Dear Angry Mets Fan,
First, how are you? I just wanted to get this off my chest because it seems like no matter what will happen down the road, you’ll cover your ears, close your eyes and scream to the heavens.
At some point you’re going to need to realize that the franchise you’ve grown to love, is not going to get better overnight.
I understand that you need instant gratification, and that 2006 could have been a year to remember. But, the team failed, and then took you on a roller coaster ride which will settle in the basement of the NL East.
What you need to do, is not think back to how the game was played in 2000 or 2006. You need to start looking around the league, and understanding that a huge reason for Alderson, DePodesta and Ricciardi being in New York is that they do not follow the same principles that you likely follow.
First, if you take a look around Major League Baseball you can choose the following teams to be your model: Boston, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Texas, LA Angels, Philadelphia, Atlanta, San Francisco and Colorado.
Notice that I left the Yankees off? Okay, move on.
These are teams who have been or will be relevant for several years because of how they build their franchise and continue to do so. Please stop thinking the Oakland Athletics are the model for the New York Mets. It was just a book written almost 10 years ago people.
Focus on the teams who are currently successful, and ask yourself, why are they so successful?
Here is how you should answer that: Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Cole Hamels, Evan Longoria, David Price, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Troy Tulowtiski, Carlos Gonzalez, Ubaldo Jiminez, Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum… just to name a few.
Major League Baseball has turned from a game of Hot Stove free agents to a game of farm system development. Look at teams having success right now.
You don’t trade for Roy Halladay if you don’t have the core Philadelphia built, you don’t sign and trade for Adrian Gonzalez if you don’t build the core first.
The big time Free Agent doesn’t or shouldn’t come before the core of young talent is built.
There seems to be this idea out there that the Mets need to tread water this year, take the money off the books and then go on a spending spree in 2012. This is exactly why I’m glad Alderson is the GM and not Minaya. Minaya would probably do that, Alderson won’t.
Assume for a second that the Mets lose RF, CL, possibly SS, and then need to fill bullpen spots and could probably use another top notch starting pitcher if (big if) Santana returns to form. (This is assuming you’re happy enough with Johan-Pelf-Niese-Dickey-Gee)
There just isn’t enough talent hitting the open market that can dig a team like the Mets out of the giant hole they are in. That is not how you fix a sinking franchise.
Alderson wisely spent little amounts of money because any of the available free agents outside of Cliff Lee wouldn’t have made much of a difference here. We can speculate all we want, but if Aaron Harang wanted to come to New York (which he didn’t), he wasn’t bringing a bullpen, a C, a 2B, and a CF with him, along with prospects good enough to take over in RF next year.
There’s no point in spending large amounts of money if you’re doing it just to do it. This is where Minaya fell short. Nobody except the NY Yankees go into free agency looking to re-tool a large part of their team. And even still, without Jeter, Mariano, Posada and other past Yankees, they wouldn’t be where they are today.
It’s about the farm system. It’s about drafting wisely, trading wisely, and spending wisely so that you can develop.
People accuse supporters of Alderson/DePo/Ricciardi of doing so because of sabermetrics, and because of Moneyball. I’m not a fan of a new idea because of a book written 10 years ago by a baseball outsider. I’m a fan of a new way of thinking, because the old way of thinking hasn’t work. Minaya could spend money on free agents, if that was all the Mets needed to do, he’d still be here.
The cycle that lead to the 2006 Mets is over. It’s time to move on and to figure out how to get back there. The only way to do that is to change the way you think about how the Mets should operate, because I’ve got news for you.
The franchise itself has changed its philosophy whether you like it or not, so you better jump on board quick.
Best of luck to you.