Remember 1986? Wasn’t it great? We had Gary and Keith, Doc and Darryl, Lenny and Wally, Mookie and Frank. Frank???? Frank who?
Remember the miracle of 1969? What an amazin’ year? Tom and Jerry, Cleon and Agee, Swoboda and Shamsky, Buddy and Johnny. Johnny??? Who the hell was Johnny?
The Frank I’m referring to was Mets GM Frank Cashen. The Johnny from 69 was GM Johnny Murphy. Great baseball memories, the common history that we all share as Mets fans, stem from the memories created by the players, not the front office. I remember Jesse dropping to his knees after whiffing Marty Barrett and tossing his glove to the heavens. I don’t recall Frank Cashen doing the same with his bow-tie.
Lately it seems as if the Mets have become a front office first and a baseball team second. We’ve become a bunch of suits who happen to control 25 guys in a uniform. Yes, Baseball is a business but it should only be a business to those in the office and not to us fans who hand over money for tickets and merchandise. To us, it’s still a game.
However Mets fans take the side of ownership more then the side of the players. I’m not about to get into the pros and cons of our new GM vs. our old GM. My concern, however, is this: For the last 3 years, Omar had every move, or non-move, second guessed and third guessed and torn apart. Our new GM has been given a free ride. Mets fans are so hungry to win that we have put Alderson on a pedestal, above being second guessed. He is beyond reproach.
I hearken back to the words George W. Bush spoke almost a decade ago: You’re either with us or against us. Speaking out against Sandy Alderson is tantamount to treason in Mets Nation.
The majority of fans were hoping Bobby V. would make a triumphant return. Others were clamoring to see Wally Backman in the dugout once again. We would have been okay with Clint Hurdle. But when the great and powerful Alderson chose Terry Collins, one who few would’ve even listed in the top 5, we all decide to give him a pass. In Alderson we trust.
Dan Uggla signs with the Braves. That’s 2bman Dan Uggla, a position we desperately need to upgrade. And while this happens, Alderson sits by. No one’s upset. We disregard the fact that Uggla has averaged 32 HR’s, 96 RBI’s and a 494 slugging percentage the last 3 years, saying he’d be a defensive liability. Uggla’s fielding percentage has been 978 over this time frame. Chase Utley’s, for example, is only 983. But I don’t hear anyone in Philly wanting to trade him.
Adam Dunn goes to the White Sox. Alderson does nothing. Mets fans don’t say a word. Adrian Gonzalez goes to Boston. Alderson does nothing. Mets fans don’t say a word.
Now, Jaysen Werth goes to Washington. Washington, the only team in the division worse then us last year. Alderson does nothing. Mets fans scoff at the salary he is getting. Of course what no one mentioned is that Werth hit 419 in Nationals Park last year, higher then any other stadium.
John Maine, bothered by physical problems, is released. However, Alderson has no indication of dumping Oliver Perez, bothered by mental problems. Fans say nothing.
I have several friends who are Yankee fans. Over the past 2 weeks, they have been livid, furious, over the way Cashman and Steinbrenner played hardball with Derek Jeter. Last year, the Yankee captain hit just 270 with a 340 OBP, both career lows. But when all the political wrangling and posturing was done, the Yankees came through and awarded Jeter $51 million for 3 years. Why? His numbers don’t warrant it. But the Yankees most likely did it cause of what Jeter HAS done, not cause of what he WILL do. And also, to appease the Yankee fan base. The fans want Jeter to retire a Yankee and now, he will. They want to see him get 3000 hits while wearing pinstripes. And now he will.
Yankee fans would riot if Jeter would play anywhere else. Fans took the side of the player. On the flip side, Mets fans are practically drooling to get rid of Beltran. And Reyes. And I’m sure if some team offered us 3-4 good rookies for Wright, we’d do that, too. Especially if the all-knowing Sandy Alderson said it was good business.
Fellow blogger Craig Lerner reported in an article about Alderson’s reaction to the Werth signing. When our GM arrived in Orlando for the winter meetings he was greeted with the news of Werth going to the Nationals for 7 years/$126 million. Alderson’s reaction: “That’s a long time and a lot of money. I thought they were trying to reduce the deficit in Washington.”
I like his response. It’s good to know that if this whole GM thing doesn’t work out in NY, maybe he can get a gig at The Improv.