Alderson’s Amazin Plan: A Long And Winding Road

An article by posted on December 18, 2012

sandy-alderson-thinking1-288x4002012 saw Miguel Cabrera become the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years. I wonder if Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has considered trading Cabrera. Surely after putting up numbers like that he could definitely get some good prospects.

We had a pitcher once who seemed to be slipping. He was approaching 33, his best years behind him. Over his last two seasons, his ERA rose 26%, his strikeouts decreased by about 8%, his wins dropped by nearly one–third and he was allowing more home runs. He was sent away for a slick fielding second baseman, a young slugger with a good eye, a lanky righthander who posted a 2.74 ERA the previous year, and a ‘cant-miss’ outfielder with great bad speed.

Just wondering… How many of you who were there, now think trading Tom Seaver for Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, Pat Zachary and Dan Norman worked out well for us?

I’ve been a Mets fan for 40 years now and thanks to our GM, I apparently don’t understand the game. I always thought that when you have a good player you keep him. You use that player and try to build a winner. Apparently, I’m incorrect. I now see that when you have a good player, you trade him and gamble on young unproven prospects.

Buster-Posey

Just to digress for a moment, Giants GM Brian Sabean must be an idiot. What does he know about building a winner? So what if his Giants have won two World Series in three years? He’s got Buster Posey who, in three seasons, has won a Rookie of the Year and an MVP. Why isn’t Sabean shopping him, that fool? Think of all the young prospects he could get in exchange for Posey. Hmm, maybe Alderson can call him up and give him a few pointers on building a winner.

Okay, bad analogy. Posey is 25, Dickey is 38. However, Dickey is a knuckle-balling 38. Charlie Hough pitched until he was 46, Tim Wakefield to age 45 and Phil Niekro until 48. Hoyt Wilhelm was 50. Think 38 is old? Well, consider it’s very possible that Dickey will still be pitching when David Wright retires.

Jose Reyes, among the most exciting players in baseball, was one of the most popular Mets in decades. Although he’d been our shortstop for eight seasons, Alderson channeled M. Donald Grant. After putting down his talents by saying speed was not important, he told Reyes, “Show me what you can do.” Jose sure showed him, becoming the first player in team history to win a batting championship… Then Alderson showed him the GW Bridge and pointed him south.

Alderson told us that Reyes wanted too much money and, due to his history of injuries, it was too big a risk. Fine, whatever.

Fast forward to one year later. RA Dickey became the one and only bright spot in yet another abysmal Mets season. He was the feel good story of 2012. For a change, the Mets were presented positively in the national spotlight. R.A. became the first Mets pitcher in more than a quarter of a century to win the Cy Young Award, and the first knuckleballer ever to cop the award. In addition to setting a team record of 32 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings, he also led the NL in innings pitched, strikeouts, complete games and shutouts.

Last winter, Alderson told us he couldn’t keep Reyes because he wanted too much money and that he wasn’t worth the risk due to injuries. This winter, Alderson lets Dickey walk because of a difference of only $6 million over three years in a new contract. And ironically, who do we get back, but a catcher who missed half the season with a knee injury, and also missed half a season in 2010 with two bulging discs in his back.

If we had no problem getting rid of Reyes because of injury concerns, then why now is it acceptable to get a player trying to recover from a season-ending injury? An injury to his knee… And a catcher yet, too…

M. Donald Grant is regarded as the worst GM in our history. He traded Seaver, Kooz, Tug, Rusty, Cleon, Buddy, etc… However, I have more respect for him than I do for Alderson.

Mets_fan_sadGrant was an autocrat, a businessman who ran the team with a dictatorial approach. He did not care that the stands were empty. He did not care that the fan base detested him. He did what HE wanted with no fanfare, no concern for us. Mets fans be damned.

Alderson, however, gets rid of players in Grant-like fashion, but then turns around and tells us it’s good for the team. Don’t lie to me. Don’t insult our intelligence. Don’t treat us like we are stupid. Don’t talk down to us. Our wins and attendance have dropped for three straight seasons and these trends will continue into the future. isn’t that the truth?

Whereas Grant destroyed the team, he didn’t placate us with soundbites. Alderson does the same, but then lies to us about how great things are and will be.

If D’arnaud is indeed the next Mike Piazza, the second coming of Mickey Cochrane, then why did we also need to get John Buck? Isn’t one great catcher enough?

I guess the Mets approach is simple: If you’re good, we have no interest in keeping you. But if you’re no good, you’re more than welcome to stay. This approach confuses me.

Am I supposed to root FOR guys like D’arnaud or against him? I mean, lets say he does great. He’s Buster Posey 2.0. He’s Johnny Bench. He’s Yogi Berra. But if he does really well, then what? He’ll want more money and become too costly and we simply cant have that. So we’ll simply trade him for a couple of good prospects. Is that the cycle? The plan? The future?

What’s the long range goal?

When does this merry-go-round of lunacy end?

Why draw the line there? What if, GOD FORBID, Lucas Duda hits 35 HR’s next year? Well, we can trade him for a couple of prospects. Maybe Jon Niese will come through and become a 20 game winner like, say, oh I don’t know, RA Dickey. Eureka – Sell High – We can surely get two huge prospects for him now. Jackpot.

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I can almost see M. Donald Alderson licking his chops at the thought of it.

Guys play well, they’ll earn more money, and that’s not something that fits into the Mets plans… This new philosophy.

Hey, here’s something to consider. Maybe if Alderson trades away each player for 2 or 3 prospects, he can get a special dispensation from Bud Selig. Maybe the Mets can have a 60 man roster. (Of course, 57 of them would suck but still…)

And wow, imagine if in 2013 David Wright becomes the first player to hit .400 since Ted Williams. Hmm… A .400 hitter would definitely warrant a few prospects and he is getting long in the tooth at 31.

Last season we bid farewell to Jose Reyes. Now we all watched R.A. Dickey get sent away. Both are now reunited in Toronto, a team that is determined to win. GM Alex Anthopoulos stated on Monday night that the Jays have not been to a World Series in 19 years and “that’s too long to ask fans to wait”. Hey, Alex, try 26 years.

Reyes and Dickey are now with a team that has become the powerhouse of the AL East, and fully capable of dethroning the Yankees. Maybe next October, Reyes and Dickey can join the likes of Carlos Beltran and Angel Pagan. Remember them? They are also ex-Mets discarded by Alderson who then immediately found their way into the post-season with other teams.

About the Author ()

A Mets fan since 1973, Rob was born in the shadow of Yankee Stadium. Luckily, his parents moved to Queens at a young age so he was not scarred by pinstripes. Currently living in Las Vegas, he writes crime fiction and mysteries.

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