By the time 1975 rolled around Al Pacino was considered box office gold. He’d already been nominated for Oscars for both of ‘The Godfather’ films as well as ‘Serpico,’ With the release of “Dog Day Afternoon,” Pacino was catapulted into the Hollywood elite. The film was a true story about a bank robbery in Brooklyn three years earlier. In the role of Sonny Wortzik, Pacino earned yet another nomination. The movie has gone on to be a classic. At the time, however, there was quite an uproar for the ‘excessive profanity.’ This was 1975 after all and the F-bomb was dropped 53 times in a 130 minute film.
In one scene, Detective Moretti is offering Wortzik a deal if he surrenders. The deal is unacceptable. And in typical Pacino fashion, he declines the offer by saying, “Kiss me.” When the detective asks for clarification, Pacino responds, “When I’m being f’d, I like to get kissed a lot.”
I wonder how many of us Mets fans feel like Al Pacino right about now?
We hope that David Wright and RA Dickey will return but in our hearts we know it’s almost impossible. Alderson will offer Wright substantially less than he can get on the free agent market. We can hope that David finds the goodness in heart to turn down more money and spend his productive years playing for a team that is rebuilding. Or he can make more money AND play for a team that wants to win now.
The Mets are rebuilding…yet again. Personally, I’m not sure from what since our last post-season appearance was 7 years ago.
In 2011, Alderson went through the motions of resigning Jose Reyes. Injury prone Reyes wanted big bucks. And although he’d been a Met for 8 seasons Alderson still wanted him to prove himself. He laid down the gauntlet. He challenged Reyes. And how did Jose respond? He went out and became the first Met player to win a batting title. Alderson’s answer? For all intents and purposes, he said, “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.”
Talking about the departure of his friend and teammate of 11 years, David Wright said, “Of course it opens your eyes. It makes you realize there is an ugly business side.”
Now again the great and powerful Alderson has a Reyes problem–times two. This season David Wright solidified his place as the best hitter in team history. Not to take anything away from Piazza or Darryl or Cleon, but Wright now stands as team leader in hits, RBI’s, runs and doubles. It can be argued Wright means to hitting what Seaver meant to pitching. He’s also been the face of—no pun intended—‘the franchise’—for the last decade.
Part B of ‘The Reyes Problem’ is named RA Dickey. The legitimate Cy Young candidate gave the Mets some attention in the national spotlight with his career blossoming at 37 due primarily to a long forgotten pitch. And what did RA go out and do? He became the first 20 game winner we’ve had in nearly a quarter of a century. In Mets folklore, Dickey will now forever be linked with Seaver, Koosman, Gooden, Cone and Viola.
Poor Sandy Alderson. What’s he going to do…
He recently stated that he will not increase payroll for 2013, leaving it at the current $93/$95 million. It seems unlikely, virtually impossible, to sign Wright and/or Dickey and still keep the payroll to his own self-imposed ceiling.
Dickey has made it well known he wants to see what the Mets do about Wright before he commits to anything. Wright recently stated, “I’ve never thought about putting on a different uniform. But you never know what the future holds.”
If only our GM would commit to winning the same way he commits to keeping payroll low.
Like a presidential candidate, he spins his talking points, plays to the media in short little sound bites and then goes off and does his own thing. Does Mitt Romney really care about working class people? Does Barack Obama really care about those unemployed? Does Sandy Alderson really care about winning?
Alderson talks about rebuilding. But it’s all just idle banter.
History shows that if you want to build a winner, you need to do it around a centerpiece. In 1969, the Mets were built around 2 young pitchers and a manager who knew how to win. The foundation for the 86 team was laid 3 seasons earlier when Frank Cashen acquired proven winner Keith Hernandez. In the late 90’s we built a winner around the bat of Mike Piazza, arguably the best hitting catcher in baseball history.
If Alderson is serious about rebuilding, then why get rid of David Wright? He is well-loved, a bona fide superstar and the only current Met with any post-season experience. If you want to build a winner, you do it AROUND a player like that, not by discarding him.
Sandy Alderson has completed his second season as GM. For both of his seasons our win total has decreased. For both of his seasons attendance has dropped.
We’re now hearing the same lies we were told previously. Every attempt would be made to keep Jose Reyes…until, of course, it got time to make a legitimate offer. Do we really think this winter will be different? I’d respect Alderson more if he’d be honest and not spout political talking points like a presidential candidate. Or like Detective Moretti from Dog Day Afternoon.
Eight years after Dog Day Afternoon, Pacino starred in perhaps his most famous role, Tony Montana. In Brian DePalma’s Scarface he uttered what is the 66th best movie line according to AFI. To adapt the line to Sandy Alderson, “Say Hello to my little payroll.”