Steve Serby of the NY Post chatted with Sandy Alderson and gives us some more 411 on the new Mets GM.
Q: A Billy Martin anecdote from Oakland?
A: Billy thought he was the general manager as well as the manager of the Oakland A’s. So one day, it became my responsibility to inform him that he wasn’t the general manager, that he was the manager only. And he reacted to that (chuckle) organizational position by basically destroying his manager’s office in Oakland.
Q: Your definition of a Sandy Alderson ballplayer?
A: Rickey Henderson. A guy with power, speed, tremendously selective at the plate and an excellent defender. And somebody that had a flair about him that made watching him play just a joy.
Q: You were critical of Alex Rodriguez’s contract (10 years, $252 million) with Texas at the time. As you look back on it now, have your views changed at all?
A: Did everybody think I was wrong before (smile)? I think it was one of those situations where first of all, it was my job to be the voice of Major League Baseball on those issues, so to some extent I was only filling that responsibility at the winter meetings. In my view, there wasn’t any way to defend that contract. It represented a dangerous precedent, not only in terms of the amount of money it represented, but also the length of time.
Q: Does a New York baseball manager need to have certain qualities?
A: Based on my experience (at his introductory press conference), I’d say yes (smiles). With 60 or so (media members) in that room, and maybe 20 to 30 on a day-by-day, game-by-game basis, I think one has to recognize that there are certain aspects to the job here that don’t exist elsewhere. . . . I think the intensity is there from the beginning. It’s not just the quantity of coverage. It’s also the quality of the coverage . . . the competitiveness of that coverage . . . the ability to respond to those dynamics.
I included just a few snippets here, but you should really check out the complete interview which is pretty excellent and includes his recollections of the 1969 and 1986 Mets, his Vietnam War experience, and his wife’s battle with breast cancer.
Alderson is quite an extraordinary person and the more you learn about him the more there is to like.
I was particularly intrigued when he answered Rickey Henderson as what he would call a Sandy Alderson type player.
It’s interesting to me because a player very similar in style to Rickey Henderson will be on the market next month, Rays outfielder Carl Crawford.
Things that make you go hmmm…