Besides Sandy Alderson making the mistake that he was glad to accept the General Manager position for the Oakland A’s, I came away impressed with the Mets new General Manager this afternoon as the organization presented him during his introductory press conference.
Alderson is one of the most respected individuals in baseball. Even the Commissioner put in a good word for the Harvard Law School grad. However, if you look at his resume, he does not need any Godfather-type favors. His accomplishments speak for themselves.
This man built a mini-dynasty out in Oakland with the “Bash Brothers” and Tony LaRusso. Under his guidance, the A’s won four Divisional crowns and one World Title during the Alderson administration. But he is probably most known for his tutelage of his assistant, Billy Beane, who revolutionized baseball by keeping the A’s competitive on a modest budget. Alderson may not be a baseball know it all, but he is smart enough to surround himself with the right people who help him make the right decisions. Now isn’t that the one common bond of all people who are consistently successful?
After this season, he should have a lot more to work with but one got the feeling on Friday that getting the most bang for the buck will be the future theme at Citi Field. Once the Carlos Beltran’s, Luis Castillo, Oliver Perez and perhaps Francisco Rodriguez contracts, approximately 50 million dollars, come off the books, Alderson will have more flexibility to play with. Until then he will have to go up and down the current roster to evaluate each individual to determine his immediate moves. He will need to hit the road running right away as he has until Monday to decide whether to re-sign reliever Hisanori Takahashi or the team will have to wait until May 15th to resume negotiations.
Alderson will also be taking a hard look at the organization’s farm system, trying to see how he can bolster that piece of the puzzle. If you remember, that was one of the A’s strength during his regime. Even when he lost a prize budding star to free agency in Oakland, they always seemed to have someone waiting in the wings to take that departing star’s place.
In addition to his administrative and organization skills, another thing that impressed me about Alderson’s background is that he is an ex-Marine. Therefore, you know that he is a no-nonsense individual. I can assure you that all of that off-the-field drama that plagued the organization like the Tony Bernazard foolishness will not tolerated in the future. And all of the confusion associated with the team’s medical staff misdiagnosing all of those ailments over the past two years should come to a halt as well. If one more person gets a hamstring pull that keeps him out of the line up for three months, then you can bet that there will be some trainers and doctors circulating their resumes. Like all Marines I know, Alderson will not accept the foolishness that has been common place in Flushing since Beltran took that third called strike in the 2006 NLCS.
The only question that most reporters had at the press conference is will Alderson have full autonomy at the helm of the Mets. Most fear that Jeff Wilpon will continue to have more to say on how the team will proceed in the future. First, let’s just say the only GM that has full autonomy is Jerry Jones and that is because he owns his team. Yes, Alderson will have to answer to the Wilpons’ and get their approval on moves but, one thing is for sure, he will not be a yes man. That does not appear to be part of his DNA.
I like this move. Alderson is respected throughout the industry. He is a man of few words and he lets his action’s speak for themselves. But his no-nonsense demeanor is what this organization needs the most. If he can instill his brand of stability in the New York Mets, he will be worth his weight in gold.