Everybody Wake Up!

An article by posted on December 3, 2010

I’m a big Dave Matthews Band fan, to me, they are the band that will live forever just like The Beatles are the band that lives forever for my father. I can turn on any song, at any time, and be in peace. There’s a lyric that comes to mind when I try and describe Winter 2010-2011 in regards to our fan base. 

“Everybody wake up. If you’re living with your eyes closed. See the man with a bomb in his hand, everybody wake up.” 

You know, sometimes people close to you need tough love. When they have lost their way, the only way to get them back on track is to give them a little slap in the back of the head! 

The New York Mets franchise has been in a downward spiral for the last 3 years. I don’t count 2007, because things weren’t bad until the very end. Nobody really saw it coming, and we all woke up whistling every morning until September. The fact no Mets fan ever put together a video of “When September Ends,” by Green Day is baffling to me. 

So from 2008-2010, what did we as a collective whole want? Well scratch that, what did we want changes. We all know we wanted to win, and we all know that some of you have this thought in your head that because you don’t like them the Wilpon’s would sell the team. 

Realistically though, we wanted a new direction and a new General Manager. 

Christmas (or whatever you may celebrate) finally came for us. Not only did we get a brand new General Manager with experience and respect around the league, but we got two young executives who essentially left more stable situations (or turned down) to come here. 

So we’ve got our new direction. We have a GM who sends out “letters” to the fan base, keeping us all informed. We’ve got 3 men (plus Ricco) running our organization in a direction that they feel will one day lead to a World Series. We’ve got honesty in the front office, we aren’t being sold on “2011 is our year.” We’re being sold on the fact they will do the best they can this year, but the immediate future is in their crosshairs. 

It’s not as though they are tearing it all down and rebuilding. They are clearly just not rushing into decisions that will impact the future of the franchise. The old way of running this team would’ve landed us some overpaid free agent who’s best years are behind him. 

So okay, Terry Collins was hired to be the Manager. I still don’t care. When Alderson & his team were brought in, I came to terms with the fact that I am going to wait for at least one full season to happen before I pass judgment on Alderson’s decisions. After all, “we” wanted the change, did we not? So if “we” want change, shouldn’t we at least let the guy make a decision or two? 

It seems to me that every decision that has been made has been followed by some long thread. In most cases the word “Omar” is thrust into the conversation as if to say Alderson is making moves Minaya would make. 

Word comes out that Chris Young & Jeff Francis have been offered deals and people turn into werewolves. Here’s breaking news for you. The Mets don’t want to spend a ton of money for old free agents this year. Ok? Francis & Young are clearly coming off injury, and with Santana out until at least June, the Mets have to try and find diamonds in the rough.

These are gambles a front office makes. If they fail, in most scenarios it didn’t cost you too much. If they succeed, then you’ve struck gold. It’s easy to offer Cliff Lee 6 years, $130 million… but there are tons of players out there that could make an impact on a team, for much less financial commitment. 

All they are trying to do is play the Hot Stove season wisely. And yet we’re blaming them for it? 

Recently, Chris Carter was sent packing, and a few of us took yet another opportunity to attack the new regime. 

Only a Mets fan in our current state of despair would show concern over a 29 year old career minor leaguer who is out of options. Specifically when the Mets are trying to give some younger players a chance.

I’m not suggesting we all shrug our shoulders and ignore the Hot Stove season, I’m just suggestion we all take a deep breath and realize Alderson cannot turn water into wine, and he’s never said he would.

There is a distinct difference between questioning or debating a front office’s decisions, and complaining about them. Sadly, we’ve grown into habitual complainers… but it’s time to get over it.

If the Mets are going to finish in 3rd or 4th place this year, I can deal with that. So long as the product on the field is competitive, and there is an organizational plan in place to improve.

So what I do suggest is that you learn to give him a chance. Some of us haven’t given him a chance from day 1, and yet I’d bet a large sum of money that if you asked almost every MLB team executive, they’d most likely say we’re lucky to have Alderson, DePodesta and Ricciardi steering the misguided ship.

I realize you probably have a broken sports heart. However, as I’m sure Danny Tanner once told his daughter D.J., the only way to heal a broken heart, is to allow it to heal.

About the Author ()

Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.

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