What Was Alderson’s Part In Santana-Gate?

An article by posted on March 30, 2013

sandy aldersonDo you think Sandy Alderson was willfully blind when he traded R.A. Dickey and counted on Johan Santana to be his Rock of Gibraltar and retake the reins as the ace of the Mets rotation?

Yesterday, I faulted Santana for not keeping the Mets in the loop this Winter about his questionable shoulder and how he was progressing, but shouldn’t there be some accountability on the Mets’ part as well?

Wasn’t there an obligation to track Santana down and schedule at least one follow-up examination of Santana’s shoulder which was 18 months removed from capsular surgery?

Or what about checking up on his sore back or his bum ankle that was the apparent reason for shutting him down last season in the first place?

If you were a first-year GM and just a mere greenhorn, wouldn’t checking up on Johan Santana be the first thing you do before pursuing offers for R.A. Dickey?

So how did a 35-year seasoned MLB executive like Sandy Alderson fail to do his due diligence as he admitted on his conference call on Thursday?

No general exam. No X-rays. No MRI. No poking and prodding. No follow-ups on any of the three major areas of concern. Nothing.

Maybe he didn’t want to know?

Maybe he was so dead-set on trading Dickey all along – even when he was saying publicly that the reigning National League Cy Young was not being shopped?

“I’m not actively shopping Dickey our priority is to sign him to an extension, but like any player we’ll listen to any offers,” Alderson said before taking off for the Winter Meetings in Nashville.  ”But we won’t trade him unless we get a difference maker in return.”

I believe in being fair, and in the last two days I’ve given Johan Santana a few good knocks to the side of his head for the way he handled himself in these last three months and how he let his pride and ego get the best of him.

But make no mistake that there were errors of omission and commission made on both sides. It took two sides to created this fiasco – not one.

We’ll never know the real truth and as usual we’ll be left to our own suspicions and speculations. But what does it say about the 2013 season when you traded your ace for no MLB ready pitching in return, replaced him with a late Winter scrapheap signing who came to camp with a sore shoulder and needing a cortisone shot, and didn’t know the condition of your would-be ace until he showed up on reporting date lobbing 69 mph fastballs?

The answers to those questions can all be found in the 2013 Mets Opening Day rotation. We have already moved the timetable for an apparent Mets dynasty from 2014 to 2015. We may have to move it again from 2015 to 2016.

The fact is that the starting rotation in 2013, may be as underwhelming as the outfield. Year three of the Alderson Era is looking pretty alarming on paper thus far. But baseball isn’t played on paper, so I’m willing to see the season play out before completely unleashing my own version of hell.

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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