The Mets flubbed a chance to set a new direction for the team yesterday when they announced that Sandy Alderson is being replaced by a group of three General Managers. While not written in stone, these things have a way of cementing. Bad decision – again.
There’s a reason why our Constitution provides for one Vice President (not three) giving advice to the President and being first in line to succeed the President. And yet, that’s the best idea Jeff Wilpon could come up with, presumably on short notice, to replace Sandy Alderson with three men, all with equal power and overlapping responsibilities. Sorry Mets fans, but the idea is doomed to fail, and Wilpon should know better.
What did he know and when did he know it?
Metsmerized Online aptly referred to the new situation as The Three-Headed Monster. Three men, each with a pristine resume, and varying degrees of ego are thrust into the arena to change the course of the New York Mets. They are expected to play nicely in their sandbox and share toys and ideas.
John Ricco, J.P. Ricciardi, and Omar Minaya comprise the team. Each will have Jeff Wilpon on their speed dial, at which point Wilpon will field and dodge their player personnel opinions and proposed moves one at a time, before finally utilizing his wealth of baseball acumen to make the final decisions.
This is a losing proposition from the beginning, if only because two of the three will be unhappy campers when their recommendation is bounced each time a move or non-move is made. And it could get even worse if all three, for example, propose a different name of a player the Mets would receive in a trade.
The Wilpons haven’t had an idea about baseball as it’s played on the field – ever. I can’t think of one not pertaining to almighty dollar – can you? So, where is this wisdom, all of a sudden, going to come from? It’s not.
Which leaves us then with the squeaky wheel getting oiled first. Does Ricciardi, for instance, get the nod from Wilpon if he leaves a text message at 2 A.M. proving he’s dedicated and hard at work at all hours. Or maybe, Minaya uses his extensive contacts in the business and cowboy style trading mentality in trying to talk Wilpon into believing Manny Machado is dying to play for the Mets?
Which bares open another question. Who does Mickey Callaway report to now? And what of the reverse, too, in which Callaway fields three phone calls, each with a “suggestion” as to who should play right field that day? Mickey, you think you’ve seen dysfunction? You haven’t seen anything yet.
If I didn’t know better, I’d say Jeff Wilpon has a date marked on the calendar when he will appoint a new GM for the Mets, and that date will arrive just after the All-Star break. And if I didn’t know better, I’d say Wilpon will discard all three, choosing instead to go outside the Mets organization, just as he did when he brought in Alderson eight years ago from the Oakland A’s organization.
Those were, of course, the pre-Madoff days when money flowed through the tills, and Alderson was given a free reign and allowed to spend at will, and taking the Mets to a point where they once had the third highest payroll in the major leagues.
Which brings us back full circle again, because much like Callaway’s abrupt decision to join the Mets and the second-guessing of himself that is likely to prevail now, Jeff Wilpon has a chance in hell of convincing a substantially qualified GM candidate to join the Mets in the middle of a season like the one they are having.
More likely, Wilpon will prefer a patsy and a yes man who will not rock the Let’s Do Something” boat by responding to beleaguered Mets fans who want changes – and big changes. Did I just say John Ricco?
And the beat will go on.
A Final Word On Sandy Alderson
Over the course of the past few months, I have not spared the rod when it came to Sandy Alderson. Among other crimes and misdemeanors, I charged Alderson with being listless, disinterested, and ineffective.
Little did I or anyone know that Alderson was advised of re-occurring cancer back in April, a distraction, of course, of great consequence. It’s too late to apologize, but it’s never too late to say thank you for your service to a former Marine who did the best he could with one arm tied behind his back.
I and readers of this column wish you well, Sandy.