Sobering reality is Alderson era ran its course
It wasn’t the quote about Mets general manager Sandy Alderson taking a leave of absence because he has cancer again.
It was about him saying he should not be back based on merit. He was referring to his awful job performance that has resulted to one and a half awful season for the Mets. It was a refreshing honesty by him.
He basically admitted he is likely not coming back as the Mets general manager. Rumors have circulated he would retire after this season is over as the Mets have been grooming for John Ricco to be their next general manager. With the way this season has gone, it was a good bet he was gone. The last two awful months by the Mets speeded up his departure.
Losing 45-of-65 games after an 11-1 start convinced Alderson something had to happen on Tuesday. After Sunday’s 8-7 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 11 innings that featured the Mets failing to have a starter come from the minors to fill in for the injured Jason Vargas, which resulted in Mets reliever Jerry Blevins starting in that game, it was clear Alderson was not up for this job anymore since a competent general manager would not put the team in a position to use a reliever as an emergency starter.
We can show compassion for Alderson’s health, and it’s also okay to acknowledge there will be a new general manager since it has to happen. That’s the way pro sports work in a business that is cutthroat.
Alderson is right that he has not done a good job as the Mets general manager. The team could not sustain success after a 2015 World Series run, which is now nothing more than a fluke run. They haven’t drafted well, and their minor league stars such as Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith haven’t developed well enough in the minors to be ready for the majors. Their farm system is so bad that the Mets have to sign guys that are past their prime in Adrian Gonzalez, Todd Frazier, Jose Bautista and other 35-year-old stars and hope for the best. They have not developed any relievers under Alderson’s watch.
For anyone that said his team went to the World Series under him, that’s true, and he deserves portion of the credit, but most of the homegrown players such as Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Lucas Duda, Juan Lagares, Daniel Murphy and Matt Harvey were discovered by his predecessor Omar Minaya. Alderson’s job was to continue to get those types of players, and he never could get them.
He and his staff failed to make this team better or build something out of 2015. Now, the Mets may be in with another tired rebuilding project. This should not happen three years off a World Series appearance.
The Mets are now right there with the Knicks and St. John’s when it comes to ineptitude. It’s now clear the Yankees are now the popular team in the tri-state area while the Mets could be heading to irrelevance in the next few years again.
The Mets have to build from the ground up since they have no nucleus to build on. That means a new general manager has to oversee it. Preferably, someone from outside the organization, not someone within the front office. House cleaning must happen for this franchise to move forward. That’s why Alderson leaving is just right.
But here’s the problem: The Wilpons have zero interest in asking someone from outside the organization. They have had history of hiring people they know to run the Mets such as Steve Phillips, Jim Duquette and Minaya. Alderson was only hired because then-MLB commissioner Bud Selig told the Wilpons to hire him after they were involved in the Ponzi scheme by Bernie Madoff that hamstrung the Mets financially.
This would be a such disservice for the Mets. They need to hire a general manager who will think ahead and who will bring an aggressive approach to the organization. That means they need to hire a general manager who is a progressive thinker such as using analytics to draft players and find players out of nowhere.
They should hire someone from the front office such as the Dodgers, Boston Red Sox or Cleveland Indians. The right guy would be Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi. Yes, he is the general manager over there, but his boss Andrew Friedman oversees the entire baseball operations and he makes all the decisions while Zaidi plays the role of an assistant. See if the Dodgers general manager is interested to be the point man to run the Mets.
Hiring someone that is currently in the front office is not a way to get Mets fans inspired or buy in with the team. These guys failed here, so there’s no point in having them oversee the rebuilding project. By keeping them, it would not be a change Mets fans believe in.
This is not a professional organization with dysfunction still being the theme, and that’s why Alderson’s tenure was a disappointment altogether.
The Mets general manager did the Mets a favor by taking a leave of absence and admitting he should not be back.
That was probably the best move he ever made as the general manager.