I can’t stand it when people beat around the bush. I prefer straightforward and truthful responses to straightforward questions. Once a person lies to me, there’s little chance that you will ever catch me in the same room with that person ever again.
My thoughts on leadership is simple; Say what you mean and mean what you say.
It’s been two months since Sandy Alderson appeared before reporters at Citi Field and said, “We’re not going to punt 2012 if Jose doesn’t re-sign.”
I wish to God I knew what that meant?
It sounds a lot like a variation of something Alderson said last offseason before he left for the Winter Meetings, “2011 will not be a throw-away.”
We all know what happened then.
Believe it or not, in 2 days it will have been two months since the Mets season ended, and not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse.
I’ve read a few opinions on this weird calm that has enveloped Flushing as Fall turns into Winter. One prominent blogger says it’s because we were waiting for the new CBA. Another said that we are too busy doing everything we can to re-sign Jose Reyes who is the number one priority for Sandy Alderson. And still one other blogger said that no teams have made any moves yet.
Are we all watching the same hot stove season?
In a post I wrote on Saturday, I conveyed what I expect the Mets game plan will be for the Winter Meetings:
The truth is that this offseason will most likely have even less flexibility than the last one.
Sure, Sandy Alderson confirmed that the payroll budget will be $110 million bucks for the 2012 season, but how much do you want to bet that the payroll number will be closer to $85 million? Any takers out there?
When the Mets get back on that plane from Dallas to La Guardia Airport in ten days, they will return much in the same way as they did last year – with a haul that will include two players from the Rule 5 Draft and not much else. In fact they already pared the 40 man roster down to 38 just to make room for them.
These two players will soon become the talk of the town. Words like “genius”, “jackpot” and “phenom” will be tossed around and fuel the Mets blogosphere with countless posts for about two-weeks or longer. Some sites will even re-do their Top 10 Prospect Lists to include one or both of these players just like they did with Brad Emaus last year. Remember him? Fun times.
We may also get another memorable quote from Sandy telling us that while the Mets weren’t able to complete any trades at the Winter Meetings, they did “engage in some conversations to discuss the potential framework and parameters of some deals.” That line was borrowed from last December. It turned out the framework was for the deal that eventually brought Chin-Lung Hu to the Mets two weeks later.
There is nothing happening to suggest that the Mets will do anything but punt the 2012 season no matter what they tell yoiu That is just an indisputable fact and I just wish they would stop insulting our intelligence and keeping up this pretense that we’re making an all-out effort to put a competitive product on the field next season.
Again, I don’t blame Alderson for this muck and mire we find ourselves in, but if nothing else can’t we at least get some transparency and a State of the Mets Address that doesn’t wreak with false hope and pretenses?
It’s no secret that we find ourselves in this situation because of the Wilpons, and by the way, what the hell is it with the Wilpon Love-Fest this past weekend? I’m not about to forgive 25 years of dysfunction just because they are bringing back Banner Day and are painting the walls blue. Are we so easily appeased these days?
You know what, here are some facts:
- We’re broke, don’t expect a payroll over $90 million in 2012 and $75 million in 2013.
- The Wilpons have presided over 25 years of dysfunction that began long before Omar Minaya came onto the scene.
- Window Dressing is cool, but Championship Caliber Baseball is better.
- Sandy Alderson is here to fix the Mets and he will, but we’re talking about a purely financially viable fix and nothing more. He’ll move on after 2012.
- Brandon Nimmo is not a future savior and is no better or worse than any of the other first-rounders that were drafted last June. Remember that scouts loved Fernando Martinez infinitely more. My point is, hope is not a strategy.
Those are the facts they way I see them. But no matter how bleak things appear, support the players who bust their asses for you day in and day out and give it their all.
I’ve seen dark times like this three times before in my many years of following the Mets. I can assure you that they will pass, they always do.
The real problem is that the good times never last more than a couple of years at a time. Alderson supporters keep saying that will change, but their only evidence points to a couple of salary dump deals and a draft that was no better or worse than any of the other 29 MLB teams. It’s a crap-shoot and in the Mets case it’s a bigger crap-shoot than all the other teams because their top two picks were high schoolers, one of which didn’t even play for a baseball program. If that’s your evidence, it’s pretty flimsy at best.
Here are some survival tips for you… Don’t expect any big trades, don’t expect any significant signings, and don’t believe any of the hype.
Just root for the team, keep expectations low, and hope for the best possible outcomes.
The greatest thing about baseball is that anything can happen once the season starts. The unpredictability is sublime. The best thing about being a Mets fan is that miracles do occasionally happen so keep watching.