During his show on WFAN today, Mike Francesa said that comments made by Sandy Alderson yesterday should give Mets fans “plenty of cause to be concerned and even more cause to cringe.”
Francesa was referring to statements Alderson made while announcing that they had avoided arbitration with R.A. Dickey and Angel Pagan. When asked if he felt the Wilpon/Madoff situation will hinder his ability to run the team and retain Jose Reyes, Alderson replied,
“Perhaps naively, I don’t expect this situation will be a hindrance in that regard. I fully expect that decision will be made as it would’ve been, in the best interest of the team on the field and the best interest of the overall financial health as well as baseball future of the Mets, as it would be with every other team. Again, I go back to the notion that if a potential financial issue exists, ownership is proactively addressing it, and I don’t expect any financial situation will inhibit negotiations with Jose.”
Francesa said “A Harvard graduate’s choice of the word “naively” should never be taken lightly”. He went on to say that Alderson has been acting naively ever since he was hired by the Mets.
“No matter what I’ve asked him about; health problems, starting pitching, lack of power, the bullpen, Beltran and Reyes, second base, scoring runs, etc., Alderson has consistently taken the most unrealistic and most optimistic assessment of everything under the sky concerning this team. Everything with Alderson is pie in the sky.”
Comparing him to Brian Cashman, Francesa said that the Yankees GM is a polar opposite of Alderson, and always discusses how concerned he is with the back end of the rotation, the health of some veterans, his bullpen, etc.
“All Brian Cashman does is worry and win. He backs up his concerns with actions and contingency plans. That’s what good general managers do.”
Alderson instead, expects Beltran and Bay to have solid injury-free seasons. He expects the rotation to be even better than last season when they performed above expectations. He believes he has built a solid bullpen despite losing two key pieces. He says Ike Davis or Josh Thole will have big seasons and not struggle in their sophomore seasons. He feels confident that Johan Santana will be back by the All Star break and give the team a huge boost. He says the team will have no problems scoring runs after all the improvements.
“Improvements? What improvements?”
After running off that laundry list, Francesa concluded “Man, oh man (chuckles), this guy Alderson.. is either very naive to a fault or completely delusional. Whatever he is, I’d be worried if I were a Mets fan. I’d be very worried.”
Now for the cringing part.
Alderson made this comment yesterday while discussing the Mets payroll:
“First of all, I want to emphasize that the plan that we have pursued the last couple of months was limited by only one fact, and that was the level of the existing payroll. Our payroll going into the season will be somewhere between $140 million and $150 million. I think that is significantly higher than we’d like to be on an annual basis.”
Francesa keyed in on the part where Anderson said $140 million is significantly higher than where he wants to be on annual basis.
“Significantly higher? Significantly higher? A $140 million dollars is a significantly high payroll? Phillies $180 million… Yankees $200+ million… Red Sox $190 million, maybe more… what the hell are the Mets doing in this market? Can someone please tell me what the Mets are doing in this market?”
“If I were a Met fan I would have cringed when I read that. That’s the last thing you want to hear from your new general manager Mets fans. More and more it looks like Alderson was brought here to do one thing – slash expenses and cut payroll to the bone.”
Whatever you think of Mike Francesa, you can’t deny the entertainment and shock value of his show.