The Sandy Alderson introduction and press conference just concluded and I hope most of you had an opportunity to tune in and listen to his refreshing message. Here are a few things that came out of the Q&A part of the event and I apologize for not jotting down the beat writers who asked the questions.
Alderson was gracious, spoke cohesively and confidently, and most of all he had presence. His voice commanded the room. He never stuttered or stalled for canned responses. Instead his answers were all part of a central theme that excellence will be the goal.
“I am thrilled with this opportunity and am eager to work with ownership and the entire organization to achieve a successful and sustainable future for the Mets and our fans.”
When asked about what he wants from a manager, Alderson said that he sees the franchise as having a lot upside potential and want’s a manager who fits in intellectually and emotionally. He doesn’t require the manager to have major league experience. He must be on-board with the overall philosophy which will come from him. “The manager is a critical part of the overall leadership structure.”
Early on, Alderson made a little joke about all the talk of him and Moneyball and said, “There were only three paragraphs that even referred to me.”
Regarding the organizational structure he said that ”We are going to work and we are gonna work smart. We’re gonna strive for consistency, but above all we’re gonna strive for excellence.”
He referred to the Mets Minor League system as merely middle of the pack, and that it was unacceptable for a team that plays in New York.
He does not foresee making any changes to the dimensions of Citi Field, but didn’t rule it out. Simply saying that he only was able to walk through the park once. He thought it was a marvelous park and a beautiful venue for baseball.
Regarding his own philosophy he said, “Many aspects of what you might call a Oak or SD philosophy, pertain. The great franchises in big markets are very good at player development. Things like on-base percentage, slugging and power are important. The mathematics don’t lie. Speed matters too.”
Regarding his fondness for statistics, Alderson said that he liked information, but that doesn’t mean it’s all statistically-based. He trusts subjective view points as well and added that the game is also about character, and many other things that can’t be measured with stats.
When asked about rebuilding or focusing on 2012 and beyond, he brushed it off as nonsense. “Let me repeat myself again. I am focused and determined on 2011 and not beyond that. We have a competitive team and would have fared better with 600 at-bats from Jason Bay and Carlos Beltran.”
I’ll try and add more to this later, but wanted to get something up for those who were not able to watch. Here is a video courtesy of SNY on his opening statement.
I am totally rejuvenated as a Mets fan. I feel like I just drank from the fountain of youth and the future can’t get here fast enough for me.
Welcome to New York Sandy!