Archive: August 1st, 2012

Sandy Alderson On the Defensive

From Adam Rubin on ESPN-NY:

Alderson expressed surprise the direction of the call turned to why the Mets did not sell instead of why they were not buyers. Asked by about there arguably being little value in increasing the 2012 win total of a non-playoff team, Alderson said:

“Well, maybe you’re not a Mets fan, Adam. Or you’re not a Mets employee. Or you’re not a Mets observer. You’re certainly a Mets reporter. It’s not clear to me you have the same mindset as all the other constituencies that relate to the Mets. It’s a good question, but if we’re just going to get marginal talent, and I’m talking about let’s say maybe not even top-30 prospect status in an organization, then we have a choice to make.”

He said he had dialogue with at least three AL teams about Scott Hairston, but it was more valuable to keep the 2012 team competitive than have only an incremental help to the farm system in acquiring a Class A prospect. Alderson added that while he has not had any contract extension talks with Hairston, that likely will be at least broached in August.

“Without getting significant help for 2013, we were not going to move players simply to move them,” Alderson said. “We were not looking for some small, incremental improvement to the overall player-development situation. If we were going to get a quality player, then we would strongly consider doing something as a ‘seller.’ But absent a strong effort by another club, we weren’t simply going to make a move just to make a move. We didn’t need to dump salary. And we were not interested in the types of prospects that were offered to us and would have had a very marginal impact on our system.

“Right now, he’s a very important part of our team,” Alderson continued, referring to Hairston. “And we do feel it’s important to field as strong a team as we reasonably can for the rest of the season. We haven’t given up on the season. We didn’t move players off the team for a reason. We think we still have lots of good baseball in front of us. And Scott can be part of that. If you look historically at what bench players, platoon players can bring to a team that moves that kind of player at the deadline, it’s not always a great return. …

“I think there’s a lot of value in, for example, making a run, even if it’s unrealistic. I think there’s a lot of value, for example, in finishing well over .500. I think there’s a lot of value in finishing over .500. I think those things create a perception. What happened or didn’t happen on the deadline may be largely forgotten if a team is able to create a positive impression the second half of the season.

“I thought we would talk on this call about the fact that we didn’t add anything. And now we’re talking about why we didn’t subtract, which is interesting to me. As I said, we’re about changing impressions, changing perceptions. And you do that with wins and losses, primarily. I understand our fans are disappointed with what’s happened the last three weeks or so, but it’s not the end of the season. And there are a lot of impressions to be made over the remaining two months. I happen to think those impressions can be more valuable than a low-A prospect, below the top 30, from some organization in the American League.”

Whoa. Defensive much? Condescending much?

I have to wonder, is Sandy Alderson frustrated because other teams wouldn’t work with him, or is there something deeper going on? This psychobabble sounds eerily similar to assertions that “the Mets will play meaningful games in September.”

Is it possible that Alderson has less power than we’d like to believe? Might Alderson be hamstrung by someone above him — an issue every Mets GM has experienced since Nelson Doubleday was forced out of ownership?

What’s your thought? Am I reading too much into this? Jumping to conclusions? Or is there enough tension here to suggest that not all is peachy on the upper floors of Citi Field’s offices?


The Song Remains the Same

In 2011 Mets fans were treated to a new concept: making trades in July. Unfortunately, they were sellers, but at least the trades of Francisco Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran appeared to make some sense on the surface — they seemed to be part of some big plan that the front office dream team had in place.

This year, however, the Mets are right back to their usual stance: