By Ed Coleman
» More Columns
The worst of the worst-kept secrets is now out – Sandy Alderson will indeed be the man tabbed to replace Omar Minaya as general manager, and hopefully lead the Mets franchise to bigger and better things and brighter days in the decade to come.
Alderson had always been the clear-cut favorite for the post as soon as he declared his interest in the opening, and he and the other finalist – former Arizona G.M. Josh Byrnes – were granted second interviews earlier this week. In talking to baseball people about the candidates since the end of the regular season, I found a couple of things to be true – the only drawback that anyone could find about Alderson was that he hadn’t actually been a G.M. for quite some time; as for Byrnes, he generally received high marks, but it also came across that he was not exactly what you’d call a “people person”.
One N.L. executive – when apprised of all 6 candidates that were ultimately considered – actually said that the only way that the Mets could screw it up and move backwards would be to hire Byrnes. Ouch! But that is not the case, and Alderson’s impeccable credentials carried the day.
As for Texas G.M. Jon Daniels, timing is everything – in life as well as baseball. Was Daniels interested in the Mets’ opening? Of course he was – he’s a Queens native who grew up a Mets fan. Were the Mets interested in talking to Daniels? Of course they were – he’s a young, bright successful G.M. with New York roots who already has positioned his team into a great spot with a chance to win a World Series title.
Ah, but that timing problem – the Mets and Daniels could not get together until next week at the earliest due to the current circumstances, and the Mets have a myriad of questions and problems to solve, the sooner the better. If the Yankees had knocked off Texas as most people expected – maybe a different story. But timing enters in, and the Mets and Daniels move on. And former G.M. Minaya may not have to move on. Minaya and Alderson have a good relationship, and Minaya could become a sort of “super-scout” for the franchise, something much more in line with his strengths.
Alderson immediately brings much-needed credibility to a beleaguered Mets organization. He possesses a tremendous work ethic, utilizes a very analytical approach, and draws on a disciplined, yet still flexible, Marine background. Alderson is direct and to the point, and his innovation skills are high – he enjoys thinking “outside the box” to solve problems and find answers. The Mets need to put a game plan in place and STICK WITH IT – there’s been way too much straying from the “plan-du-jour” in the past. Alderson will make sure that the franchise stays the course, and that everyone – from management on down – understands their role.
To that end, Alderson’s hiring may help to dismiss two perceptions about the Mets that upper management has long denied – that they are financially strapped, and that management – Jeff Wilpon in particular – has been meddlesome and has micro-managed. The Diamondbacks – who fired Byrnes as their G.M. earlier this year – are paying him through the year 2015. Obviously, if the Mets hired Byrnes, they would get significant payroll relief from Arizona on Byrnes’ contract while he was a G.M. in New York, something more financially palatable to the Mets. And Alderson steers his own boat – he’s been a successful G.M. in Oakland, a CEO in San Diego, has worked out of the commisioner’s office, and is not about to let anyone look over his shoulder and tell him how to do his job or go about his business.
Aretha once sang about R-E-S-P-E-C-T. She also sang “take care, T-C-B” – which means take care of business. The Mets have done that with the selection of Sandy Alderson as their next G.M. Just let him be, and he will deliver the respect that the organization craves and that Met fans have longed for for a long time.
C U soon