What a wonderful Saturday morning. I feel totally invigorated as a Mets fan today, and I’m looking forward to what the coming days will bring.
Watching Sandy Alderson yesterday was like a breath of fresh air – fresh air I haven’t breathed in the last 2-3 years where the Mets are concerned.
I was captivated by the combination of his commanding personality and his warm and cordial approach. Alderson was like an old friend comforting us in our time of need.
I hung on every word he said and it made me feel like I was reborn in my fandom. He renewed my spirit and revitalized my passion for the team which had laid dormant for the better part of two years.
A lot was said yesterday, and it will take days and weeks to decipher it all and let it sink in, but I was confident in the end that the Mets had made a very profound and extraordinary choice in Sandy Alderson.
I wonder if the players felt that same sense of relief I had, while they tuned in and watched or listened from their homes? As much as we needed Alderson for our sake, I believe the players needed him even more.
Alderson inspired all of the Mets fans I spoke with yesterday. They were all genuinely impressed, but more importantly, they were all very hopeful and enthusiastic for what lied ahead.
It almost feels like the excitement in the days leading up to Christmas Day when I was a kid. All I could think of was going through all those presents and wondering what great things were lying under the tree for me. I had no idea what I was going to get, but I just knew it was all going to be good
Some may say that yesterday was no different than when the Mets announced Omar Minaya as GM in the fall of 2004, but I disagree completely.
Omar never connected with me the way Alderson did yesterday afternoon. Omar gave me a sense of relief in that we were turning the page from the doldrums of the 2003 and 2004 seasons. I was happy for the change, but I needed more convincing that things were going to get better. I needed to hear more than a message that things would get better in five years. I was relieved, but at the same time I kept thinking, wow, five years?
Alderson, on the other hand, spoke convincingly that 2011 was not going to be a throw-away season. When Alderson was asked about 2012 and beyond, he stopped everyone dead in their tracks and said he was completely focused on putting a contending team on the field for 2011. He backed that up with details and within minutes I was a believer. And more than that, he spoke of restoring excellence to the franchise and pride to the fanbase. What a wonderful thing to say… I really needed to hear that… What I want most as a Mets fan right now is to be proud of the New York Mets again.
There wasn’t one area of the franchise that Alderson failed to cover and convey a vision for. From the medical staff to the minor leagues to the overall organizational philosophy, not a stone was left unturned. Unlike Omar Minaya, with Alderson it was understood that he was a man who was firmly in command and that he was calling all the shots. He said he would surround himself with the best baseball personnel available and that he would strive to restore glory back to the New York Mets. He had me at hello.
He was realistic in conveying the plan ahead, and explained that he would have specific goals that he hoped to accomplish in the next 30, 60 and 90 days. He wasn’t just saying things will get better over and over like Omar Minaya did, instead Alderson consistently filled the air with specific actions he would take. He was honest with us.
The last time Omar Minaya spoke to reporters before he was fired, he said the Mets minor leagues was among the best in baseball and that all the other teams wanted what we had.
In stark contrast, Alderson called the Mets minor leagues “middle of the pack”‘ He was brutally honest and said it was “unacceptable” and that a team with the resources of the New York Mets deserved much better than “middle of the pack”. He promised to change that. You know what? He will.
I can go on and on and on, but I think I’ll stop right here.
I just wanted to share some of my thoughts about Alderson with you and encourage all of you to be hopeful again because I do believe there are brighter days ahead, and we don’t have to wait five years to see them. The sun shined bright over Citi Field yesterday.