When Mets President Sandy Alderson aborted plans to hire a GM and a Baseball Operations person, yet another sign of a New Mets Era emerged.
The Mets took another small step forward yesterday when Sandy Alderson admitted a need to abort a portion of the team’s overall plan for 2021 and beyond.
In sum, the Mets are no longer interviewing for the head of Baseball Operations position. They will focus exclusively on hiring a high-powered general manager who, over time, can be promoted to a higher-level job.
In one sense, it was always unclear why the Mets decided to add another level of authority and responsibility in the team’s front office hierarchy.
Yesterday, Alderson attributed the answer to the team’s having “more talent available” in the decision-making process. The full Alderson press conference video is here.
True or not, the net effect is that Sandy Alderson will have a greater impact on baseball-related decisions, and specifically those that determine the composition of the Mets 40-man roster.
This increased involvement by Alderson was not in the Mets transition plan. At 73 and a two-time cancer survivor, he had originally signed on with Steve Cohen’s team for a “couple of years” to help get the new administration off the ground.
In that light alone, Alderson’s willingness to abort the original plan by taking on additional responsibility represents a significant change in Mets’ thinking and actions over recent years, especially related to the failed Wilpon dynasty.
Mets: If It Ain’t Working – Ditch It.
While it can be argued the Wilpons never had a plan that didn’t involve escaping from the self-made debt they incurred during their ill-fated escapade with Bernie Madoff, those they did put forth were etched in stone and decidedly false in their promises to the ever-faithful Mets fans.
Apparently, what happened here with this baseball operations person’s proposed hiring is mostly that teams did not voluntarily release candidates to interview for the job while under contract with a team.
Alderson acknowledged this is a fair and common practice that he did not consider a slap specifically aimed at him or the organization.
So why, he reasoned, should he continue to create more animosity among teams who eventually stand as trading partners for the Mets.
With that stone overturned, Alderson wisely turned the conversation to another ingredient of wide ib=nterest to Mets’ fans.
Alderson then acknowledged something already working in the organization. Whereupon he announced that Luis Rojas would indeed begin the 2021 season as the Mets Manager.
Again, this is another small but incremental step in formulating the New Era of the Mets organization. Unlike the previous dumping of both Terry Collins and his successor Mickey Callaway, common sense prevailed in Rojas’s retention.
Accenting those (now) all-important communication skills with players and a professional acceptance of the role analytics plays in today’s game (the removal of Blake Snell notwithstanding), Rojas checks all the boxes the Mets need for the moment.
No pussy-footing around, the Mets made a decision, and in today’s world of the unknown in baseball, that is quite an accomplishment.
Mets: Are You Suckering Me In?
Like many of you, I suppose, I watched the Alderson press conference on YouTube to pause and reflect on what he was saying.
Once again, I took away the feeling (we can never know) that this guy is real and that in his last go-around in what has been a long and revered career in baseball, Sandy Alderson is the right man to be selected by Steve Cohen to lead the Mets into a New Era of honesty, integrity, humility – and success.
Now, the burden shifts to a new arena in which Sandy Alderson will be operating as chief officer for the Mets on both the baseball and business side of things.
Hired mainly to watch over the organization for Steve Cohen’s business investments, Alderson’s name and reputation will now be tied to all baseball matters such as signings of Trevor Bauer, J.T. Realmuto, as well as the long-delayed extension granted to Michael Conforto.
To answer my (own) question, though, the Mets are fortunate to have Sandy Alderson onboard as a person whose experience has granted him the elusive ability to think on his feet in an ever-changing (baseball) world.
Even if it means proving himself wrong. How refreshing.