (#3677085)
Thumbs up. Alderson is proof that being an old GM doesn't mean you have to think like Ed Wade.

There were some other names that sounded very interesting, but I don't have a lot of faith that the Wilpons would give true autonomy to a young GM, especially if he/she was making an unconventional decision that went against the tide of talk radio and the back page headlines. I suspect they'll listen to Alderson. Perhaps Daniels would have had that leeway, too.

I do think it would be ideal if they groomed a smart young guy to take over for Alderson, but there's time to do that.
   26. Joey B. Posted: October 27, 2010 at 08:04 PM (#3677092)
This is great news. Now let's hope ownership is willing to spend a bit.

The Mets have been one of the highest spending teams in the league for years.
   27. GregD Posted: October 27, 2010 at 09:21 PM (#3677168)
The proof is in the pudding, of course, but it superficially reminds me of being in Philly when the Phillies hired Gillick. Everyone blinked their eyes and said, "Wait a minute? Really? They didn't blow it?" Were I a Mets fan, I'd be feeling a good, honest sense of relief right now. Time will tell if there are positive ramifications, but at least it shows that someone understands that things are not going well, and status quo won't cut it. That's no small realization. Many organizations spend decades without figuring out they're off course.
   28. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 27, 2010 at 09:36 PM (#3677182)
It seems to me a lot of GMs will turn to people from the organization where they last worked, the way Walt Jocketty moved a dozen people over to St. Louis from Oakland. Alderson must like some people he worked with in San Diego.


I relish the return of Tony Muser to MLB managing.
   29. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 27, 2010 at 09:41 PM (#3677185)
The Mets have been one of the highest spending teams in the league for years.
This is true, but they've also been cutting payroll the last few years, and unless they are willing to up it, look unlikely to make any "big" moves this off-season (at least without getting rid of someone, which is always possible).
   30. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: October 27, 2010 at 09:52 PM (#3677192)
The Mets had a 150 million dollar payroll in 2009 but that dropped to 120-125 million in 2010. It's hard to guess what the Met payroll will be in 2011 especially since it might be a good strategy to avoid adding payroll in 2011 and splurge in 2012 when Beltran, Perez, Castillo, and possibly K-Rod are off the books.
   31. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 27, 2010 at 09:52 PM (#3677193)
Considering who they've been spending money on, its probably a good thing the Mets are cutting payroll.
   32. AJMcCringleberry Posted: October 27, 2010 at 10:56 PM (#3677225)
I like home runs when their scarcity

Home runs by the Mets are a rare event.
   33. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: October 27, 2010 at 10:57 PM (#3677226)
Also, it's the 150 number that's somewhat out of place, not the 2010 payroll. Per Cot's:

2010: $126,498,096
2009: $149,373,987
2008: $137,793,376
2007: $115,231,663
2006: $101,084,963
2005: $101,305,821
2004: $ 96,660,970
2003: $117,476,429
2002: $ 94,633,593
2001: $ 93,674,429
2000: $ 79,800,000


That gets overlooked a lot.
   34. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: October 27, 2010 at 11:15 PM (#3677236)
I think the interview quoted in the thread sort of gives it away. Earl Weaver will be the next Mets manager!

This reminds me of the Knicks' hiring of Donny Walsh a bit, but Alderson isn't going to as dire a situation. Still, Walsh brought instant credibility to the Knicks, and Alderson brings the same to the Mets. If you're a Mets fan, this is the best news you're received in a while. There is hope in Queens.
   35. Srul Itza Posted: October 27, 2010 at 11:53 PM (#3677261)
I approve this hiring, but I have absolutely no doubt that the Wilpons will screw it up.

The Wilpons may not be quite in the class of Peter Angelos when it comes to screwing up a franchise, but they are close. Even when they don't do something deliberately and egregiously wrong, their mere presence is sufficient to guarantee disaster -- sort of a cross between The Cooler and Joe Btfsplk.
   36. Sam M. Posted: October 27, 2010 at 11:58 PM (#3677263)
Also, it's the 150 number that's somewhat out of place, not the 2010 payroll.

Yes, but. The 2009 payroll should have reflected at least a new capacity for the team in a new environment, where they had implemented both the move to SNY (2006) and into Citifield (2009). Their revenue stream should have enabled them to afford a payroll substantially higher than it had been from 2005-07. But then the Great Recession happened, and revenue in Citifield hasn't lived up to the hype (and I'll bet their ad revenues on SNY haven't met projections, either). And then there's that other unpleasantness, too....

This reminds me of the Knicks' hiring of Donny Walsh a bit, but Alderson isn't going to as dire a situation. Still, Walsh brought instant credibility to the Knicks, and Alderson brings the same to the Mets. If you're a Mets fan, this is the best news you're received in a while. There is hope in Queens.

A revealing comparison. The fear might well be that, like James Dolan, the Wilpons aren't really "cured" -- and just as Dolan wants his Isiah Thomas back (that is just all sorts of unfathomable . . . .), the Wilpons will eventually revert to their dysfunctional organization, undermining their GM by not really trusting him when the going gets tough. Can they really be patient? Hiring Alderson is great -- as I've said before, he's the most accomplished, best "resume" GM in Flushing since Cashen -- but it's what they do with the guy that will tell the tale.

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