Best Front Office Or Best Overreactions?
Lately I have been observing many of the reactions to Sandy Alderson becoming the new Mets GM and also reactions to some of the first moves in his new role which included the hirings of J.P. Ricciardi and Paul DePodesta.
Mike Silva of NY Baseball Digest, wrote the following a couple of days ago,
Just two weeks into his tenure Sandy Alderson has proved to be an adept salesman, one that will elevate the Mets into the elite of baseball. The hiring of J.P. Ricciardi and Paul DePodesta is more than just the act of bringing in quality front office personnel. It proves that Alderson has a vision that others believe in.
I am thrilled that the Mets have tapped Sandy Alderson as the new GM and I’m glad that he was able to bring his longtime friends and colleagues along for the ride in DePodesta and Ricciardi. They should both help Alderson to achieve the long and short term goals he sets for the team moving forward. At least that is the hope.
However, I don’t see this situation as being any different than Omar Minaya convincing longtime friend Tony Bernazard to join his staff as well as John Ricco. Of course, Ricciardi and DePodesta bought into Alderson’s vision, but Minaya’s people bought into his vision as well. The fans also bought into his vision just as they already have with Alderson.
Nothing impressive has really taken place yet, other than a new GM filling out his staff and doing so by reaching out to old friends and acquaintances first.
The enthusiasm among the New York media and fanbase for Omar Minaya six years ago, was hardly different than what is taking place right now.
Some of the words and phrases tossed around back then included things like Minaya is a great baseball man, a tremendous asset to scouting and player development, a charismatic leader, an excellent communicator, and even more.
I don’t want to put a damper on this current wave of much needed enthusiasm because it’s not fair to Alderson who I see as someone that the Mets absolutely need right now, just as the Mets needed Omar Minaya in 2004.
Our priorities were mush different in 2004. Back then, the minor league system was in complete shambles and chaos, and the Mets had just traded away their number one prospect in return for an injured starting pitcher who would never pitch a full season for the team.
The farm system was viewed universally as one of the worst in baseball and ranked at the bottom of all the rankings including Baseball America. We needed Omar Minaya in the worst possible way, and Minaya delivered the goods on that front. Many of the young players that Mets fans love today such as Ike Davis, Josh Thole, Jon Niese, Bobby Parnell and Jenrry Mejia, are the fruits that came out of a revitalized and rebuilt-from-the-ground-up Mets minor league system and the architect was Omar Minaya. Even more great talent lies on the horizon.
That being said, our priorities have shifted a great deal since 2004. Our focus now turns on revamping the Mets image and brand which has taken a big beating over the years and is now very tarnished. We needed someone to restore credibility, organization and pride back into the lifeblood of this team. In that regard, I believe the Mets have found themselves another perfect leader in Alderson.
Now we must give Alderson the time and resources to perform his job to the best of his abilities. He brought along his hired guns, but the gunfight at OK Corral has yet to begin.
The exclamations that the Mets front office is now the best in baseball as I’ve read in many of the comment threads here on this site, is way too premature Especially when you consider they have yet to make one draft pick, negotiate one contract, promote one player from the farm, or make a significant trade.
When Minaya was tabbed as Mets GM, I don’t recall seeing anything that read the Mets now have the best minor league system in baseball seven days after he was hired and began putting his front office staff together. It took years for the Mets to shake their reputation as a barren system, but in 2008 that same system was good enough to pry Johan Santana away from the Twins.
Maybe after a couple of 90+ win seasons, and a lengthy stretch without any embarrassing moments, and maybe even a National League pennant or better, we can truly say that the Mets have the best front office in baseball. But until those things happen, can we please stop with all the platitudes and exaltations.
Omar Minaya, in my opinion, delivered on what was our biggest priority in 2004, despite underachieving in several other important areas. He had a five year plan that actually showed up three years early in 2006 when the Mets were within one out of the World Series. However things went downhill after that.
Let’s see how long it takes for the Mets to shake all the dust and wipe away the grime off of their heavily soiled and tarnished image.
Currently, we are riding high on a wave of enthusiasm and hope for the future. It was very much needed and it feels very good to not feel sick and nauseous anymore as Mets fans.
Let’s keep these good vibes going and hope that they are lasting and not temporary or fleeting.
Let’s also remember that nothing has really changed yet except for a few new name plates on the desks and doors at the Mets executive offices in Cit Field.
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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