Why I Haven’t Been Writing About the GM Drama

For the past few weeks, I’ve received several emails from MetsToday readers asking why there has been little to no coverage of the Mets’ search for a new General Manager.

First of all, there have been plenty of up-to-the-minute tweets, blog posts, and newspaper articles fully describing every rumor, official statement, letter to fans, and other detail surrounding the interview process — and to be completely honest, I’m neither equipped nor interested in the drama.

I’m not equipped because this is essentially a one-man blog with occasional guest posts by brilliant writers. I’m not interested because the search ended the minute Bud Selig recommended to Fred Wilpon that he consider Sandy Alderson. We all agreed that Alderson would be the next GM back on October 11th — assuming, of course, that Jeff Wilpon didn’t scare him away.

Once Alderson entered the picture, the rest of the process was more or less a sham — a dutiful, public walk through the paces to give the illusion to fans that the Mets were doing due diligence, while satisfying the policies of the Commissioner’s office. Rick Hahn, Josh Byrnes, Logan White, Allan Baird, and Dana Brown never stood a chance as long as Alderson proved not to be senile, a child molester, or a neo-Nazi. He was a slam-dunk from the start.

I don’t state this with any bitterness — much to the contrary, in fact. To me, Alderson stands the best chance of escaping the Wilpons’ marionette strings for at least the short term, has the best chance of re-establishing respect with rival GMs, and has the necessary media skills to help change the public view of the franchise. Whether he’s given enough leeway to build a winning, sustainable organization remains to be seen, but the nice thing is that if he is, his track record shows he can make it happen.

So to me there didn’t seem to be much point in drumming up Alderson’s attributes or obsessing over the pluses and minuses of the other candidates — the beauty contest was fixed. My only regret is not saying a word or two extolling the virtues of Dana Brown, so I’ll do it now: Brown is an outstanding talent evaluator and extremely hard worker who one day will find his way into a GM job. However, the time and the place just weren’t right for Brown — and, he had history working under Omar Minaya, which couldn’t have helped him. Even though Brown didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell to get this job now, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in Flushing at some point in the future.

(Side note: The first time I encountered Dana, I threw him out attempting to steal twice in as many attempts during a wet and chilly, early spring afternoon in 1989 at Caven Point in Jersey City. The third time he reached first base, he stayed put — until Maurice Vaughn hit a 700-foot triple at the fenceless field (the ball flew at least 450 feet in the air, and rolled another 200 or so). Can you imagine hitting a ball 700 feet and only getting to third base? )

So, in short, there hasn’t been any detailed evaluation about the Mets’ search for a GM because the search was over as soon as it began. We’ll hear the official word soon enough, and then we’ll have fun debating who should be the next Mets manager — among other decisions this winter.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. gary s. October 27, 2010 at 11:09 am
    u r right on the money joe..espn naming alderson as new gm this morning..to be announced friday.hopefully grandpa fred, uncle saul and little jeffie will let him do his job..i have my doubts,but i’m hoping for a good result.
  2. Mike October 27, 2010 at 2:17 pm
    I of course doubt The Wilpons, but I can’t doubt Alderson’s attitude towards meddling: he will not stand for it. And they have to know that.

    I’m starting to believe the reports about Jeff being less of a problem and meddler than he is portrayed. Even if he is guilty of some sins, he has clearly tried to clean up his image and is making a concerted effort to change. I think this is a new leaf for the whole organization, much like Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum cleaning up the Jets.