Will Sandy Alderson Answer the Steroid Question?

Ian O’Connor of ESPN-NY points out an intriguing chink in Sandy Alderson’s armor — and wonders if he’ll apologize for it:

… when he steps to the microphone as Omar Minaya’s replacement, Alderson should take the time of offer an apology. He should say he’s sorry for being an enabler at a time when baseball desperately needed a whistle-blower and a leader.

He should say he’s sorry for allowing the monstrous steroid culture to grow fangs on his watch.

Oops.

As awesome as Alderson appears, no one is perfect — but it’s surprising that one of his glaring imperfections would be brought to the forefront so quickly. He hasn’t even officially taken over as Mets GM, and the skeletons in the closet are already rattling.

O’Connor details the A’s winning years, which were strongly supported by steroids — first by “Bash Brothers” Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, and later by Canseco’s return and players such as Jason Giambi and Miguel Tejada.

The argument that every GM from back then is the same: a patent head-in-the-sand conviction that they didn’t know what was going on.

Also from O’Connor’s article:

Asked by phone Wednesday if it would’ve been hard for an executive to run those A’s teams without being aware that players were using steroids, Stejskal said, “Yeah, it would. I would find that difficult to believe, especially with someone as smart and street-wise as Sandy Alderson.”

That’s not to say that the hiring of Alderson will result in mass steroid use — the Mets have already done a fine job of infiltrating PEDs throughout their system. It’s simply a plea by O’Connor for an apology of some sort — which of course won’t happen. It’s also O’Connor pointing out that as perfect as Alderson appears, he ain’t. But it’s cool to know he’s “street-wise”, because that goes a long way in the big city.

(Compare this to five years ago, when Omar Minaya seemed to be the “perfect” choice because he had a great reputation as a “talent evaluator”. Ironically, that rep was also tied to steroids — his claim to fame was the “discovery” of Sammy Sosa as a scout and the signings of players such as Juan Gonzalez and Pudge Rodriguez while he was a scouting director. But I digress …)

To me, this news is somewhat comforting; with all the hype surrounding Alderson over the past few weeks, I was beginning to think that Sandy Alderson was superhuman. It was making me feel kind of … inferior … to the point where I was considering taking some kind of vitamin or supplement, just to feel as much a “man” as Sandy Alderson appears to be. Now that I know he probably puts his pants on one leg at a time, I can stop trolling the interwebs for artificial enhancements.

O’Connor closes with this, which is really the crux of the matter:

But Alderson has a hole in his game the size of Citi Field, as do scores of fellow executives and union leaders who once looked the other way. Alderson is likely to preach accountability with the sad sack Mets, and that’s fine.

He would make that pitch credible if he started with himself, and took a few minutes on introduction to apologize for an opportunity lost.

10-11 Offseason

About the Author

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.

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