Have Ye Faith? Call in Now …
This quote by Sandy Alderson on a WFAN interview, reproduced by MetsBlog:
“I’m not that young, I’ve got to live through another year, and I don’t want to have an also-ran either. We’re gonna put something together that gives us a chance. And that’s our goal between now and the beginning of spring training. Will we knock your socks off with some high profile free agent? Probably not. But, we are getting close to the point where will be able to do that.”
Now, let’s pretend this is a radio call-in show. “Call” in to the comments section and air your response to this quote by Alderson. Do you believe that the Mets can / will “put something together that gives us (the Mets) a chance” this winter and explain why you do or don’t have faith in that statement.
The lines are open …
The bullpen is definitely an issue that needs to be addressed. Is it what’s preventing the Mets from the playoffs? I think it’s ONE of the things.
As for the outfield, I would agree with your statement if Cowgill was a similar player to Barry Bonds in his prime.
And by the way, the prediction for 2013 is 66 wins. Boy will they have a ton of empty seats!
The best chance for the Wilpons to sell came when the Madoff scandal came to light. But Bud Selig secretly bailed them out, both with a loan from MLB and by installing Sandy Alderson to cut the payroll. It’s crystal clear that Selig fully supports, and endorses, the Mets operating as a small-market club for as long as necessary. Selig’s dream is for a huge-market team to succeed with small-market strategy, to artificially deflate player salaries and put more money into owners’ pockets.
Dan makes good points, most of which are an indictment of the ownership. Letting the #2 pick walk over pocket change is on the GM and inexplicable. The Buffalo market was declining before the Mets affiliation, but it is clear no other AAA teams were knocking on the Mets’ door. Regarding Selig and Alderson, while Uncle Bud turns my stomach, I don’t quite buy this moneyball conspiracy theory. There was no secret bailout, and Selig did not install Alderson. While the Wilpons have shown ineptness, the did not stoop to the level of the former Dodger owner. Additionally, Alderson was clearly the most qualified candidate after Minaya was dismissed. Most likely he needed to be convinced to take the job, and the $3 mil per ammun coin surely help the sales pitch. The Wilpons certainly could have cut payroll without hiring Alderson, anf saved another $4 to $5 mil annually on execs. The payroll will exceed $100 mil this year, and grow over the next few years. Operating like the A’s was an interim necessity for the Wilpons to maintain ownership.
Selig didn’t install Alderson? I didn’t make that up either – it was reported by several very reliable sources, including Bob Klapisch:
As for the payroll exceeding $100M, are you projecting? Because it’s currently around $93M.
I don’t make this stuff up – I’m simply regurgitating the hard work and research of others, as a segment somewhere distant from the head of the human centipede.
I am not suggesting that you made anything up, and I recall reading both articles that you link. While the Mets were clearly desperate for cash at that time, I find the Times characterization of “secret bailout” somewhat sensational since the transaction occurred within the bylaws of MLB, and I don’t know that MLB publishes or broadcasts its lows to franchises. I also find it a stretch that Alderson was “installed” based on some “unnamed executive’s characterization”. It is possible, by sketchy at best, and I still believe that Alderson was the best available candidate at the time regardless. I am anticipating a payroll over $100 million in 2013, but time will tell. I am no fan of Uncle Bud, I am not a supporter of the Wilpons, and would prefer new ownership. While they were in very bad financial shape with the Picard lawsuit, I think that is behind them and financially they can handle a $100+ million payroll in 2013, higher if they choose to do so in 2014, and the paying customers should demand it. We shall see.
“There was no secret bailout, and Selig did not install Alderson.”
So by you stating that, I took it as an accusation that I made up the story of Bud’s secret loan to the Wilpons and the story of Bud “strongly recommending” Alderson to be the Mets GM.
I don’t know what the “MLB by-laws” are and frankly, I don’t care, because regardless, the only people who knew about the $25M loan were Bud Selig and the Mets, and that makes it a “secret” to everyone else.
You can believe or not believe whatever you want regarding Alderson’s installation as Mets GM and Selig’s takeover of the franchise. But here are the hard facts, which are remarkably coincidental:
1. The Mets were hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, defaulting on bank loans, unable to make payroll, and unable to secure loans through “traditional channels” when Bud Selig gave the Mets $25M from MLB’s coffers w/o the knowledge or approval of the other MLB owners.
2. At almost the exact same time of the loan, Sandy Alderson was hired as Mets GM.
3. Previous to being named Mets GM, Alderson was working as a special assistant to Selig for MLB. He hadn’t been a GM nor considered a GM job since the 1990s. Why would he suddenly be motivated to take a GM job for a floundering franchise, out of the clear blue sky?
4. Within weeks of being hired as Mets GM, Alderson hired DePodesta and Ricciardi as his assistants. No one, anywhere, mentioned the fact that Alderson was able to do this despite DePodesta already having a job as Executive VP for the Padres, and without having to ask the Padres for permission to speak with him (much less hire him away). Something like that just doesn’t happen in MLB, period. The fact it happened as quickly and cleanly as it did could only occur with the commissioner’s intervention (or, direction).
All of the above moves were similar to what happened in the MLB takeovers of the Montreal Expos, Texas Rangers, and LA Dodgers. To deny that Selig wasn’t pulling the strings in late 2010 is your choice, but there is plenty of blatant evidence to make it seem more than a “stretch.”
On the other hand, between 2004-2010 the franchise operated as a large market team, and still got no ring. How much money is spent bears little to no relationship with who wins it all, and I know that as the smart man you are you are well aware and have seen many examples to back up my statement.
We can spend a lifetime on speculation, and at the end what is done is done, what was not done was not, and we can only move forward. I can only hope that the front office makes the moves that best supports their strategy, and that David Wright is still in uniform the next time we win it all.
Let’s go Mets!
I guess we can go on and on and ultimately agree to disagree, but I will end with this reply to your points:
1. Selig lent the money to the Mets as stated within the powers of MLB, even the Times article makes reference to these braod powers. Banks would not lend to the Mets because of the billion dollar Picard lawsuit. The Wilpons have since paid it back, and the lawsuit was settled. Ironically, the “broke” Wilpons managed to raise tens of millions of their own cash to buy many of the $30 million 4% shares sold earlier this year. Why this doesn’t get more coverage I don’t know.
2 & 3. Like him or not, Alderson was clearly the most accomplished person to interview for the Mets GM job. His “special assistant” job for Selig was chasing steriod users and fake birth certificates in the Dominican Republic. So, his choice was to stay in that post and hope to be commish some day or take a job as GM of the Mets for $3 million per year and hope to be commish some day.
4. I’m not sure why a conspiracy would be necessary for the Mets to hire Depo and JP. The bigger paycheck from the “broke” team may have had something to do with it.
I am not disputing the Selig wanted Alderson to be the Mets GM, or that Selig really wants the Wilpons to survive. I don’t care for either, but the secrets and conspiracies to prop the Wilpons and prove small payroll works in the big city is a stretch to me. But, thanks for the spirited debate, it makes rooting for a second tier team interesting even in an offseason where for the time being the team is worse than the paltry 74 wins it put up last season.
They have “major league” infield (various teams have some weak link; their catcher of the future won’t be ready yet though a late season call-up is possible), a promising starting rotation but honestly it won’t be ready for playoff ball for at least a year (I have no real reason to think they are FOUR years away), some arms in the pen (not enough) but the OF is seriously lacking. There, especially by platooning, you might credibly have something and Captain K. might do something. I also think it is likely they will get another OF like Cody Ross.
I don’t think Sandy Alderson or anyone is going to say “we have no chance” any more than the head coach of the Chiefs will say that though they generally never do. What one expects him to say is unclear. As to what we can hope for, I think the Mets (again) will have a chance for a decent first half & will (again) likely fail to have a good second half. They have a ‘chance’ to do a bit better though.
And, yes, they are a lot closer to having one than they were a couple years back. 2014 is more a “shot if things go our way” season esp. if the 40M is used wisely.
In the last two seasons we have had the batting champion and the CY young award winner and threw a no hitter. What do we have to show for it????? Nada
Because the Mets refuse to build around these players and give them the help they need. I mean if you cant build around a Cy young winner and an all start leadoff batting champion and a cornerstone 3b can you tell me what these prospects have to be to be good enough to build around?
I don’t think the Mets are any closer to a playoff spot than they were two years ago, or three years ago. Imagine what the Mets’ record would be in 2012 if not for RA Dickey; they may have lost 100 games. So unless Matt Harvey has a season like Tom Seaver circa 1969, I find it hard to believe the Mets will do much better than the 74 wins they managed last year. How does that make them any closer? I guess if 2013 plays out similarly to 1973, and a team with 82 wins can make the playoffs.
First, we have those things to show for it. Joe Janish minutes after made it clear he didn’t care for the no-hitter, but some felt it was a special thing. One of those things that by itself can overcome many wrongs. Also, many pitchers with a no-hitter overall were mediocre. That alone doesn’t tell you much.
Next, you speak out of both sides of your mouth. I’m correct apparently, but I said that they did some things. They got a well considered catcher prospect AND a pitching prospect with some real potential out of the CY Young winner. That is just ONE thing the team did over the last two years to move past YEARS of bad player management. But, they are in NYC, so they should be able to do sooooo much more. Uh uh.
I’m not necessarily convinced that there was so much “bad player management” in the past. There was definitely poor investment management, poor trust management, and awful assets management on part of the ownership that still exists. And to be clear, “assets” are revenue streams, not player payrolls.
You are well aware that the fan base is VERY skeptical of anything being said by the Mets ownership and brass, and you are aware that this is for good reason. You are also aware that the multi-millionnaire owners essentially plead for the fanbase to “keep supporting us” by purchasing premium-priced tickets for what has been a sub-standard product in recent years. You are also aware that almost all the fan base knows that it is best to build for sustained success by having a strong developmental system that consistently produces players for the big league team. We have been quite patient. It’s high time that you back up the statements with actions. We can live without Grienke and Hamilton. We know ther is money to spend and holes to fill. Over the next two months, show us that you WILL put together a team that is complete – no glaring holes and AAAA personnel like last year. Let the high-potential young players have a chance, and fill the other spots with reliable MLB talent, so 2013 will be both developmental and entertaining. 86 games of competitive baseball, like 2012, will not cut it. This team needs to battle to game 162, playoff bound or not, and show wins improvement over 2012 and significant development strides from the “core” players that you bestow with the responsibility of transforming the team into a World Series competitor in the very near future. Thank you and happy holidays.
And then, we’ll see as the season goes on. If we’re close at around the All-Star break, he might strike. If not, 2014 seems to be the target.
Then again, we heard this last year.
Why can’t the Met’s operate like a major player in a major city. We need to fill our holes with major league talent not stop gap shleps who either can’t field or can’t hit or a combo of both. If you spend the, fans will come and the revenue will flow in. If you don’t invest at major league level no one will show and you will need to wait until that young talent produces before anyone comes out this way its a win win situation.
I don’t see Alderson as the problem. Three years ago, he inherited (a) a bloated MLB payroll, with most of the dollars going to un or undrproductive guys, (b) a very thin minor league system (note that our top 3 minor leaguers were obtained through trades in the past 8 months), and (c) stupid and broke owners.
He’s trying to execute on a plan to make the Mets legitimately competive in 2015 by (a) developing Harvey and Wheeler to join Niese and Gee, (b) making the odd fill-in trade or signing (bearing in mind that we have no trade bait that anyone wants, other than the pitchers we need to keep), and (c) using the $45 million of payroll we shed next year in the stronger 2014 and 2015 FA classes.
Sure, he’s BSing about being competitve in 2013…but what else can he say? Would it be helpful to the Mets for him to be brutally honest: “We are going to be really bad next year. Why would anyone come to Citifield to see this? Why would any fill-in FA come here unless no one else wants them?’
So, if someone has a plan to make the Mets a contender in 2013, I’d love to hear it. Until then, I have to hope he gets the time to play out his plan for 2015 and beyond. The alternative is the Wilpons bringing in another toady (Duquette, Wilpon) so that Jeffie can play baseball exec again…which is what got us into this quagmire to begin with.
Thanks for your loyal readership. More thanks for joining the conversation.
Regarding this part of your comment:
“… to state it as a conspiracy theory is only evidence that some can type because it is an open forum and the know how to use their hands and keyboards.”
You may want to consider adjusting your perspective / expectations of MetsToday, because that evidence is INDEED supported, right here. I’m not a reporter and don’t ever claim to be. I am a professional writer, but that doesn’t make me a journalist who researches , confirms facts, and creates original news stories. Rather, I’m a blogger, and as such my goal is to state my opinions — often unfounded and ridiculous to some — and start conversations.
I hope this doesn’t disappoint you. At the same time, I want to be completely upfront about my intentions with this blog. Basically, I have few people in my life who want to talk Mets baseball as much as I, so I write this blog.
Again, thanks very much for paying attention and participating.
There are other facts to poor performance after the all star break this season that only an expert with a crystal ball could have foreseen. First, Santana’s performance was gone after the no-hitter, then we lost Gee. I am not sure many front-offices could replace 40% of their staring rotation at that point in the season successully.
To add to the madness, some of the already shaky bullpen arms went down and the replacements did not make the best of the opportunity.
Thank you much again for the quick reply, and for entertaining and even educating this Mets and baseball fan for the past 6 years. Happy Holidays to you and your family.
I disagree about needing a crystal ball to see what was happening with the Mets in 2012. Pretty much anyone who discussed, wrote, or blogged about MLB saw the Mets were horrible before spring training began. The surprise was not that they lost 2/5s of their rotation and fell apart in the second half, but that they were able to maintain a winning record beyond April. There were far too many things going exactly right for them in the first 60-70 games of the year — it was only a matter of time for the house of cards to fall apart.
Further to the point of the rotation: EVERY team seriously shooting for the postseason expects to suffer at least one or two injuries in their starting rotation — and protects against such maladies by stocking at least 7 or 8 legit starters in their organization (the two or three extras often are in AAA or the bullpen, and may be a mix of veterans and phenoms).
As for any other teams dealing with losing 40% of their rotation … well, it happened to most teams in MLB. If you want an example of one that lost far more, and went much further, see the Baltimore Orioles. The injury card isn’t played here at MetsToday, because we’ve seen too many other teams with just as many, if not more, injuries, and yet they still make the playoffs.
Thanks again for continuing to visit; I’m very glad you are participating in the conversation. Best of everything to you and your family this holiday season!
First I’d like to discuss the relationship between winning the Fall Classic to payroll expense.
Between 1995 and 2010:
4 times the highest payroll team (Yes, THAT team) has won it all (96, 99, 2000 and 2009)
3 times the 2nd highest payroll team has won it all (BOSOX 04 and 07, THAT team 1998)
Only once the 3rd highest payroll team won it all, 1995 (THAT OTHER team)
50% of the time (8 times in 16 seasons) one of the top 3 payrolls won it all
7 World Series had opponents within the top third in spending – five of which were THAT team)
So, while the top third of the spending teams DID have a better chance to get into the post season, they failed to win it all at least half the time in the 16 seasons referenced above.
In addition to the loss of Santana and Gee, i also pointed out the ability of our bullpen to transition from awful to deplorable during the second half. And then later our friend Joe Janish wisely stated the regression to the mean by the team’s offense, with which I also agree.
Could you elaborate on the examples you have regarding the teams that successfully replaced 40% of their starting rotation? Bear in mind that we are replacing ONE 5th starter and ONE ace. So I don’t think that a team that replaced the fourth and fifth starters would be the best example. We also have to take into account the double-whammy that diminished starting pitching quality PLUS non-existing bullpen quality adds to the team’s offense in terms of morale and stress.
That is all I have for now. Thank you for your question.
The 2012 Orioles replaced three-fifths of their starting rotation between Opening Day and game 162. They didn’t technically “lose” three of their starters — they just stunk and were replaced.
The 2012 A’s lost Brandon McCarthy for a big chunk of the season, and never really had a set #5 starter.
The 2012 Rangers lost Neftali Feliz and Colby Lewis to season-ending injuries.
The 2012 Braves lost Brandon Beachy and Jair Jurrjens.
The 2009 Dodgers lost Jason Schmidt before the season started, lost Hiroki Kuroda early on, and had such a mess of a rotation that they had 8 different pitchers (in addition to top 4 Kuroda, Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, and Randy Wolf) try to fill out the two open spots.
The 2007 Phillies lost Freddy Garcia and Jon Lieber — who were supposed to be among their top three starters — by mid-June. We all know what happened that season.
And finally, the 2006 Mets lost Pedro Martinez, Victor Zambrano, El Duque, and Brian Bannister for varied and substantial amounts of time.
I could go on, but these are a few that come to mind.
My point is that it’s fairly common for a team to lose two of their five starting pitchers, and it’s not an excuse on its own for missing the playoffs.