Featured Post: Is Alderson Gaming The System… Again?

sandy alderson by Jeff Roberson AP

Sandy Alderson was never a professional baseball player. He never donned a major league uniform, he never stood in a box facing major league pitching, he never even coached.  He ascended the ranks of Oakland’s front office through a business partnership with Roy Eisenhardt (whose father-in-law owned the team), though admittedly Alderson had shown a remarkable aptitude as an organizer and was already a consummate administrator. Under Alderson the A’s made it to three straight world series appearances and four division titles in 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1992.

Sandy Alderson is, on the other hand, a Vietnam veteran, an ex-Marine, a graduate of Dartmouth and then Harvard Law. Not a bad resume. His claim to fame in baseball circles revolves around his accomplishments in Oakland in the late 80’s when he overhauled their farm system propelling the team into contention, then switched his emphasis to “sabermetric principles” after being ordered to slash payroll in the 90’s. A precursor (and by some considered a mentor) to Billy Beane of Moneyball fame.

In October of 2010 when Alderson was introduced as the new Mets GM, he was asked whether he knew about Jose Canseco juicing. As reported at the time by Dan Martin of the NY Post (and others), he responded with the following:

“It’s hard to avoid it in light of Jose Canseco’s book. In a nutshell, I suspected Jose Canseco of doing steroids, but I never suspected Mark McGwire. It was a time as an organization we actually had begun to emphasize weight training as a part of a regimen that is now widespread, but at the time may have inadvertently gotten us involved with the steroid aspect.”

He added that the team looked into testing its own players, but was unable to as it would have been illegal in California at the time.

“If you go back and put all that in perspective, do I wish we had done more? I think that’s almost always true in retrospect.”

basg brothers canseco mcgwire

Under Alderson the A’s drafted players like Mark McGuire and Walt Weiss as Jose Canseco bulked up in the Minors. In that same introductory press conference he went on to say:

“We actually had a very active minor league drug policy at the time that included the prohibition of amphetamines. But you’re talking about a time in the late ’80s when this issue was emergent in a general sense and there was a personal sense of a lack of awareness, lack of knowledge and ultimately a lack of tools to deal with the problem.”

With this, it appeared the book was closed on the issue of Alderson’s complicity in PED abuse. I believe he was aware of what was happening in his newly outfitted weight rooms (every major league team was in some shape or form bulking up by then), but his hands were tied. So, in a “if you can’t beat em join em” kind of way he went about drafting big framed power hitters.

In the end he was an employee like any other of the Oakland Athletics, and if anyone should be complicit in PED abuse, you might argue it is the owners who are more responsible (the juicing was happening in their workplaces, with their knowledge) and even then they’d only (legally) be on the hook for lost wages in suits brought against them by minor leaguers who did not juice. Players of comparable talent who got passed over. These lawsuits never got off the ground due to questionable legal merits, the lack of credible plaintiffs, and the difficulty proving someone did not use while projecting performance (and future salary) based on minor league promise … But that’s not what this story is about. This story is about whether Sandy Alderson is gaming the system … again.

It occurred to me recently that those early 90’s Oakland teams sure were stacked offensively … I say this because I was thinking about how woefully lacking our current Met offense appears to be.  What gives? Where are our “Bash Brothers” ?? Where are our three consecutive Rookie of the Years (all power laden position players)?

Strange isn’t it, or, maybe not.

I’m not sure “gaming the system” is the right term for what I believe Alderson is doing. It’s more like opportunism with a side of exploitation. And just to be clear, I am not bashing Alderson … in fact I’m sort of praising him. I think he’s outsmarted a lot of people all the while persisting in an approach that has been assailed as only an approach can be assailed (in NY), ruthlessly.

Forget about OBP, forget about plate discipline, forget about power hitters. That is so very “1990’s.” The steroid era went out with wallet chains and the Backstreet Boys. We’re ALL missing the point, the offense sucks, yeah, so what? It’s not about offense, it’s about pitching.

“What?” You say, incredulous. “But we’ve assembled a Moneyball dream team, they’re all about OBP, getting on base, taking walks.” That perception is not only wrong now, for reasons I will illustrate shortly, it’s not even an accurate description of Moneyball back then. I think people who think Moneyball is about OBP simply haven’t read the book. In a nutshell the approach is about finding hidden value and stockpiling talent in the aggregate as a commodity.

In the late 80’s the “target skill” was getting on-base because at the time it was undervalued. So a process was implemented system-wide whereby the ability to get on base was stockpiled (in the aggregate – which is to say the skill was spread out over entire rosters instead of focused on one or two players who might walk when their contract is up).

noah syndergaard

Now lets fast forward to 2010. Sandy has just returned from the Dominican Republic where he’d spent time cleaning up rampant institutional corruption involving agents and team employees exploiting 16-year olds. He is offered a job in NY. He is an MLB insider and has cooperated extensively with the Mitchell report. He has voluminous knowledge of MLB’s plans to continue to come down hard on PED’s. His understanding of these proceedings was probably more intimate than any other GM at the time.

So what do you think he’s going to tell his big-brained minions? Go after hulking body builders who crack tape measure home runs and take lots of walks? I think not. The approach is going to focus on securing big durable pitchers with fluid repeatable deliveries, because as MLB rosters are weaned off the juice, pitching will become an even more valuable commodity than it ever was before. Simple as that.

Say hello to Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, Michael Fulmer, and Robert Whalen, not to mention holdovers Harvey, Matz, deGrom and Mejia … the list is deep and rich in talent.

Whatever happens in the coming seasons, we know one thing, the Mets, thanks to Alderson and his braintrust, will have some pitching, and if offensive stats across the league over the past few seasons are any indication, this team will be uniquely positioned to remain competitive. And that’s a good thing Mets fans, that’s a very good thing.

mmo

About Matt Balasis 149 Articles
A Met fan since August 1969 when the Red Cross placed my family on the 6th floor of a building in Willets Point because of a fire. I could see Shea from our balcony. I missed the fall of 86 because I was in Boot Camp and I've been serving penance ever since in Minnesota. I write about the Mets to share with a tradition that made much of my childhood worthwhile. Follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/MatthewBalasis
  • lareplus

    I think he is a skilled and astute man who has made a lot of good calls. He doesn’t get them all right, but who does. I think he has worked to build an organization that will be in contention for a long time.

  • mr1313

    Well written article. Good read and I agree. Although I do wish this offense had some punch they can’t keep hitting the way they are and winning.

  • Taskmaster4450

    Excellent article Matt and I think you are right on with your assessment.

    Alderson does know what is going on. Whether it is because of his insight from being in the commissioners office or simply that intuitive thing called common sense, the simple fact is he gets it. The landscape in baseball changed. Some want to argue it hasnt but the facts bear it out.

    To start, free agency is becoming having less of an impact because teams are locking their younger stars up delaying their free agency. The new CBA ensured this would happen and it is. Each class is getting weaker with only a couple blue chip players hitting the market (and none 26 years old in their prime like Beltran in 2004). Free agency is becoming an avenue to fill in, not build from. This makes player development even more important.

    Also, we are back to the early 80s. The crazy numbers we saw for almost two decades are gone. We see another step to ensure this with the recently announced increase in penalties for PED use further deterring players. Will some still cheat? Sure. But the overall numbers are reflecting the usage is way day with major league batting averages dropping for at least the last 3 years. Hence the further emphasis on pitching. 10 years ago, teams were lucky to have a single ace on their staff. Few teams, outside of AZ with Johnson/Schilling and Atlanta (perhaps the Yankees), were able to get more than one. Now, look at the rosters. Teams have multiple candidates (now or soon) to front the rotation. Just look at the other NL east teams. Why are the Braves in 1st place? Certainly not their bats; their staff nuts. The Nats staff is just insane. The Marlins stockpiled a lot of fine arms. And the Phils have Lee, Hamels, and now Burnett.

    Which brings up the final point. They guys are fragile. We are seeing them drop like flies. Thus it is smart to keep stockpiling. We know that prospects fail at a high rate. Add the injury factor in and it is easy to see why an organization needs to keep pumping out the arms. The old saying is true…you can never have enough pitching.

  • gary s

    PUH-LEEEZE!!!! I guess when it came to “gaming the system” the thought of getting a few young arms to throw the 7th, 8th and 9th INNINGS WERE BEYOND THE SCOPE OF THIS GENIUS!!! Why waste 20 million on Colon if we have so many great young arms and not write a check to Jose Abreu to play first base for for the next 6 years?? i guess that was too easy a signing for a genius like Alderson.. Why not “game” another team for a ss since last october?? Btw, the only great young arm i have seen is Harvey, who was not drafted by the genius Alderson..Wheeler is ok..Every game he hits 110 pitches by the 6th inning and runs out of gas. nothing great about him..As for all the other young arms, we have no idea yet if they will dominate on the Mlb level.. The sad part is that if the starting pitching holds up, if we had just acquired one more decent hitter, we might be able to contend for a good part of the season..Maybe the genius Alderson can figure out how to “game” the system to get a hitter this year before we fall out of contention.

  • oleosmirf

    If everyone is off the juice and the league shifts back to being pitcher-friendly, wouldn’t that make hitters, not pitchers, a premium?

  • Alec Benjamin

    Wheeler is only 23 years old

  • SRT

    Good article.
    ‘I think people who think Moneyball is about OBP simply haven’t read the
    book. In a nutshell the approach is about finding hidden value and
    stockpiling talent in the aggregate as a commodity.’

    This ^

    There is no denying the Mets are deep in pitching talent, which includes pitching prospects who have yet to make their debut. Whether this carries them onto the next wave of a contending team remains to be seen. In the SSS that has been this April, we know the pitching – and defense – as been carrying this team as it sure hasn’t been the offense.

  • Bob Walsh

    Clearly a well written article but the conclusion — the point — is more than a bit convoluted.

    If Alderson is to be now praised for focusing on pitching … except that most of the significant prospects mentioned in this article were not pitchers he drafted or signed? And I don’t believe a single pitcher he has drafted for the Mets has had any impact at the major league level … and the list of pitchers drafted in same time frame by other GM’s have made significant impacts is, well, significant.

    Moreover … why would he deliberately exclude drafting pitchers in the first round in 2011, knowingly (they say) passing on Fernandez?

    And why, now that everyone is drunk on his A+ stats, did he spend a #1 pick on a big strapping outfielder?

  • SRT

    To an extent, probably.
    But look at the 90s Braves. The reason they won some 14 division titles was because of their pitching, which they had in spades over the rest of the division.

    I still think pitching will always trump hitting.

  • everybodysbuddy

    And I don’t think he has a template that is only about pitching. We haven’t seen it on the fielding side yet in the majors, but I think that Nimmo, our center fielder of the future was a building block for him. Looking for OBP guys with a great idea of the strike zone, with a nice swing, and who can contribute both offensively without steroids, while supporting the pitching with great defense. And I will bet that when he traded Byrd to Pittsburg that Delson Herrara was who he was focusing on. And as well Dominic Smith is also of that same ilk. These are the types of position players he wants. These types will take a little longer getting to City field, but in a couple of years he will have his blueprint type players throughout our 25 man roster.

  • mattbalasis

    Well, I think the focus overall has been on developing (stockpiling) a “critical mass” of quality pitching system wide. That was explicitly stated by DePo (his words in fact). And yes they did inherit some pitching, but interestingly (even down to this past winter) they’ve been very reluctant to trade any of it away.

  • Vin

    Good article. The history lesson, particularly as I didn’t know much about Alderson before he got here, made waiting for the “gaming” okay.

    I had always put the semi obsession of acquiring pitching into the simple historical context of pitching wins + our park played big (and still kind of does). However, your point about anticipating the trend in baseball and preparing in advance for it makes more sense as a thing I could see Alderson doing.

    Maybe you should send the concept (not the actual piece) to him and see if replies, or see if this site can get an interview with him / his office and use it as part of the questions.

  • Sylow59

    You mean he’s not an idiot?

  • Sylow59

    Nice article. Very well written

  • Taskmaster4450

    Except pitchers drop like flies hence reverting back to them being a premium.

    Look at the Braves. They were able to weather the loss of much of their staff and are in first place not because of their bats but pitching.

  • mattbalasis

    “I still think pitching will always trump hitting.”
    Yep, on a level playing field that’s how it’s always been.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    That would be my conclusion as well.

    We’ve witnessed the scarcity of available, difference-making offensive players. Teams that have them are asking for the moon and the stars for them.

    While I like what Sandy’s done overall, he may not have anticipated this market shift. The teams with hitters are in the trading driver’s seat now.

  • Helloboy

    I do not see how the mets are “uniquely positioned”. Last I checked, The Marlins, Nationals and Braves are all equally stacked with pitching depth and the Mets are behind the Nats and Braves due to lack of offense coming in. And this is only within the division.

    The Dodgers have excellent pitching that is going nowhere, as do the Cardinals (who seem to lack offense at this time too). So, I do not think it is very unique. I think pitching depth is something all teams are working on and a few are even with or ahead of the Mets.

    He has pitching to be competitive, the questions are will we have the offense to excel or are we just going to compete?

  • Agee’s Catch

    Bravo! Excellent work. Whether Sandy proves to be right remains to be seen, but your analysis of his motivations appears spot on and he has steered this ship towards a precipice.

  • Bob Walsh

    So the 80’s, according to Alderson, was this ‘dark age’ period where no one knew anything about drug use, nor knew ways to game the system, in terms of performance enhancement?

    Not the 80’s I lived through. Just more denial and deflection from the master.

    And yet he is still praised for building the winning A’s teams he assembled? With two of the games most notorious cheaters leading the way.

    Some, with a conscience, might hang their heads in shame … others bask in false glory.

    The irony here … the ’86 Mets were relatively pure by the standards of the PED A’s. No wonder Sandy and his boy band wants nothing to do with the ’86 Mets.

    They won honestly, and fairly, and that must kill them.

  • mattbalasis

    My guess is they would admit to stockpiling pitching (they’ve said as much) and deny it had anything to do with the steroid purge … but you have to wonder.

  • Sylow59

    Go back to the article and read the parts regarding to Money ball. Then read your comment. Notice any differences?

  • Vin

    They drafted a lot of pitchers but, more importantly, Alderson has acquired – Thor, Wheeler, Montero, while keeping Matz (on the 40 man roster. So, he now has 3 really nice prospects at AAA, I would say no less than 2 (Matz and Fulmer) in A+, guys like Whalen, Morris, Gsellman down in low A, others sprinkled throughout the system to go along with Meja, Wheeler, and Harvey in the bigs. That’s a lot of pitching, whether via draft, retention, or another acquisition method.

    BYW, forget Fernandez and Wacha and others we “missed” on. Missing happens, but who do we have overall in the system is the key.

  • RyanF55

    Sandy…..Lovers…….UNITE!

  • Bob Walsh

    They inherited Harvey, Mejia … and traded for Syndergaard and Wheeler using existing assets. Gee, Niece, Parnell, Matz, (Montero was heavily scouted by Mets prior to Alderson signing him), and many others were already in the ‘barren’ system. Its hard to find one pitcher they actually drafted that comes close to matching the quality of the pitchers they inherited.

  • Bill Buckner

    Exactly what I was going to comment. If offense is down across the board, the few guys who are legit offensive run producers will become more valuable, as even league average pitchers will be fantastic given that league average numbers will be All-Star caliber pitching numbers during the steroid era. In other words, the gap between a league average and elite hitters will be much larger than the gap between league average and elite pitchers….

  • Bob Walsh

    He’s traded well for young prospects … but he has yet to draft a significant pitcher.

    And the point is … the Mets didn’t ‘miss’ on Fernandez. Yes, all teams miss. They had him in their sights but didn’t draft him because Alderson demanded they draft a high school position player, no matter who was available at that slot.

    Much different proposition.

  • mattbalasis

    The Mets have a lot of pitching depth at pretty much every level, and, interestingly when you look at team stats, team era and so forth, it really bears this out … And incidentally, they all seem to be doing well.

  • Taskmaster4450

    Amazing how you skew the facts Bob.

    When did weight lifting become emphasized in baseball? It was in the late 80s and into the 90s. When did the PED’s enter into the equation? About the same time. Of course, you say players were clean before that but that is an assumption on your part. Pete Rose is long known to have hung out with power lifters during his playing days and, with his cranium, it is highly likely he was on something throughout his playing days. Also, it is well known that other players took ampetimines throughout their careers. So to conclude baseball players were clean before the PED era isnt incorrect.

    As for the ’86 team and DePodesta’s comment, I can see how you conclude it is just a slap at the face of the best Met team ever. Of course, you assertion that it is because they were clean is simply stupid. However, did you ever think that it was almost 30 years ago and perhaps instead of dwelling upon something that occurred before most players in the Met organization were born, that Depodesta was saying it is time for the Mets to start working towards creating their own history? Obviously not since you automatically conclude that the reason for this statement is because the ’86 team was honest and fair.

  • tomterrif

    Great essay, Joe. Great pitching has always been the most vauable commodity on a baseball team and even more so now. Which begs the question: Why doesn’t Sandy convince the Wilpons to bring in the fences at Citi more, especially in right field to help David, Grandy and Duda. Playing in a. “Pitcher’s Park” when you have great pitching is counter-intuitive. If you have great pitching you have an advantage in a smaller park. It’s time to tweak Citi a bit again.

  • Donal

    “He ascended the ranks of Oakland’s front office through a relationship with the team’s owner (who was his father-in-law),”

    No, Haas’ son-in-law was a partner at the law firm Alderson worked in. He brought Alderson with him. Alderson got into the A’s because of who he knew, but he did have to establish himself professionally first.

  • Andrew Herbst

    Great article! Even though I’ve been critical of Sandy’s FA signings, he has developed a lot of young pitching for the future. He just has to surround them with some bats.

  • Vin

    He’s traded, signed, and retained top young pitching. They have drafted a lot of pitching overall, we’ll see who works out (I hear Whalen as very promising), but it’s not an indictment against the concept of the article that he didn’t take a pitcher in the first round. Not every move has to be pitching first for what is written above make sense.

  • Bob Walsh

    Perhaps as ignorant a post as one could write.

    You are so blinded by your Sandy love. You are the one who dwells on 30 years ago. I made a statement that I personally know to be true. In sports, people knew how to make themselves bigger and stronger, faster, artificially in the 80’s.

    So, yes, there is a bizarre amount of jealousy and envy on the part of this regime to keep hearing about the Mets in 1986, one of the great teams of all time … who won without cheating.

    What he / they said about the ’86 team is despicable. Keep drinking the Kool aid, Task. You have answers for everything even when they have nothing to do with reality.

  • Helloboy

    I agree with everything you said. Still, this is not “uniquely positioned”. This is the overall trend in the league right now.

  • Bob Walsh

    Agreed. But my point is that most of the pitching was already stockpiled before Alderson even had a draft.

    Next year’s starting 5 could be comprised of no one he drafted, and could remain that way for 5-6 years.

    So if there is this intentional stockpiling of pitching by Alderson because he sees this shift to pitching post steroids … where is it?

  • Chuck

    Interesting point …

  • Bob Walsh

    What’s even more offensive … not a single player, to my knowledge, from the ’86 Mets was accused or suspected of cheating in ’86.

    Yet, Alderson’s claim to fame was full of cheaters. Maybe why he has such a soft spot for signing and trading for cheaters.

  • ParisWilponCOO

    Interesting thought- but I would argue the opposite. You play half your games at home, so your park should be tailored to your strengths and opponents’ relative weaknesses. IE, move fences way out, so almost nothing ever goes over. Then get the 3 best defensive outfielders in the league. Even great pitchers make mistakes- now the one or two bad pitches that your opponent’s power would have used to win the game become outs- or at worst, doubles. Get hitters who can capitalize on the huge outfield- no-power speedsters who turn singles into doubles and triples. Win 50+ games at home by 3-1 or 2-0, breakeven on the road, you’re in the playoffs.

  • jaygreen55

    The Mets system was rich in pitching and virtually devoid of position players. It makes perfect sense to go towards hitting in the draft at the time. Long term it looks like Nimmo was a pretty good pick

  • Donal

    If you think steroid use in baseball began in 1986 and that it was only in Oakland, I got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

  • Chuck

    Yes, it is far too early to put the label “ok” on Wheeler, a 23 yo, who still qualifies as a rookie. I think we have a real mix of posters on here … some are SA haters and wearing smoke tinted glasses (so the future is dark), others are SA lovers and wearing rose tinted glasses (so the future is bright), and others see both sides of SA (I’m one of those). But whatever the eventual outcome is, we will all have to wait and see.

  • Nolrog

    But with those 14 division titles, they won only 1 WS championship. The Yankees had a bunch of both and they were stockpiling trophies like mad.

  • Bob Walsh

    He’s in A+. Give it a bit more time.

    But again, that’s in direct conflict with the point of the article.

    Alderson isn’t gaming anything. He thinks there’s enough pitching and he turned to position players. How it turns out is years away.

    But he hasn’t been stockpiling pitching.

  • Bob Walsh

    I think that’s what I said.

    Read below.

  • tomterrif

    I have to admit that is also a good point, Paris, and it’s clear that Shea helped Seaver, Koosman, Darling, Ojeda, et al, when the Mets had great staffs. But it’s kinda tragic to watch David Wright’s best shots to the gaps go to die. Maybe just bring in right center a tad? In David’s case, your point would be stronger if the Mets had at least one solid power hitter who could let David believe he didn’t have to supply power at all. He’s not really that kind of hitter and it’s been tough watching him try to be something he’s not.

  • jason bay

    Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

  • Donal

    I’m not sure “gaming the system” is the right term here. He doesn’t seem to be taking advantage of some loophole or unforeseen consequence of the system here. He’s putting a premium on high ceiling, younger players. And also going after high end athletes rather than traditional “baseball players”, with a few notable exceptions. That is why he focused on guys like Chris Young and Curtis Granderson rather than Jose Abreu. (I don’t necessarily agree with that strategy but I can see the reasoning behind it)

  • Taskmaster4450

    Bob,

    You are so blind you compete with Stevie Wonder.

    As for what you personally know, that is a laugh. So the ’86 team, one that was full of guys doing all kinds of drugs were above taking substances that would help them on the field. Yeah, I guess they had a moral issue with it.

    And you deny that guys were using performance enhancers before the late 80s, you are not only foolish but flat out wrong. Guys used substances before the lastest PED run and that is a fact. So sorry to burst your bubble that players werent always clean.

    Finally, only a true hater could be so absurd with the comment that this FO is jealous of the 86 team. You call my post ignorant….that might be one of the dumbest thing written on MMO ever. Do you think Depodesta cares about a team that won when he was 14 years old? Of course you do because it fits your agenda. It was almost 30 years ago. But then I guess all Yankees personnel are still jealous of the ,27 teams. Absurd thinking Bob.

    So once again, you make an accusation which fits yourself. I know it pains you that the Mets are doing so well. I realize you would prefer a 5-20 start so you could keep promoting your agenda. It is obvious you totally missed the shift in major league baseball and the effect the new CBA had on it. And I realize it scares you that the Met organization is in the best position is has been in since those early years of Cashen. It is sad that you cannot understand long term building but that is what is taking place.

    Clue in Bob.

  • ParisWilponCOO

    But if we (and DW) adjust our expectations… HR’s become a fun rarity, like stealing home or a triple play. DW forgets about the fence and hits .320, lots of doubles, 120 RBI, AND A RING. He (and we) will learn to live without the HR trot.

  • I agree with you in principle, but…
    They’re here and it was at his direction that they landed here. I don’t really care if he broke into their bedrooms at night and kidnapped them. They’re here.
    I’ve been a very vocal critic of Sandy and his lying B.S., but facts are facts – he HAS inherited, drafted, traded for, signed, and KEPT a massive collection of live arms.

    Now, it’s time for him to convert a few of them into a couple of bats to put them over the top. This team is now the baseball equivalent of a Ground & Pound NFL team. Problem is, they can’t block or run the ball. (2013 Jets???)

  • jason bay

    Watch out Task,

    When Bob gets flustered he’ll start telling you about how successful his business is as if that lends credibility to his ridiculously warped philosophy.

    The guy is a tried and true Wilpon Method Man and it must kill him that Alderson is building a team for the long term instead of a one and done that all he can gloat about how good the attendance was as if that is the goal if the Franchise.

    Long term culture change here. Alderson delivered big time. Results to follow.

  • Bob Walsh

    You need to work on your material, Task.

    Listen, I can’t keep responding to your inanity. I love what the Mets are doing right now. You’re beyond ignorant and ‘blinded’ by absurdity if you think I EVER root for the Mets to not win.

    You are a major load.

    I love being Mets fan. I’ll let the Alderson dust settle where it does but as I wrote in an article … during the season I am a fan rooting fore the Mets (who for what it matters to you, I don’t consider Alderson to be part of, ever). I think he’s a mercenary con man. You think he’s your savior.

    I hope you’re right. Because, you are certainly wrong the rest of the time.

  • Donal

    Actual professional baseball players from that era disagree with you. Tom House has spoken openly about knowing guys were using steroids in the 1970s. And that was after players stopped being indentured servants. There is no telling what team doctors were pumping them full of prior to that. Willie Mays even said in his autobiography that players would just go to whatever doctor the teams sent them to. The doctor would then just hand him over a bunch of pills and give hi ma shot and instructions on how to take them.

    And this from the Mitchell report

    In 1973, a Congressional subcommittee announced that its staff had completed an “in depth study into the use of illegal and dangerous drugs in sports” including professional baseball. The subcommittee concluded that “the degree of improper drug use—primarily amphetamines and anabolic steroids— can only be described as alarming.

    -Mitchell Report, page 28

  • Bob Walsh

    Yes. Agreed entirely. It seems that some take it as a knock on Alderson when I mention that most of the significant pitchers here and coming soon were not drafted by this regime.

    Its just a fact, as you point out. And it really doesn’t matter in the objective because the Mets will be better off for it, regardless of who was the GM.

    That said, let’s see how his drafts pick do going forward.

  • jason bay

    The ’86 Mets were one if the greatest teams of all time?

    Well they were damn good, no doubt about it. All time though?

    They won 2 division titles beat Houston 4-2 and Boston 4-3 barely avoiding a game 6 loss then in 1988 lost to LA 4-2 and thereby missed the A’s in the Series which was a real disappointment.

  • Bob Walsh

    I’m saying exactly the same thing.

    BUT the ’86 Mets have never come under scrutiny for PED or performance use … not then. Later, different story.

    And I do think this regime is jealous of the high regard the ’86 Mets are held in by real fans.

    They can backpedal all they want … the statement was made, and most of the ’86 Mets seem to be pissed about it.

  • Bob Walsh

    You are a disturbed, little man. Are you a Yankees troll?????

    The ’86 Mets are the greatest Mets team ever, and one of the top teams of all time. Game 6 the greatest game ever played, and the game 6 with the Astros right behind it.

  • Agee’s Catch

    My beef is with the Wilpons. They built an empire out of a deck of cards and were exposed when a strong wind came through. I wish we had them on tape.

    Sandy has been far from perfect.

    I maintain that his biggest mistake was not getting close to ready talent for Jose Reyes when it appeared that the team wasn’t going to sign him.

    He has assembled a team that is starting to play good baseball. And he’s done it with one hand tied behind his back and the other palm up looking for alms.

    If this makes me a Sandy lover, I’ll wear the scarlet “S” over my heart.

  • Bob Walsh

    I firmly believe anyone who would post this has to be yankees troll.

  • Agee’s Catch

    How they left Hudson, Mulder and Zito out of the script is scandalous.

  • Bob Walsh

    You’ve lost all credibility, you Yankees troll.

  • Opti-Mets-tic

    -10

  • Bob Walsh

    And the guy they had closing … what’s his name?????

  • Donal

    Wright is a pretty good line drive hitter. Whitey Herzog had a good run in KC and St Louis focusing on speedy guys up top and good line drive hitters with high OBP and above average pop in the middle. That should work well in Citi Field. Also, those solid line drive hitters can be home run hitters in the smaller stadia.

  • jason bay

    Amazing how close the cocaine and steroid eras were.

    Numerous NY Mets including some if the biggest parts of the team were failing tests, testifying in court, getting suspended, showing up unable to play after hard nights out.

    Meanwhile on the other coast a transformation was happening with steroids and Jose Canseco.

    Anyone who has questions about how Canseco got started should simply read his book. One hint, it wasn’t Alderson but that won’t sit right with the worship pets of the Wilpon Method because it doesn’t fit the preferred narrative.

  • NYHB

    Hitters would then be at a premium. But, the point is that it will be much harder to then stockpile hitters than pitchers. The teams that think they can ride their position players to titles will fall off, since they will have invested poorly. The teams that have invested in pitching will excel, since they bet correctly.

  • Bob Walsh

    Still, its hard to not concede that a lot of his drives to the gaps get caught in Citi.

    His stats have definitely been affected.

  • Bob Walsh

    Yankees troll.

  • Donal

    “BUT the ’86 Mets have never come under scrutiny for PED or performance use … not then. Later, different story.”

    Nobody was under scrutiny at the time. The beat writers laughed when Dykstra joked about taking “them good vitamins”. And you don’t consider taking copious amounts of amphetamines as cheating?

  • Bob Walsh

    No idea what this means. In english?

  • Opti-Mets-tic

    I think “uniquely positioned” is accurate, with the AMOUNT of high end pitching depth the Mets have at every level.
    Yes there are other teams with pitching. In fact every single MLB team, has a farm system, and every single one of those teams, has pitching on it.
    I think the point, was that as many people across baseball point out, the Mets are in fact quite “uniquely positioned” in the amount of high end, high quality, pitching they have.
    The overall trend is baseball is most certainly pitching, however I would suggest to you, that perhaps the Mets organization is somewhat ahead of the curve on that trend.

  • Anderson gets ripped by frustrated fans who are tired of losing. Patience is not a popular commodity in blogs and Twitter. But those willing to take the long view can see the big picture, and this article captures that nicely. This team is poised for a sustained run, something we haven’t had in years – if ever. Patience is about to pay off, in a big way…

  • Bob Walsh

    You knew when Dykstra went on the juice. Even the ’86 Mets smirk about it.

    But not in ’86, and that’s the point. Yes. Uppers, coffee, cigarettes, beanies … and no, not cheating.

  • Fast Eddie

    if I have read the article correctly, Aldso

  • jason bay

    Alderson also signed or drafted Hudson, Mulder, Tejada, Chavez, McGwire, Giambi, Weiss and Ramon Hernandez.

    That shows what can be done when you concentrate on attempting to build a team instead if trying to buy a group of highly paid individuals and throw the all together

  • jason bay

    Amazing how the people that go after Alderson for steroids never go after Cashman (A Rid, Sheffield, Knoblach, Stanton, Clemens)

    Epstein (Manny and Ortiz)

    Minaya (Pudge, Igor, Sosa, Mota, Lo Duca, Fern, Puello, Spin, Cruz)

    Funny how that works.

  • Donal

    “But not in ’86, and that’s the point.”

    There is more than enough anecdotal and circumstantial evidence to say otherwise. Why would the Mets be the only team in all of baseball not using them? With everything else thy put in their bodies and the ease of access, do you really think it is unlikely they had some users in the clubhouse?

    ” Yes. Uppers, coffee, cigarettes, beanies … and no, not cheating.”

    So, using controlled substances to enhance performance that were specifically named as a banned substance in MLB since the 1960s (amphetamines) is not cheating?

    Let me guess: “everyone was using them”

  • gary s

    Imho if we made the playoffs a few years in a row, nobody would care who the GM was..When you make a team irrelevant four years in a row in a town where you are competing with the NY Yankees’s, some people are going to find you a loathsome creature. “If more people bought tickets, we would have more money to get players”. Alderson said that a few months ago when questioned about falling attendance. Than i have to read that this idiot has the brains to “game” the system. Thanks for the laugh.This whole piece is hilarious.

  • Bob Walsh

    In principle, yes. But Wright was a known gap hitter … not a home run hitter before moving to Citi.

    And he did fine at Shea. But then they made a stadium that negated his strengths. No one can change their natural swing and approach. Something lost on this regime.

    Love the guy, but they should have traded him.

  • Bob Walsh

    Ok. So this is the bottom line for you …

    The ’86 Mets cheated their way to glory.

    Quite the fan.

  • Donal

    There has never been any proof that Pudge or Sosa used PEDs. Sosa has plenty of circumstantial evidence, but the only thing that mentions Pudge is Consaco’s book throwing around a story he heard third hand. And it looks more and more that while Consaco did drop the names of real users, he also just threw out some guys he had a grudge against.

  • Bob Walsh

    Now, this post … we agree 1000%.

    Very well stated.

  • jason bay

    That’s the way I see it too.

    Most teams have solid pitching and now it takes 2 solid pitchers to get a bat because of that.

    If you want the hitters, you’ve got to develop them yourself, something we haven’t done in a decade.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    http://deadspin.com/carlos-gomez-hug-makes-young-fan-cry-1568651600?utm_campaign=socialflow_deadspin_facebook&utm_source=deadspin_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

    Unrelated, but I’m curious. Knowing what we know now, if you had a time machine, would you stop the Johan trade if it meant we’d have Gomez in the OF now?

  • jason bay

    Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

  • Bob Walsh

    Maybe that’s because we’re Mets fans … not Yankee trolls?????

  • El_Verdadero_Presidente

    OMG, D – Sosa? I never saw Sophia Vergara’s chromosomal analysis either, but I’ll bet the mortgage I’m right about her gender.

  • Donal

    I never accused anyone of cheating. You’re the one who is using that word and showing a double standard. I honestly couldn’t care less about the “steroid era”. If they were readily accessible to everyone and widely used by hitters and pitchers, I don’t get too uptight about them. MLB has an enforced policy now, so it is different.

    I just laugh at the notion that the 1986 team were some sort of pure of heart virginal warriors of truth. They were insanely talented and played out of their minds. But, they had the same issues as every other team of that time.

    And I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you didn’t see my question. Otherwise, that would mean that you just tried to insult me to derail the conversation when it got above your head. You’re not that sort, are you?

    So again: Why do you not consider amphetamines cheating when they were a controlled substance being used to enhance performance, just like steroids?

  • jason bay

    Absolutely.

    3 years of Johan or 6-10 of Gomez, hell yeah.

    Johan pitched great but the team wasn’t strong or deep enough to back him up. Johan never pitched a postseason game for the Mets and the 70 M he cost the last 3 years……

  • jason bay

    That reply makes zero sense on any level.

  • Bob Walsh

    Yes — right over my head.

    If you have ever ‘used’ uppers to help you perform athletically (I know that’s a stretch for a saint like you), then you would know they ONLY made you more alert.

    They didn’t add mountains of muscles nor quicken bat speed.

    You could focus better. That’s all.

    No one said the ’86 Mets were pure. I said they didn’t use PED’s in ’86. Or does reading challenge you?

  • jason bay

    Has he been sued by them?

  • Bob Walsh

    And the ’86 Mets were warriors.

  • Bob Walsh

    You’re nothing more than a Yankee troll. You hate the past Mets.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    This whole steroid thing is the height of hypocrisy. If you were one of the tiny, tiny minority who claims to have been offended by steroid use during the “era,” then congratulations. But if you were part of the vast majority, you LOVED the home run chase. You LOVED the power numbers these guys were putting up. And since, I assume, you LOVE baseball, you should give a round of applause for steroids because they saved the sport.

    The owners knew. Managers knew. Sports writers knew. Everyone knew. But nobody cared. But now everyone cares. Some of the same sports writers who made their careers writing about these guys now want to keep them out of the HOF, which is already full of racists, wife beaters, alcoholics and cheaters of other varieties.

    Silly really.

  • Fast Eddie

    Oops, let’s start over. If I have read the article correctly, Alderson’s plan was to stockpile (by drafting, trading and otherwise collecting) a commodity that would eventually become very valuable and in strong demand: starting pitching. Well, he has done precisely that. In a sense, he is repeating GM Johnny Murphy’s blueprint that gave us the Mets teams of 1969-73.

    The next step ought to be to trade that bumper crop of hurlers for some strong position players. No more Nolan Ryan-for-Jim Fregosi brain farts, please. Ultimately, Sandy’s performance record should depend upon how successfully he completes the second phase of the plan.

    I am neither a Sandy fan nor a Sandy hater. No GM bats 1.000. They all have hits and misses. The Mets’ fans cannot expect to have a contending club this year. It would be a wonderful mitzvah to get to the postseason, but we can’t expect or demand such results. A reasonable expectation would be for the Mets to continue to groom SPs in the minors and get them onto the 40-man roster at season’s end. With Matt Harvey due to return in 2015, the Mets will be in a strong position to trade one or more of their current or promising hurlers for some offensive clout.

    Yes, we would all like the Mets to contend ASAP, but it’s not realistic to expect other GMs to help us get to the promised land. It’s going to take time; we have no choice but to wait and watch for a while. Sandy should be judged only when the second part of his plan has been executed.

    Color me frustrated yet hopeful. I’m not quite ready to pick up a pitchfork and a torch.

    Veloz

  • $14435385

    Those are some powerful chromosomes.

  • WillisReid

    It could mean he just read your series of comments and was left shaking his head.

    I sure was.

  • Lotus1209

    Lmfao you can’t be serious

  • mattbalasis

    I actually believe Sandy when he said his hands were tied. It wasn’t illegal at the time — in fact in CA it was illegal for him to run tests on his players. If anyone should shoulder the larger portion of blame, it’s the owners, with the players a close second.

  • Alex68

    It’s good to see many of the old writers come back here to defend sandy alderson now that the team is 14-11…. Wow…. many people coming out of hiatus now that the team is doing good after being in hibernation for the past 2 years….
    Good to see some of the familiar SL faces back…

  • Bob Walsh

    And I smoked cigarettes while playing, and occasionally had a shot of tequila before a football game … black beauties by the handfuls.

    But never put a needle in me.

  • WillisReid

    Alderson reminds me of Winston Wolf from Pulp Fiction. The smart guy, sent by the man, to fix the mess the two screw ups made for themselves.

  • Bob Walsh

    But don’t you guys have a short hand for that?????

  • Mex_17

    Actually, your hypothesis is completely backwards…

    In the steroid era, pitching was at a premium, because only the elite pitchers could get anyone out. Look at the Red Sox success with Pedro and Schilling. Only the elite pitchers had ERAs in the 3.00 range.

    Now that hitters are godawful again, “good” pitchers are a dime a dozen. Every scrub has a 3.00 ERA, and there is little to differentiate elite pitchers from average pitchers.

    Case in point, do you need a Justin Verlander to strike out Ruben Tejada? No, any pitcher will suffice.

    Look at the Red Sox last year, they won the WS with a lineup LOADED with hitters. Take a look at the batting averages, up and down the lineup, everyone was hitting .300. Meanwhile, Boston has very little developed pitchers. They go out and buy mercenary pitchers, and develop tons of good hitting.

    The Mets appear to be doing the opposite. I think the Red Sox system makes a lot more sense than ours. Pitching was key in the 1990s, but in today’s game, hitting is the only way to win.

  • mattbalasis

    ” Get hitters who can capitalize on the huge outfield”
    Chris Young anyone?

  • Donal

    Gomez is a good player, but Johan was a game changer. I still make that deal.

  • Alex68

    Man, Jason bay is on full on commenting mode lately… boy, many were wondering where he was when the mets played the Nats or were getting man handled by the braves….. Hmmmmm… i guess winning does cure everything…

  • Bob Walsh

    Yes. On an online blog. I’m serious.

    That said, what about JB isn’t troll like?

    He hates the Mets prior to this year. He praises the Yankees and other teams.

    Yankees troll. No other explanation.

  • Bob Walsh

    Yes, then why not commit to him for two years … with an option. If he fits, commit to him.

  • Donal

    Not to my knowledge, but then again Lance Armstrong sued a lot of people, so I don’t see that as an indicator of guilt or innocence. It could be very well that both men are enjoying their retirement (and as far as I can tell, Pudge’s legacy has hardly been damaged) and prefer not get into the mud wrestling match that is a libel suit.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    What did Johan change for us? Zip. Other than his start in the second to last game of the season on short rest in 2007 or whenever that was and his no hitter, he did zilch.

  • Mario Gonzalez

    Wait so you’re saying steroids were legal in the US at the time? Why would the owners share more of the blame? Aren’t the GM’s closer to the action than the owners?

  • Bob Walsh

    Using your logic … Gomez has changed for the Brewers exactly what?

    And only a guy like you would insult a player for being a warrior.

  • Donal

    I’d like to inspect her chromosomes.

    Wait, that doesn’t even make sense.

    Anyway, I did say there is plenty of circumstantial evidence regarding Sosa.

  • mattbalasis

    “Maybe why he has such a soft spot for signing and trading for cheaters.”
    Hard to deny that he’s signed a few. I think there’s a timetable for what the stuff does and they may be targeting players continuing to enjoy a roid fueled tailwind (Byrd and now Colon). Hey, all’s fair, especially if you’re playing by the rules. I think for a while they were also targeting players coming off successful TJ surgery who were past the “adjustment phase,” but it appears they have given up on that.

  • Bob Walsh

    By prescription, its still not illegal.

  • Mario Gonzalez

    So, all players were on prescription steroids in the 90’s?

  • CyYout

    Nice article. I think the fact Sandy never played gives him distance from the game and that dispassionate approach is a strength. In an era of the double Tommy John and phasing out of PEDS, young, controllable, elite pitching becomes invaluable. As for major league results, Cashen didn’t see a World Series until his seventh year as GM. This is only Alderson’s fourth so I try to keep that in mind.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Haha. If I respond, are you going to complain I comment too much?

    Eh, I’ll do it anyway.

    Didn’t say Gomez changed anything. Donal said Johan did.

    And I didn’t “insult” Johan. Just pointing out he didn’t really do anything here. With more run support, he probably would have had a Cy Young, but that didn’t happen.

    Besides, there’s two guys down below saying they’d reverse that trade, so I’m not the only one.

  • mattbalasis

    Yep, the 86 Mets were doing all manner of unmentionables, much of which was actually illegal. Steroids weren’t at the time … and does anyone really think had steroids been as readily available as they were 6 or 7 years after 86, that the characters on the 86 team wouldn’t have participated? That’s a rhetorical question.

  • Donal

    So, a player’s performance benefits from them?

  • Bob Walsh

    Not my point, and I think you already know the answer to your question. And as stated by the poster, in the 90’s steroids weren’t technically banned.

    Steroids, on the the hand, are actually a medical miracle for millions of people.

  • Alex68

    Didn’t we trade Gomez to the TWINS? how did that work out for them? if anything, shouldn’t the twins be the ones upset they let Gomez go for an inept year of JJ Hardy?? i mean, come on… i know you guys love to second guess unless it’s done to sandy alderson, but at some point stop being hypocrites and use double standard for some of the moves past FO made…

  • Bob Walsh

    The TJ is shrewd.

    The tailwind is disturbing.

  • Donal

    Steroids were a controlled substance. While MLB wasn’t testing, they technically were banned. But, the policy wasn’t very concise. There is a solid PED policy now.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Haha. It was a hypothetical question. I’m not a Twins fan so I don’t care if they regret letting Gomez go. I also said, “knowing what we know now,” so it’s hardly second guessing.

    Relax.

  • Alex68

    And what did Gomez did for the Twins? you know, the team we traded him for????? ohhhh wait, he only posted a 645 OPS and was basically Garbage in 300 games for them…. so who should be more upset about gomez, us or the twins? at least we traded gomez for the BEST pitcher at the time…. the twins traded him for one inept year of JJ Hardy

  • Donal

    What difference does a needle make? If it is a controlled substance that you were using without a prescription to enhance your performance, how does that make them different than steroids?

  • Alex68

    Bob, he’s not a yankees trolll, he’s captain hindsight and he’s happy we’re 14-11 since his lord and savior sandy alderson and his philosophy are doing really good 25 games into the season. leave him be, he hasn’t enjoy any winning since these ah0les came on board so that is why you see him here gloating and chest pumping himself…
    once the mets lose 2 or 3 games here and there, he’d go back to hiding, trust me, that’s what he’s been doing since 2011….

  • Donal

    Not Johan’s job to close games or drive in runs. the guy was an absolute beast on the mound. What was he supposed to do? Pitch the entire closing series against the Marlins in 2008?

  • Chuck

    Hey, I do feel SA has made some bad moves (Reyes, your quote of him above, and others). But he has also made some good moves (getting Wheeler, Thor, Herrera). Your dark glasses are blinding you. SA had to work without any real money to use, due to the Wilpons sinking Mets money into a ponzi scheme, along with bad contracts (Bay, Santana, et al). So you want to blame SA because (paraphrasing you) “he made the Mets irrelevant four years in a row in a town where you are competing with the NY Yankees’.” You are wrong to take it so far. SA is a mixed bag, and not the actual problem. You better look further upstream to find the true source of the problems.

  • Bob Walsh

    Wouldn’t be the first time you posted without fully reading prior posts.

    I know subtleties aren’t your strong point.

    Here’s the difference … uppers make you focus more. PED’s alter your body structure.

    Get it?

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Yeah, if he was any kind of player, he’d have pitched that whole series. Haha. No, of course not. I gave him his props for that start.

  • Donal

    So, uppers enhance your performance?

  • El_Verdadero_Presidente

    Just havin’ a little fun with ya. I guess my point is if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, swims in circles like a duck, eats breadcrumbs off the lake, has parents with feathers and an uncle named Donald, etc etc etc…

  • Bob Walsh

    Yes, genius. Just like a better pair of cleats. A better made bat.

    Players constantly seek out performance enhancers. Some are more deadly than others.

  • Bob Walsh

    You really are an idiot.

  • Donal

    It is a yes or no question.

  • Bob Walsh

    He’s a troll.

  • Deia

    Sox also had the best pitching staff last year.

  • EzRider

    How about the Mets actually follow a model that is tried and true and proven to actually work? A balanced system like the Cardinal’s would be ideal. The draft well in all rounds, sign international talent and develope both Pitching and offense. They have OBP guys. Guys who hit for power. Guys who hit in the clutch. Top level pitching AND they supplement with a minimal amount of FA. Granted they have a payroll over $100 million (111,250,000 to be precise) but this is what this organization should strive for.

    We are playing well for now and hopefully folks start coming out to support this team so our payroll can start to climb and can get back to respectable level. We have great pitching coming soon. Some of that talent along with future costly arbitration pitchers need to be moved for young controlable major league ready talent that will help us now and in the future.

  • Bob Walsh

    Answered below.

    That’s one of your problems, Alex. The world isn’t black and white.

    There are shades of grey. Chewing gum could be considered a performance enhancer. Seeds. Chewing tabacco.

    Get it?

  • Donal

    Cleats and bats are not controlled substances that require a prescription to acquire.

  • Bob Walsh

    But you asked the question … were you being passive aggressive again?

    Gees, you must have so much fun doing this.

  • Bob Walsh

    Again … I know its hard for you.

    Try to use common sense and see the difference. Booze was illegal at one time, too.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Haha. Ok man.

  • This is a great, well written article but I feel as if it is much too forgiving of Alderson and the Wilpons. Nobody would debate the vast amount of talented pitching that they amassed over the last several years but I don’t see how that, in and of itself, is a strategy. Whether you have 5 successful talented starters, 8 great starters or 10 great starters, your team won’t be any better or worse. They have failed to field a full team of major league ready position players. That is how I see it but I completely admit that I say this about a team that is exceeding my expectations by a pretty good margin, for the moment, so I just hope that they keep winning and that I need to rethink my views about the team.

  • Donal

    I’m not alex. I’m going to guess the comment section went glitchy again.

    ” The world isn’t black and white.”

    You’re the one speaking in absolutes. I notice the grey doesn’t really appear until it is areas you or players you favor are in it. If anything, I have pointed out very clearly the steroid era is not the black and white issue you and so many others have tried to make it.

    ” Chewing gum could be considered a performance enhancer. Seeds. Chewing tabacco.”

    None of those have ever been even rumored to enhance a player’s performance. And none of those require a prescription. Unless your primary care giver is Dr Pepper.

  • Alex68

    How dare you!?!?!!?!? Aren’t you seeing the success we’re having (14-11)?????? Aren’t you seeing all the superstars he’s brought in to help the team win (14-11)?!?!?!?

    You sir, must hate sandy alderson personally or are not a mets fan for pointing out how he’s been a loser, has done nothing but to sit and wait to see if these kids minaya (the GM everyone hates) brought in develop into stars like Harvey did…

  • Bob Walsh

    Apologies.

    I did think I replying to his posts.

    And I certainly don’t think it was a black and white area.

  • mattbalasis

    Las Vegas is in first place by 4 & 1/2 games, Binghampton is a game out (12 – 8), St. Lucie is also 1 game back (13 – 10). Savannah is in first place (14 – 8) … all of them with solid pitching. You can’t turn an entire system around overnight … and while the Mets’ system always had your token top few prospects, under Phillips and Minaya depth was always an issue and the system as a whole had been a poor one for years. There is no denying that Sandy Alderson has improved the Mets farm … honestly the proof is in the pudding above.

  • WilponsStinkLessNow

    Yes, the arms are good, but we need offense even more so now because we are competitive. I couldn’t believe this nugget today from the Post: “The Mets managed to win their 10-game homestand despite batting just .200, hitting only four homers and mustering a modest 32 runs. How? They pitched to a 2.72 ERA, including a sterling 2.49 ERA from the starters.”

  • Donal

    It isn’t difficult for me at all. You just keep trying to derail the conversation. I fail to see the difference between one controlled substance that requires a prescription and can be dangerous when used improperly and another, especially when both are sued to enhance performance.

    Are you unaware of the fatalities linked to amphetamine abuse? Or the long term health problem?

  • RyanF55

    I was just having fun with Alex calling us all Sandy lovers. I like what Sandy has done with the franchise, as a whole. I agree, letting Reyes walk for nothing was a disaster and his biggest blunder thus far. He also brought in Frank Francisco, Cowgill etc. He certainly hasn’t been perfect, but the situation was far from conducive to any immediate success. He inherited a complete sh*tshow.

    I, too, put this on the Wilpons. They suck, they are disconnected to the fan base and care more about their image/bottom line than winning. They are also unwilling to spend. Yes, Sandy is known for fielding teams with low budgets…the “moneyball” approach, but the owners literally aren’t in the position to spend big on anything.

    The MLB is changing – it’s fast becoming a pitchers’ league. And the Mets have a very, very bright future in terms of its hurlers. Couple that with some offense, which requires the Wilpons to spend a little bit, and this team will be good. The Wilpons have been and will be the issue with this club.

  • Hotstreak

    ” How dare you piss on their cheerios”

  • Alex68

    Lmao, man…… SL have been so STARVED for anything positive, especially on the winning side that a 14-11 start of the season got them praising sandy alderson to no end… lol, man… i mean, i am happy we got off to a good start, but let’s not forget 2011 and in 2012 we started just like this and, well, we all know how those seasons’ turned out to be…
    Many old players and retreats on this team are overachiving, others are showing their age, others are showing signs of decline but it’s good to see them 14-11, but what’s SHOCKING to me is that after 25 games we’re back on that WE LOVE SANDY horse, i mean….. just WOW! Guess things don’t change around here…
    If this is 25 games in, can you imagine SL with a 82-80 record? Even better, can you imagine these people with the mets making the playoffs!?!?!?!
    They’d create a petition to Joe D to change the name from MMO to WLSMO

  • Alex68

    Exactly, they’re overachieving like hell, which is good to see, but it’s hard to imagine they keeping this up while the offense we know will be this bad…. but hey, don’t tell that to these SL, they’re ready to build that statue they promised back in 2011

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments
  • RyanF55

    What’s a SANDY horse?

  • Donal

    “I did think I replying to his posts.”

    Ya, like I said, the software is a bit glitchy.

    “And I certainly don’t think it was a black and white area.”

    You speak in absolutes when it comes to steroids. All I’m asking is why they are worse than amphetamines. Amphetamine abuse cause heart and brain damage and have been linked to several fatalities in players using them, so you can’t say because anabolic steroids are fatal. It seems to me to be a pretty arbitrary distinction.

  • mattbalasis

    Hi Alex,
    Actually this team has been pretty good since around the AS break last year (I think they’re like 1 game worse than the Yankees over that same stretch or something). ALso, EVERY SINGLE team in the Mets minor league system is either in 1st or 2nd place (the 2nd place teams are both 1 game back). Rome wasn’t built in a day. Yes it took a while, but if it means staying competitive for years and years, I’ll take it. There’s no denying the system is loaded with pitching. Oh and yeah I was skeptical about the Colon signing, but it’s worked out so far … and I’m liking the Chris Young signing more and more.

  • Hotstreak

    They are double “X” Rated?

  • jessepmmo

    “but let’s not forget 2011 and in 2012 we started just like this and, well, we all know how those seasons’ turned out to be… ”

    2011 through 25 games the Mets were 11-14, 2012 they were 13-12 and started the year 4-0 not 0-3. Just in case you were wondering, 2013 they were 10-15.

    2010 they were 14-11, a victory in game 26 would be their best record through 26 games since 2007. But it’s all the same I guess.

    So I guess some of us have NOT forgotten how those years began, but you certainly have old pal.

  • Hotstreak

    Build a statute of Him at Citi Field . Put protection of armed police guards so the fans don’t try to destroy it. Better yet U.S.Marines.

  • Hotstreak

    THIS^

  • Donal

    “Every scrub has a 3.00 ERA, and there is little to differentiate elite pitchers from average pitchers.”

    MLB average ERA this year so far is 3.81. Last year is was 3.86. 2012 was 4.01. 2011 was 3.94. Also, keep in mind, the best pitchers are going to get the most innings. So, we’ll probably have to find the median.

    “Look at the Red Sox last year, they won the WS with a lineup LOADED with hitters. Take a look at the batting averages, up and down the lineup, everyone was hitting .300. Meanwhile, Boston has very little developed pitchers. They go out and buy mercenary pitchers, and develop tons of good hitting.

    The Mets appear to be doing the opposite. I think the Red Sox system makes a lot more sense than ours. Pitching was key in the 1990s, but in today’s game, hitting is the only way to win.”

    The Giants won 2 WS recently going all in on pitching.

  • Alex68

    Yes Yes…. The guy who has celebrate everything sandy’s done couldn’t miss the 14-11 championship…. how could he…. Hey, how are those Emaus, FF, Rauch and Ramirez deal working out?? Since, according to you, those were the type of game changer deals sandy was brought here to make because they were “outside of the box” type move…….

  • jessepmmo

    I’d make that trade 100x over again. You can’t look back on a guy who through 2,100 plate appearances was a below average player and then suddenly at age 27 finds his way and think “we should have kept him.”

  • Alex68

    Sigh… again, lower you expectations so you guys don’t get mock towards the end…. Again.. the offense still and will still stink unless a move is made, and even then who knows, we’ve brought in the wrong guys to play here, i am actually SHOCKED we are above 500 at this point, pitching has been on point, but how long will it last? guess we’ll find out..

  • Victor

    This team could have 4 home grown aces in a few years,and you two illiterates are still here jerking each other off over how much you hate the GM.

  • Alex68

    What do you think….

  • Donal

    Line drives have a better chance than fly balls. Hit a screamer in the gap and unless they are positioned perfectly, you most likely have an extra base hit.

  • jessepmmo

    hey sunshine – my favorite part about you is how miserable you are because the Mets are 14-11. It brings out the best in you.

  • Alex68

    Lmao, Hotstreak, are you seeing the same thing i am seeing? These people are celebrating a 14-11 start as if we just won the championship…. WOW!

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    I totally disagree….If the Goal was to STACK all that pitching INSTEAD of bats we wouldnt have used “THREE STRAIGHT” 1st Round draft picks on HITTERS in drafts where Top Notch pitchers were available.

    2011 = Brandon Nimmo OF
    (Passed on J.Fernandez,Gray,Barnes,Stephenson,Guerrieri,Jungman,Beede, Owens)

    2012 = Garin Cecchini SS
    (Wacha,Giolito,McCullers,Travieso,Stratton,Sims,Stroman, Hensley,Berrios,Eflin)

    2012 = Kevin Plawecki C(1st rd Supplement Pick)
    (Alex Wood,McCullers,Weichel,Light,Berrios,Smoral,Watson, Bard,P.Johnson)

    We also failed to sign the 1st pitcher we drafted in 2012, Teddy Stankiewickz.

    2013 = Dom Smith 1B
    (Manea,Shipley,Stanik,Hollon,Clarkin,Anderson, Gonzalez,Crawford,Kamisky, Harvey, Gonzales,Krook,Blair)

    Sandy is no BASEBALL genius, but its amazing how so many people try and convince us that he is some Savant.

  • mattbalasis

    That’s a good point, however, you can’t just look at top picks. You have to look at the whole draft, the I.D., and the fact that they’ve been reluctant to trade pitching all along. DePo and S.A. has been up front about it from the get go — their plan was to stockpile a “critical mass” of quality starting pitching deep enough to offset the 40% or something attrition that pitching will experience throughout the minors.

  • DrDooby

    The Mets are a couple of games over .500 over their past 125 games to be more exact. Which certainly isn´t anything special as it doesn´t get you to the playoffs. So in that regard nothing has been achieved.

    But it´s still a lot better than some make it out to be.

    And what´s completely ignored is the fact that – unlike in 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 or 2008 – the Mets finally have the depth & young talent to replace players in case of injuries or underperformance or even make a trade to add talent for the major league roster for a change instead of constantly selling off veterans.

    And the reason why the Mets are 14-11 is because their SP have pitched very well and they finally have a pretty solid defense with no black holes anymore. Mets starters are easily averaging 6+ IP per start. And except for a few very select outings, the Mets usually have entered the 7th inning of games having given up 3 runs or less. Which pretty much means you´re “in the game”. The bullpen has been somewhat volatile, though pretty solid after the first series. The offense has been lacking which is why the team is merely 14-11 and not 17-8. Odds are, the SP will regress somewhat while the offense will improve somewhat. But it´s the depth that is totally different from past years. Back in 2011 or the several seasons before, a SP or two got injured and suddenly you were down to Pat Misch, Chris Schwinden or – r.i.p. – retreads like Jose Lima or Geremy Gonzalez starting big games down the stretch. Now, we´re wondering whether there´ll be an opening for Rafael Montero and Jakob DeGrom who probably are ready now, let alone Noah Syndergaard when he´s a finished product or Matt Harvey next year. Those are really nice problems to have. And they are directly related to go with a deep roster instead of a top heavy roster like was generally the case in the previous two decades.

  • Bob Walsh

    All of this is so far off topic.

    You are taking this far too literally. Cars kill. Guns kill. All legal.

    Not even the point … but that’s where you want this to go.

    Uppers are not even remotely the same as PED’s. Its a fatuous comparison that you somehow find relevant.

    I don’t.

  • Victor

    That’s the thing, they don’t all have to pan out. But complaining that your GM doesn’t just throw money at old stars rather than drafting and developing is inane.

    And the childish cracks about labtops and stat-geeks…

    Please, if you’re not trying to use every piece of information at your disposal than you’re driving a model-T in a race full of porsches.

  • mattbalasis

    Pitching has always been at a premium, but back in the 90’s you couldn’t win with just pitching like you could in the small-ball 70’s … so my argument is, if we’re going back to a time when pitching was even more important, it’s not a bad strategy to stockpile your system with it.
    And before someone brings up the Braves, remember that those teams had some hitting too, and for all their vaunted pitching, they only came home with one title — usually beaten out by teams loaded with hitting.

  • Alex68

    How DARE you!?!?!!?!?!!?!? 14-11 baby!!!!!

  • NewYorkMammoths

  • DrDooby

    The pitching is overachieving but the offense sure as hell is underachieving. Or do you really believe that arguably the top 3 hitters on the team,i.e. Wright, Granderson and Murphy will all post an OPS well below .700 and thus way below their career norms ? Let alone getting some production from d´Arnaud, Lagares and the Youngs who have either been injured or are just starting to hit the ball better.

    And considering that two of the five SP are hard throwing 24-year-olds who are former Top 50 in Baseball prospects while another went 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA in the AL last year, maybe they aren´t overachieving all that much. And while Niese & Gee aren´t aces, both have been solid mid-rotation types in the past. And these arms are backed up by three very promising hard-throwing young arms in Vegas who are waiting for their chance.

  • Sylow59

    He dramatically increased our salary level. That should be good enough.

    But with all his injuries we were able to complain about the training staff.

    And we got to say “warrior” a lot. There’s that too.

    I can’t see how you missed all these accomplishments.

    /sarc

  • DrDooby

    I don´t care about superstars, I care about winning teams. I´d rather have only one All Star and watch the Mets win 90 games instead of having four All Stars and watch the Mets win 80 games.

    Of course, the Mets haven´t won 90 games since 2006 and probably won´t win 90 games in 2014 either. Though I´m pretty sure that they will win 90 games very shortly, whether it´s – surprisingly – in 2014 or – more likely – in 2015 and / or 2016. And then hopefully and maybe even probably for several years beyond that.

  • CJM

    First and foremost, the A’s owner in the 1980s, Walter Haas Jr. was NOT and still is not Sandy Alderson’s father in law. I don’t know why so many fans think that’s true. Alderson was hired by his former law partner–his former law partner was Walter Haas’s son in law.

    Secondly, I think this article is essentially all conjecture. I really don’t think Alderson believes that pitching is what will carry them in the future. Like all things, balance is the best way to go. A team who has only strong pitching needs to get very lucky to make the playoffs.

  • Alex68

    So we now are going by certain amount of games? forget the season where we were losers, let’s pick certain amount of games where we were good and combine them so it’ll make us look better right?
    Never mind different players, let’s try and see if we can somehow make SL look good….
    F0H

  • RyanF55

    I like this team’s prospects of competing for a Wild Card spot. Why? Because we are 14-11 with arguably the worst overall offense in baseball thus far. Take a look at these rankings:

    29th in MLB in Batting Average: .218 (Only Houston is worse)
    24th in OBP: .294
    29th in OPS: .614
    19th in RBI: 95
    19th in Runs: 100
    26th in HRs: 16
    28th in Hits: 185

    ….we have had a putrid offense. Just horrible. And we are 3 games above .500, with the 4th highest winning percentage in the NL. That’s honestly amazing. When (not if) the offense improves, wins should come easier. And oh yeah, Syndergaard/Montero/DeGrom possibly Thornton/Black/Edgin on the horizon…I only seeing pitching improving as the season goes on. The biggest issues are obviously the offense and the bullpen, but I see both as improving moving forward. There’s reason for optimism.

    LGM

  • john q

    Matt,

    Well, you’re spot on about people completely misunderstanding “Moneyball” and perpetuating a misconception that it’s simply about “On Base Percentage & Drawing Walks). If people actually “read” the book they would have understood that it’s about taking advantage of systems that undervalues certain actions & behaviors. In this case it was major league baseball and players that drew a lot of walk & had a high on base percentage.

    Drawing walks and on-base % was an extremely undervalued skill so as a result you could acquire these players relatively easily and cheaply. But Walks & on-base percentage aren’t “undervalued” anymore. All you have to do is look at Shin Shoo Choo’s contract.

    The next big “moneyball skill” will probably be defense and developing young (read cheap) starting pitching.

    I don’t really follow your first sentence on Alderson never being a “professional baseball player or donning a major league uniform” as this is has never historically been a pre-requisite for great G.M’s and largely an irrelevant statement.

    I think labeling the Mets’ latest baseball decisions as “exploitation” is disingenuous. They’re playing by the rules. If anything they’re greatly underutilizing their massive advantage to exploit a system. They operate a legal monopoly (Baseball is exempt from Anti-trust violations) in the largest city and media market in the U.S. The Rays just can’t move to Northern N.J. because the Yankees & Mets have territorial rights to the area. They participate in a sport that has no salary cap so a team in NYC can greatly outspend teams in smaller markets, take more risks etc. Imagine if this were the same system the N.F.L. or N.B.A. or the N.H.L utilized.

    If anything the Mets have historically greatly underutilized their ability to take advantage of playing and operating in NYC.

  • Guest

    86 mets clean? They were drinking an drugging their asses off

  • Victor

    That’s a ridiculous standard you’re setting, you want a contender but you started with no farm system and no money. Those things just don’t come into existence, you have to work for them.

    And i’m tired of this ridiculous straw-man of King Sandy, St. Sandy etc. I’m happy we have a GM now who thinks about the future instead of trying to mortgage it off for 3-4 more wins in a losing season and thus another year on the job. Instead of pretending that everyone bows down to him, tell us what you’d do different, would you keep Beltran for 2 months more at the cost of Zach Wheeler? Would you keep Dickey (who’s been awful post-trade) at the cost of Syndergaard and TDA? If you want to keep those guys keep in mind that you’re paying them the money you also want to pay to Abreu.

  • Bob Walsh

    Alex — for whatever reasons, some of my replies to posts went to you instead of the intended poster. Not meant in tone and tenor for you.

  • TPT

    thats true Leroy im glad you pointed that out

  • Alex68

    It’s called overachieving.. Pitching helps, but it’s very unlikely that the pitching will continue to thrive like that, however, the offense look pretty much in part with the guys’ numbers and the decline overall in offense in baseball…
    Again, 76+ Wins will be a major accomplishment for this team with the way it has been constructed, but some people are already in celebrating mode after 25 games….

  • Alex68

    Lol…. Yup….

  • Bob Walsh

    He’s really focused on drafting top prospect pitching, isn’t he?

  • Paul Romano

    Interesting take on Mr. Alderson and well thought out perspective. I don’t think many people would ever look at the state of baseball in that way exactly….

    But with the Mets, in particular their spending habits they build a ‘barge to nowhere’ most of the time. What do I mean? The front office throws too much money at declining talent in my opinion. Yes, Marlon Byrd was terrific last year- and GOLD contract wise… But guys like Granderson (who I hope comes around but I don’t think will ever earn the 15mil a yr price tag he garnished), Bartolo Colon (2yr/$20 mil), Valverde (who is clearly declining), and to a lesser extent Chris Young (7.25 for 1 yr)—- were more signed to appease the fan base instead of improve the team. I think this is a middling approach, not for the long term and not for the short term either…. The club doesn’t have the money or faith to pop big money on one year contracts for the likes of a Nelson Cruz or Ervin Santana, both of which the organization had a need for. Instead we got Colon, who I think was signed primarliy because he has a good track record of pitching 200 innings when he isn’t busted for PED use. Yes he had a good record last year, but much of that hinged on him being on a good club and being well rested, because well- he was suspended prior to that. He’s also 40 and you gave him a big 2 yr contract, WHY?
    I just feel that money could have been better served somewhere else, and the signing was just done to make a point to fans…. We aren’t afraid to spend money- ‘Look we even gave 20 mil to this guy! and 60 mil to Granderson— So pipe down’.

    The issue of money further came to a head when the dealt Ike Davis for relative peanuts. In all fairness though, the subject of that trade with Pittsburgh can not be fully judged until we know the ever mysterious PTBNL hopefully sometime in May. But on the surface this simply looks like a money dump, and dump is the right word for it.

    Although the pitching does look nice on the surface- let’s not do the tired song and dance anymore and add good established hitters that aren’t on the decline. We don’t have to overspend on players and pay for past accompishments if they weren’t with the team already! I don’t understand why we would do that on a Curtis Granderson, and not do that on Jose Reyes 3 years ago either? It makes no sense to me! Stop the insanity- build on what we have, and realize what we don’t have— namely 1) middle of the order power…. 2) a multi-talented SS…. 3) Bullpen depth (and perhaps another lefty out there so Rice doesn’t get exposed!)….. If Rice goes down you are gonna have to overspend to replace him anyway- get it somewhere now at a more reasonable price…. Why they didn’t insist on a lefty when they traded Ike I will never understand…

    Ok… I have ranted enough….. get on ya.

  • Bob Walsh

    I have no idea how baseball lasted for a century without MoneyBall.

    Thank you, Sandy.

  • Alex68

    Well, in terms of the offense, yes….
    CG is 33 yeard old and has been a shell of himself since last year, that’s why the yanks let him go.
    Wright is on the decline as well, you see that
    Murphy had a career year last year

    I like all 3, but let’s be real here, the pitching is not as good as it seems, the bullpen neither, but the offense has been putrid since 2012… what makes you think it’ll change? the guy who hit 200 last year? or the guy who played 45+ games with a low BA as well and is 33 years of age?

  • Alex68

    yeah, well 14-11 is result for some of these people… apparently.
    I mean, it’s amazing what i am seeing just for a 14-11 start lol… man…

  • Bob Walsh

    Yes. You’re right.

    Drinking and drugging is the same thing as cheating.

  • Donal

    Unless guys are trying to sneak cars and guns into the game under their uniforms in order to enhance their performance, that comment was just silly.

    “Uppers are not even remotely the same as PED’s. Its a fatuous comparison that you somehow find relevant.”

    You can claim that all you want, but the facts say otherwise.

    Are amphetamines a controlled substance? Yes

    Does the abuse of them have well documented immediate and long term dangers? Yes

    Did MLB ban them? Yes

    Did/do players use them to enhance their performance? Yes.

    So, again, where is the line drawn? What makes amphetamine use acceptable by steroid use not?

  • Victor

    “you’ve been so gung ho on sandy’s d*** that it made you disappear from the site because you couldn’t show your face after praising the guy to no end only to see the pathetic results we’ve seen the past 3 years…”

    What a vulgar, childish person you are. Make your arguments like an adult or leave and let the grown-ups talk.

  • Bob Walsh

    He doesn’t hit fly balls into the gaps.

    He drives shots into the gaps that get caught.

  • mattbalasis

    Hi John,
    I added the thing about Alderson never playing because you hear so much about that on message boards and I never understood it because you’re right, so many great GM’s never played. Now as far as “exploiting” trends and rigging your system to flourish in the coming years, like I said below, I think if pressed the Met braintrust would deny that the PED purge had anything to do with their focus on pitching depth, but you have to wonder. As for the money issue, that is largely not the point of the piece above. Yes the Mets SHOULD be able to exploit their market, but it is arguable whether they’ve done that in the past (traditionally the mets spent a lot), or even whether spending a lot necessarily translates to wins. That’s another story.

  • RyanF55

    Sandy as the first bronze statue at Citi? Haha…that would go over great.

  • Bob Walsh

    Do you get tired of being right all the time?

    I have drawn the line quite clearly. You just don’t like my answer.

  • jessepmmo

    Oh sweetie, first of all… I get it. I miss you too!

    You think me not being a part of MMO on a constant basis has to do with Sandy Alderson? That’s nice. Perhaps like I said almost two years ago I figured out that I enjoy this team and this game more when I am not constantly being trolled on MMO by people who don’t know me?

    I haven’t gone anywhere, I just have a lot more going on in life and luckily Joe D has some stellar writers and setup here that I am able to come and go as a writer which is nice.

    See the way you ended your comment? See that is just sad Alex. I feel bad for you. I feel bad for somebody who needs to make comments like that purely because having an intelligent baseball conversation is too hard.

    But again, I miss you too schmoopie!

  • CJM

    FWIW, Walter Haas Jr also wasn’t Sandy Alderson’s father-in-law.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    “Even better, can you imagine these people with the mets making the playoffs!?!?!?”

    Yeah, those stupid people getting excited about making the playoffs, or thinking that making the playoffs means having a successful year. What dopes!

    Just giving you a hard time, my friend. 🙂 Thanks as always for making the comments section something worth reading. (sincerely)

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    Agreed. It feels just like so many previous years, where we were saying, “If Player X just bounces back, and Player Y fixes his swing, and Player Z…..”

  • Dr. Jones

    I enjoyed the article, but I have to make one small correction… Former Marine, there are no Ex-Marines. Anyone who’s earned the title will tell you that. That is all, LETS GO METS!

  • RyanF55

    Why wouldn’t pitching be able to thrive like that? Do you mean the bullpen? What is your take on Syndergaard/Montero/DeGrom/Edgin/Walters/Thornton etc. infusing talent to the pitching moving forward? Do you expect Granderson to bat .100 all year and provide nothing?

  • Bob Walsh

    He forgets just how great Johan was before he got hurt — and was for the Mets for awhile. And he discounts how Gomez suddenly found himself 2000 at bats into his career. He’s certainly hit the weight room …

    JB has this amazing talent of predicting the future. He’s a genius.

  • Alex68

    All inexperience and unproven… we all know how prospects are a crap shoot, don’t hold your hopes on prospects if you wanna succeed, they’re hit and miss… i mean, are any of them being lights out in triple A? have you seen how Edgin is treated in the majors when he’s been up? come on now…

  • Tomthetinker

    It’s called excitement. Creating a buzz is how you fill up Citi..selling tickets is one way the team makes money…making money is how you bring in more talent..more talent is how you play winning ball..and the beat goes on.

  • Alex68

    Comments like how? You mean following up on what you’ve said in here and how you’ve react to certain kind of ball players? nah man, i am just stating facts…

  • jessepmmo

    Right. Now MOST times when a baseball player has trouble cracking a .700 OPS for his career in over 3,000 PA which includes the minors and then suddenly at the age of 27, 28 “finds” his way… he’s usually being talked in a “hey wait a minute” kind of way.

    Whether that is right or wrong, I don’t know. I mean I think we’ve learned a little more than we knew say 15 years ago and MOST players do not suddenly become .500+ SLG % guys when their entire career has them barely cracking .400 if that.

    But who knows?

    Still, I’d not think twice about that deal at all

  • jessepmmo

    Alex, let me know how the next core meeting goes? I am sure this convo will make the early evening agenda.

  • RyanF55

    Ok so you feel there will be no improvement when those young guys come up. And you never answered the offense question…this offense won’t improve? Granderson will never hit?

  • Alex68

    Victor, sorry to disappoint you, but i was all in favor of trading Beltran and Dickey… also DW who somehow we kept and it seems to be okay with you guys. funny you’ve mention 3 players TDA, Wheeler and Syndergaard, what else has sandy gotten in terms of prospects? also, what have they done at the major league level to help the team? TDA is batting 200, Wheeler is a john maine clone and Noah is not doing so hot in triple A.
    Sorry, i don’t buy the lovingness sandy’s getting, this is all because we’re 14-11, if we were 11-14 i doubt many of you would be saying the things i’ve been reading in here which is just absurd to tell you the truth….
    Any other GM would’ve kept on piling prospects by trading Reyes and Wright at the right time, instead, we let one go for free and signed the other to a ridiculous 8 year deal when he at 30 years old is showing all kinds of sign of declining…

  • mattbalasis

    lol, you got me there … and as a “former” jarhead myself, I find it difficult to throw SA under a bus. There, I’ve stated my bias!

  • Bob Walsh

    Either would I.

    It might be a bit corny … but watching Johan pitch was an honor.

    I really mean that. He’s everything that is right about the game of baseball.

    Gomez … I don’t think so.

  • Jarheads can be so temperamental sometimes. LOL

    #FlyNavy
    #GoNavy

  • Waz0787

    Murphy to the yankees for Judge and bichette jr?

  • Alex68

    Thanks for admitting the Truth Matt…. The #CORE respect people like you… no harm done in admitting you a SL, some people are and hide it for some reason…

  • Alex68

    The offense? i doubt we’d be a juggernaut… and CG? who knows… .after seeing how JB forgot how to hit when he came here would you be surprised if CG doesn’t find his stroke?

  • Taskmaster4450

    The draft is more than one round. In the last three years, the Mets selected 75 pitchers with their 130 picks. To contract, the Braves took 60, the Giants 70, and the Rays 68 (all traditionally pitching rich development organizations).

  • Alex68

    Nah, we’re fine… but i bet it’s your turn to bring the sandy juice at your SL meeting.. i bet you’re working on some new slurp article about sandy and will drop very soon, if anything you’re as predictable as they come….

  • skiplockweird

    None of these contracts is crippling. Young-one year, he produces, or he doesn’t. Colon, while risky, he is pitching well, and I fully expect him to be traded to a contender by the deadline. Granderson- if he is a total flop this year, he could still be unloaded back to an AL team (we may have to eat some salary), outfielders cost $15 million these days. I will tell you Grandy must be bringing some leadership. As another poster wrote, it had to be Grandy that organized the action against Mike Puma from the Post.

  • Lotus1209

    Hey genius…he’s defending Sandy. He’s saying all these people question him for his involvement with steroids… why arent the other GMs questioned as well?

    He’s a Sandy apologist. Yankee troll? Not even close. JB has extremely good insight to provide for this blog and i suggest you pay a little more attention before you make short-sighted accusations

  • mattbalasis

    For the record Joe, only Marines are allowed to use that term … unless you want to start a bar fight or something. lol …

  • skiplockweird

    I agree, and as bad as his numbers are, EY2 is scoring almost a run per game. Runs win games.

  • Metropolitan

    As Brain Kenny on an episode of Club house confidential said after statistical analysis ..Yeah pitching wins if you score runs.

  • skiplockweird

    I agree with the overachieving, but here’s the thing. We have many more arms at the ready in Vegas should someone falter.

  • MetsWatchman

    Well I certainly can’t disagree with the team’s irrelevance the last 4 years and won’t argue there. But to say that the new GM, who walked through the door facing a myriad of serious problems, from the owner’s crippling finances, lawsuits, bad contracts, underperforming high paid veterans, to say that this GM “created” the irrelevance is just ridiculous. Look, I am not a Sandy lover, nor a hater. Truth be told, he came into a bad situation and had a clear direction and plan as to how he would bail this team out and create a winner. His plan, much to the chagrin of the majority of the fan base, involved continued years of losing as the farm was rebuilt, young pitchers were stockpiled, and spending was limited to what the owners wallets allowed at the time. You may not agree with his plan, and that’s fine. You can say he should have done it differently, and that’s fine too. But to say that he “created” the irrelevance, IMHO, is just not true.

  • Bob Walsh

    You have just about no idea what you are talking about.

    Its sarcasm. JB knows me well, and I him. We have spent many a long posts between us.

    So, go save someone else.

  • Donal

    “Do you get tired of being right all the time?”

    When people don’t listen to me.

    “I have drawn the line quite clearly. You just don’t like my answer.”

    You haven’t answered it. Unless you seriously believe “just cuz” is a reasonable answer. Or are you claiming increased alertness and energy boosts aren’t performance related?

  • skiplockweird

    Jeff Hostetler, inexperienced and unproven, beat the Bill after 3 games as a starter. Joe Montana, Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Terry Bradshaw all won their 1st superbowl without having played in one before. Three of those guys have never lost one.

  • Hotstreak

    The old fashion way is have a product and the customers will buy it. If you hype it without delivering its false advertising.

  • skiplockweird

    For the record, he is not my father in law either.

  • Bob Walsh

    Is this really important to you?

    I am saying, as clear as I can … I don’t give a crap whether uppers are legal or not. I DO NOT think its cheating.

    Clear?

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    “Is Alderson Gaming The System… Again?”

    I dont know…..His “9 STRAIGHT LOSING SEASONS as a GM” tells an entirely different story.

    Seems like he is only gaming a few baseball fans who want to see him as some Genius GM.

    “Production” over “Perception”

  • skiplockweird

    Good points. From now on, each time they win, I will remind myself of what happened in the past. That way I can never enjoy another victory.

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    They werent reluctant to trade pitching. They traded away their CY Young winner RA Dickey.

    And the last thing Sandy has been is UPFRONT

  • skiplockweird

    They were all low cost signings, no harm now foul. I have to give you credit for Emaus. I think he played a week before we sent him back.

  • Donal

    That isn’t the part you aren’t conveying. I’m asking what the difference is. I get that you are making that claim. I’m wondering why. Where is the line? Are you claiming a perceived increase in bat speed does more to affect a player’s performance than increased alertness and stamina? Do you think needles are immoral whereas pills are acceptable?

  • Tomthetinker

    We aren’t ownership, we are the fan base. It’s not our job to advertise it’s our job to enjoy.

  • Bob Walsh

    Yes, its degrees. Completely altering your body’s makeup with a substance injected with a needle is to me far more onerous than smoking a cigarette, popping an upper, chewing.

    Mental alertness is hardly cheating. At best, it compensates for being tired … but never really increases performance, except from the negative depletion.

    Redesigning the muscular structure of your body with chemicals so that you’re strength increases in a perverted way, that is so far from your natural state … that’s cheating.

  • Alec Benjamin

    Very few middle grounders here

    Reading this sites comment section ill admit is a guilty pleasure of mine. I read almost every comment section in full most of the time… I hate associating myself with some of these Mets fans because its just depressing but good lord I just love reading the ridiculous statements that some of these people make and seem to believe as truth.

    Keep it up BBLB, ALEX, CJM, JB and others

  • Victor

    Isn’t it pretty childish to refer to yourself and two of your online friends as some organization with a hashtag?

  • donobrien

    gary s, I think it work’s better this way. The FO first spends the money for quality players, the team improves, many more tickets are sold, and they make their money back. Attendance was 4+ million 5 or six years ago. One small step might be adding Stephen Drew at SS, contending for the wild card and putting fannies in the seats. Not rocket science.

  • Donal

    ” Completely altering your body’s makeup with a substance injected with a needle is to me far more onerous than smoking a cigarette, popping an upper, chewing.”

    Steroids don’t do what you think they do. They encourage growth of the tissue you already have. They also supposedly help you recover faster. They don’t alter your DNA or give you super powers.

    “Mental alertness is hardly cheating. At best, it compensates for being tired … but never really increases performance, except from the negative depletion.”

    You are enhancing your natural state beyond normal parameters to gain a performance edge.

    “Redesigning the muscular structure of your body with chemicals so that you’re strength increases in a perverted way, that is so far from your natural state … that’s cheating”

    You’re adding tissue. You aren’t “redesigning the muscular structure of your body” anymore than amphetamines “redesign” you cardiovascular or respiratory or neurological systems.

    It seems that steroids are bad because you were told they were bad. And amphetamines are good because you got to use them. That is why you use hyperbolic language to describe steroids and hand wave away the admitted benefits of amphetamines.

  • mattbalasis

    I’ll be the first to admit I was skeptical about the CY signing, I felt it came at a time when the Met front office had to do “something” so they rushed. Since then I’ve heard about all the work he did over the winter and gotten to watch him. The dude’s power is off the charts.

  • Victor

    “TDA is batting 200, Wheeler is a john maine clone and Noah is not doing so hot in triple A.”

    Everyone except you acknowledges that all three of those guys has star potential. If you’re asking for people to be stars right out of the chute, than you don’t know baseball.

  • mattbalasis

    Hi Alex,
    I also got to meet SA. He was gracious and personable and he granted me an interview when he clearly didn’t have to. It certainly made an impression on me. He’s got his faults to be sure, but IMO it’s going to be a while before we really see his impact. His stated mantra all along has been sustainability … reaching a level where we don’t have to worry about downturns financial or otherwise. Has it taken too long? Perhaps, but the farm is better and I think 9 out of 10 scouts will agree there.

  • jason bay

    8 of his seasons in total as GM have been rebuilding one’s taking over from Billy Martin’s last two teams that both finished 25 games out and had the A’s in the World Series in year 5, 6 and 7.

    Then they had to dump payroll and contend with two strike shortened seasons but he did provide most of the players that led to Beane making the playoff 4 times in six years and missing once by 1 game which we have been told constitutes a success.

    When he got here he took over a team that had finished 23 and 18 games back and has spent the last 3 years rebuilding while having to slash payroll and wait out useless contracts.

    Last years net effective payroll (minus Johan and Bay) was approximately 50% of the 90 M payroll and while some teams can compete on that, they were getting productive play out of drafts and IFA’s signed well before 2011 when Alderson arrived.

    1988-1993 the A’s averaged about 2.5 M fans which in that market is beyond unreal and again 3 consecutive World Series appearances.

    Not bad huh?

  • E1Guapo

    Or when Torres’ arm literally falls off

  • donobrien

    If you spend the money up front and become a contender, begin to fill Citi Field, how much added revenue do you get? You might not get the 4.2 million attendance of a few years back at Shea, because Citi has fewer seats, but you probably add a million to the 2.1 million of 2013. What does that add up to in tickets, parking, hot dogs, etc.?

    You gotta buy merchandise before you can sell it. The thing about baseball in New York is that you have the customers anxious to buy your product. If you put a good product out there every year.

  • billpulsipher

    steve phillips has accomplished more as a GM….scary thought indeed

  • mattbalasis

    You’re right I miss-read it … fixed it.
    Thanks!

  • jason bay

    Really?

    Phillips traded five future All Stars (Cruz, Mora, Izzy, Bay, Everett) and tried to trade Reyes (in the Alomar deal) and Wright (for Jose Cruz Jr.)

    He took over a team on pace to win 88 games that had a miniscule payroll which allowed him the room to add and then won 88, 97 (including the one game playoff with the Reds) 94, 82, 75 and 66.

    He was a huge beneficiary of the Marlin fire sales which got him Leiter, Piazza and Cook and he inherited Alfonzo, Ordonez, Olerud, Hundley, Payton, Dotel and Agbayani.

    To his credit he hired Minaya who signed Cruz, Reyes and Gomez and drafted Kazmir, Wright, Heilman, Lindstrom and signed Heath Bell and Pedro Feliciano.

  • mattbalasis

    You’re right, he’s gaming the system only in so far as rigging HIS OWN system with a given advantage in light of information he may have been privy to given his aforementioned insider status with MLB … but its all within legal parameters. I’m terrible with titles … Joe has often helped with that!

  • mattbalasis

    You’re right, i miss-read it. Fixed it.
    Thanks.

  • I am really happy that in year 4, we are 14-11 and things are looking up. However, it is hard to say Alderson is gaming the system by knowing pitching matters most. I am fairly certain this has always been the case. The last few years the best National League teams have relied on pitching – see the Cardinals and two time World Champion Giants.

  • Marc Griggs

    I can’t agree that he’s gaming the system, as that implies that as with OBP being undervalued at the time, power pitching is the same – which is clearly wrong. Baseball is full of young power pitchers (heck even just in the NL East you’re tripping over them), as a result of strong athletes being pushed into pitching once the PED testing really started.

    When people talk about the coming young rotation as their winning strength, they’re ignoring that a lot of good teams already have rotations that stack up, but that are already performing rather than just being projections.

    It’s the right way to go, but it’s certainly not Alderson giving the Mets an edge no other team has – he’s just keeping pace.

  • CJM

    No problem. It’s something I’ve seen a lot of fans say, but it’s inaccurate. There is no doubt that Alderson’s connection with Roy Eisenhardt is what first got him involved with the A’s, though. Eisenhardt was Haas’s son-in-law and president on the A’s. He first hired Alderson as A’s general counsel. They were previously law partners.

  • Joey D.

    Hi Matt,

    As you probably suspected, I was going to disagree with you on some of what was attributed to Sandy Alderson LOL.

    ” His claim to fame in baseball circles revolves around his accomplishments in Oakland in the late 80’s when he overhauled their farm system propelling the team into contention”

    How could one be personally responsible for overhauling a farm system which had to begin in his early years as general manager if he admits he knew nothing about talent evaluation, let alone the professional aspects of the game (and to this day cannot give an opinion on one’s mechanics).

    “Alderson played two years of baseball during his undergraduate years at Dartmouth College, but he was hardly an expert in the ways of Major League Baseball. Still, Haas was one of the people who noticed Alderson’s work ethic, and Alderson was ready to pounce on the opportunity.

    ““Initially, it was just a matter of surviving,” Alderson recalled. “I had no credibility, but had to fall back on other things I had done. I got credit for being in the Marine Corps [including a tour of duty in Vietnam] and got some credit for having gone to Harvard Law School.””

    That revamping of the farm system was the combined effort of Dick Wiencek who was brought in to be in charge of scouting with Oakland the same time Sandy came in as general counsel, Walt Jocketty who was brought in to be in charge of the farm system also the same year as Sandy was hired as general counsel, Karl Kuehl, a former major league manager and coach who was appointed the Director of Player Development. It had nothing to do with Sandy

    ” then switched his emphasis to “sabermetric principles” after being ordered to slash payroll in the 90’s”

    Sandy admitted knowing little of the professional aspects of the game when he was appointed general manager of Oakland and said he began to learn by studying new methodologies and approaches. If Sandy did not emphasize sabermetric principles in the mid eighties, then how could it be even argued that he had a participating role in formulating baseball decisions outside the financial and legal aspects?

    He’s the business person who relies on probabilities to make his decisions.

    https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/new-york-mets-sandy-alderson-modern-business-baseball/

  • Opti-Mets-tic

    It means, that I could simply downvote every single post you made on this thread, which you’d never even know I did, thanks to the new Disqus policy. Or, I could type a “-10”, to show you that I downvoted every single post you’ve made on this thread.
    (FYI: I took the latter approach.)
    You are awesomely wrong on every point you’ve made.
    -11

  • DrewC

    Most of the Red Sox’s rotation was developed and part of the bullpen. I think you mean the Sox develop both hitters and pitcher as well as using free agency to fill holes on the roster.

  • DrewC

    Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval would disagree with you. You need a complete team to win it all.

  • seldomused

    Manaya and Phillips brought just that “a semblance of success.” But they are also responsible for the failures that followed. Phillips is responsible for the strong run in 1999 and WS in 2000, but also tried (unsuccessfully thankfully) to dump off Jose Reyes and David Wright for as a throw in and for Jose Cruz Jr. 2001-2003 were very forgettable years due to the state in which Phillips left the team.

    Manaya is responsible for the Mets 2005 – 2006 success, but also the collapses of 2007 and 2008 and the over the hill teams of 2009 and 2010. He threw money at players to get him here and paid no attention to major warning signs (see Jason Bay).

    Sandy takes over in 2010, and suffers through 3 straight years of pretty terrible teams. It’s expected when taking over from another GM that the first few years will be rough, especially since Manaya locked the team into a number of long term expensive contracts. The team is on the upswing now, but NY fans want success now. It’s not going to happen, we have to continue to be patient as frustrating as it is.

  • Eric Raffle

    He Invented the Emphasis on Pitching? Oakland, St Louis, and Tampa will be among contemporaries who will be delighted to emphasize “Sandy’s Discovery”….After They’ve already implemented an emphasis on Young, Cheap Arms.

    As long as I’ve been a Fan, “Pitching is 80% of Baseball”—or is it 90%????

  • mattbalasis

    Hi Joe,
    I said it was his “claim to fame,” not sure how well deserved it was. As the GM, he’s got to get some credit if only to say he put the right people in place, or retained the right people, letting the right people do their jobs so on and so forth. I think his forte if you will is organizational structure, consistency, sustainability … that sort of thing. He has clearly been able to influence a turn of events in just about all of our minor league affiliates for instance, most of these turns fueled by pitching. It’s hard to look into the nuts and bolts minutiae and come up with proper antecedents when you are looking at an operation as broad and diverse as a Major League baseball system … but he’s clearly a well respected guy who has had the clout to fend off both fan opinion (not to mention Jeff Wilpon’s meddlesome nature) and in a very “opportunistic” manner he’s managed to do something a lot of his predecessors didn’t, retain a healthy portion of up-and-coming prospects … something many of us have been clamoring for since Frank Cashen. I would at least give him credit for that. I do think (hope) all this pitching will pan out, I really do. We’ll know in the coming seasons.

  • Bob Walsh

    The power you have to hurt …

    Yes. I knew what it meant. Just wanted to see if you were so bereft that you would respond. And you are. And you did.

    Awesomely wrong … now that’s english!

  • MetsWatchman

    MFing^^^^THIS^^^^ Alec Benjamin…….truer words were never written here

  • Joey D.

    Hi John Q,
    But you are forgetting, that was the way the game had always been played, drawing walks was not underappreciated or undervalued by those inside the game as it was more or less something the fans did not want to pay to see. Bobby Ojeda explained it perfectly when he said hitters “take” walks, they do not try to “force” them. That is the way the game is played and specifically that is the proper way to approach the art of hitting because otherwise pitchers adapt to that and change their approach accordingly to exploit that and turn it into a batter’s weakness (as we have seen).
    And again, very little changes were made to the 2002 Oakland A’s. Their outstanding pitching staff was returning as well as most of their regulars. They were actually able to absorb the loss of Giambi and Damon because of the well balanced team they had which – most importantly – was young and still under contractual control by Oakland. Some players got more playing time and came through. There were only three players of note who were obtained from outside the organization. One was a free agent signing Scott Hatteberg. Another was acquired in a trade, David Justice. Both were adequate replacements for Giambi and Damon and contributed to the team effort but they were not major contributors. The third addition was in a mid July with the White Sox for a very good DH in Ray Durham.

  • somedude718

    “We Love Sandy”-merized Online is just awesome. Joe D, you missed the boat on April 1st!

  • skiplockweird

    I am an eternal optimist. I think the for wanted to sign someone quick to appease the fan base. I am sure his fielding ability came into play as well. He has also hit two Kingman like home runs.

  • Joey D.

    Hi Matt,
    Sorry if I misread what you were trying to say.
    Yes, with Oakland, that organizational skill came in the form of the business management of the franchise, running it as a corporation. That is what is needed now of a general manager with baseball being an $8 billion industry. The GM as you correctly point out is the public face of the club who gets the credit – but also then gets the blame – when probably neither is deserved.
    But the involvement into detailed baseball management really has to be left to those who know the business of baseball and not baseball as a business. And that is Sandy’s weak spot for those who have and still do work under him admit he insists in baseball matters being run a certain way and as his lecture this past Winter demonstrated, it is more analytical based on probabilities and that is not an education on baseball at it’s highest level because the use of stats are so superficial and do not explain the causation and because they are based on past performances, do not take into account one of many human aspects – that being that baseball players pick up on to these tendencies quicker than the statisticians do and already make adjustments to counteract them. So the knowing of probabilities is like knowing the results of yesterday’s races.

  • jason bay

    The trade was a “right now” trade and implicit in those trades in that there likely will be a back end cost and in this case the cost to us was that one of those prospects turned out to be exactly what we needed and didn’t have AND the last three years Johan took up 80 M of the payroll and from 2014-2020 he’s costing those teams 5 M a year (in deferred money) which is coming right of the top so all I’m saying is that that can’t be the only plan.

    We could also have had Payton, Everett, Bay, Cruz, and Gomez in the evolution of the OF along with Mora, Kazmir, Reyes, Wright, Bell, Lindstrom, Smith ect. for quite a number of years too so we can’t just look at one trade that worked out somewhat well.

  • jessepmmo

    My problem is you wouldn’t have an issue with the trade had Luis Ayala not been forced into a closers role or the team won 2 more games.

    You can’t play hindsight games like that. You’re just torturing yourself. There are decisions that get made that you can be mad at when they happen – but when you go and acquire a top 10 lefty starter and the best player in that deal didn’t become worth a damn until 6 years later he magically wakes up, you made the right move.

    In your world for the 5 years leading up to 2013 we’d have an OF with a .679 OPS. You’d also likely waste his athletic fielding ability in LF because you’d have Beltran in CF. So even Gomez’s positive attribute while he was a terrible hitter would be eliminated.

    As for Kazmir, they were right ABOUT him – just got the wrong value for him.

  • jason bay

    But let us not disregard the results of the Oakland farm system while Alderson was GM.

    Steinbach, McGwire, Tapani, Rod Beck, Scott Brosius, Mulder, Hudson, Chavez, Giambi, Miguel Tejada, Ramon Hernandez, Grieve and Walt Weiss.

    It’s easy to be critical but these are some pretty high end players here that Oakland developed and had they not where would the A’s be? they wouldn’t have been able to go out on the FA market for a couple pitchers like Hudson and Mulder or a 3B like Chavez or SS like Tejada.

    For the Oakland A’s the farm system was do or die and under Alderson’s direction they did and it is important to remember that they have qualified for the post season 11 times since 1988 while we’ve qualified 4 times with vastly superior budgets during most of that period.

    Alderson’s team also qualified for 3 consecutive World Series.

    We should be so blessed.

  • skiplockweird

    Yeah, that two. It just goes to show how fickle bullpens are. Two years ago, we were the only team that wanted him. Now we pitch him every day.

  • jason bay

    Making decisions that are more informed has been a long standing problem with the Mets so I for am glad more thought is being put into acqusitions as opposed to less.

    Even with an extremely limited budget Alderson has gotten good performance out of Chris Young (pitcher), Capuano, Izzy, Cedeno, Hairston, Hefner, Hawkins, Byrd, Recker, Torres without having to give up anything to get it so while some celebrate the mistakes we must also remember the successes, not to mention the context (very little money)

  • jason bay

    In a rational farm system Carlos Gomez wouldn’t have been in the Majors until 2010 when he was 24 (as will probably be the case with Puello and was with Lagares) which gives them a chance to be productive.

    Gomez, Fern, Milledge, ect had no business being rushed up the way they were and I am not saying the trade wasn’t one that I would do.

    All I’m saying is that it came with a cost (or risk if you prefer) and that it helped from 2009-2011 and hurt us from 2011-2013 in two ways (payroll and the loss of Gomez) and 2011-who knows with just the loss of Gomez and when ALL your deals are slanted that way (present Vs. future) you have no chance to sustain anything.

  • jason bay

    Phillips took over a team on the upswing (on pace to win 88) and a miniscule payroll which allowed him to add. He was also the beneficiary of large scale salary dumping by the Marlins which is not so much a plan as it was good fortune.

    Three and half years after his hiring the wheels came off until we wound up 66-95 in his 6th season which is where a GM would most be able to have influenced the results.

    Phillips’ success came at a point where he could LEAST influence the results aside from trading the farm and buying players with the owners checkbook which realistically anyone can do.

    Alderson took his team to 3 consecutive World Series (year 5, 6 and 7 of his tenure) and won one of them.

  • jason bay

    Any player that we would like to trade for right now was once a prospect and most were available to us but we passed for a number of reasons. Cost, need, speed and the ridiculous notion that we could just buy other teams former all Stars and use that as our farm system.

    Prospects don’t all pan out but you need some of them to do so or forget about it, your not going anywhere.

    ’99 and ’00 don’t happen without Fonzie and Ordonez and ’06 doesn’t without Reyes and Wright but ultimately what got us was being too hasty.

  • mattbalasis

    You mean like the Giants?

  • mattbalasis

    RA was not a pitching prospect.

  • CJM

    They had great balance in their two WS years. If you noticed, they missed the playoffs when a key offensive cog (Posey) went down. It’s hard to win on pitching alone. Balance is key. And I’m sure Alderson will try to build a balanced team.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    Only if you’re over 16.

  • Opti-Mets-tic

    So wrong, it leaves me in awe. Makes sense to me.

    -12

  • Bob Walsh

    A rather odd avatar that goes with your silly name.

    Yet the image goes with you.

    I’m negative -25 you. You big bully.

  • SteveFromNorfolk

    If you’re speaking of Kevin Tapani, he came up in the Mets system – I saw him pitch here enough. He went to Minnesota in the Frank Viola trade.

  • SteveFromNorfolk

    The Rays should move to Montreal. I’d bet they’d get a new stadium from them.

  • SteveFromNorfolk

    Las Vegas is not exactly a pitcher’s park.

  • Captain America

    Glad he grabbed travis instead of jp

  • Opti-Mets-tic

    Sweet. I win.

  • john q

    Yeah, I agree with about 95% of what you wrote and I thought you made some very good points.

    Yeah, I don’t get the whole “Sandy never played argument”. It seems rather irrelevant to me seeing that most successful G.M.’s never played pro ball and if they did it was usually at a fairly low level. Frank Cashen, Buzzy Bavasi, and John Schurholz never played pro ball. I don’t think George Weiss or Bing Devine or Larry Macphail played either. Pat Gillick might have played a bit in the low minors. Branch Rickey played a bit for the St. Louis Browns but nothing remarkable.

    I don’t think just assembling young pitching talent is “exploiting” the system. It’s basically something every team could do.

    I think the Yankees “exploit” the baseball system by using their economic advantage to maintain enormous payrolls. And they Yankees can also take huge risks like signing foreign players or free agents and just write them off if they don’t succeed. No other team in baseball can take risks like that without consequences.

    If anything the Mets have been largely inept historically at exploiting their economic advantage. And this comes directly from ownership. The Mets have also had a bit of bad luck and timing as they existed for 10 of their first 15 years with a draft an no amateur free agency.

    Then Joan Payson died just as professional free agency was beginning and her daughters had no clue in running a baseball team and ran the team into the ground. Payson would have aggressively used her money to purchase players and would have never let Tom Seaver go.

    When Doubleday/Wilpon took over they were reluctant to get into free agency because the team was in shambles and then when they finally did it was the George Foster trade/free agency debacle.

    They agreed to go in on collusion which was just ridiculous for a team in NYC.

    They finally did go full force into free agency and had the Vince Coleman/Bobby Bonilla debacle.

    I could go on but you know the rest of the history.

  • jason bay

    Oakland was the team that drafted him however.

  • jason bay

    Alderson has gone over slot with pitchers Whalen, Flexen and Oswalt in the early middle rounds.

    We also got the Stankewicz pick back the following year with either ,Meisner or Ivan Wilson plus there is Mazzoni, Verrett, Bowman, Fulmer, Church, Welch, lots of guys.

  • jason bay

    The last thing any GM is, is UPFRONT.

    Any smart one at least.

    it is also a shame that we don’t Josh Thole starting at catcher and RA’s 5+ ERA in the rotation.

  • jason bay

    Tell me about it.

    In prior years it would have been Oh we can get Arencibia and Gose. Catcher check, OFer check and their ready right now.

    Whoh hoo!

  • Captain America

    JP is awful

  • Joey D.

    Hi Eric,

    That is an important point I think so many are missing. Sandy does speak of when he was trying to acquire a deep understanding of the game professionally, he was doing so in terms of analytical possibilities and questioning that of conventional wisdom.

    So that lawyer who was not a baseball person but an outsider went on to “discover” things that the insiders never knew? Or rather than “discovering” anything, he was able to recognize the more important nature of certain aspects of the game, i.e., “revelations” that were overlooked or under appreciated by those named Stengel, Durocher, Martin, Hodges, Alston, Weaver, McCarthy, McGraw and countless others who had spent a lifetime in the game?

    What Sandy “discovered” was simply what he himself did not understand had already been part of the strategic baseball lexicon. But what he fails to understand is when one tries to create more ways to make things happen without the understanding of WHY things occur to begin with, that only messes up the mechanism as we are seeing with the Mets and with hitting in general with what has been called trying going up to the plate with the notion of “forcing” a walk instead of the notion of “taking” a walk. Offense is down with 3.96 runs per game per team in the national league with the average hitter now batting a dismal .245, strikeouts up to nearly one more per contest than last season and the median ERA’s down a quarter of a run from last year.

    It can’t be all due to better pitching.

  • john q

    Joey D,

    I have to wholeheartedly disagree with you about the history of On-Base percentage and drawing walks. Those were largely overlooked skills and terribly marginalized for years. There were a few people who might look at those stats but it was all about the so-called “Triple Crown Stats”: Hr, RBI an Avg.

    People for the most part felt that walks were just a by-product of bad pitching and that the batter had little to do with it. They also greatly underestimated the value of a walk. A walk has roughly 70-80% of the value of a single whereas most people in baseball used to give a walk about 10% the value of a single.

    This also goes to show why players like Tim Raines, Lou Whitaker, Bobby Grich, Alan Trammell, Reggie Smith, Sal Bando, Willie Randolph, Darrell Evans, Dwight Evans, Jim Edmonds, Kenny Lofton, Keith Hernandez were such underrated players.

    Yeah, I don’t disagree with your comments about the 2002 A’s. That’s a problem that the movie created because they needed a simplistic storyline. The book gets much more in-detail about the subject matter.

  • john q

    Yeah, The Mets acquired Tapani in a 3 team trade between the A’s, Mets and Dodgers in the Jessie Orosco trade.

  • john q

    Alderson was also the G.M when the A’s had the best record in baseball from 1986-1992. They won 1 WS, 3 A.L. championships, and 4 division titles back when there were 7 teams in the A.L. west.

    You can also add Mike Bordick to that last of players the A’s drafted.

    And remember he took over an A’s team that was horrible and a pitching staff that was decimated by Billy Martin.

  • Eric Raffle

    Joey D…. I generally take more issue with the uninformed admiration of Sandy than I do with Sandy and his Troika themselves. ….and when they congratulate themselves on “new stats” liKe “Bases Per Out”…well, this is not a new idea—much as PITCHING is not a new idea!!!

    Between Sandy and Depo and Ricciardi, they have 3-5 winning seasons in their COMBINED past 10 years of baseball—-it’s not a good Record. I hope they’ll SHUT UP and do more/better

  • Joey D.

    Hi John Q.,

    I am in agreement with you if you are talking from a fan perspective and with stats. I said those were important aspects that were not under appreciated by those who played the game but looked over by the fans and the media who talked in terms of stats to mostly measure performance.

    Those of us who got to understood the game more as we got older began to appreciate those aspects of the game and that’s why we looked forward to Kiner’s Korner for a more astute conversation of the game just concluded. What many heard during his Sunday afternoon visits with Gary, Keith and Ron was what real baseball was all about and when stats were used, they were used just in terms of reference and no more.

    Batting titles, ERA leaders, home run leaders – those are nice personal marks to shoot for and to have one’s name appear in the record books. We all like them. We all wanted Jose to win the batting title in 2011. But there is a difference between the superficial understanding of stats by the fan base in their use of understanding the game and the understanding of the game by the players and managers who take it to a whole new level and do not approach the game in terms of stats at all other than for personal gratification.

    They approach it in the way Ralph Kiner taught us to do so. They always did and the proof is how within the circles of the games, those players on your list were so well respected by their peers. It’s just that quite often these aspects of the game can appear not to be so glamorous to the casual fan – which is why I think so many don’t appreciate it when compared to let us say football when not every position is called a “skill position”. No such thing in baseball.

  • jason bay

    Thanks John,

    Again and again you are the most informative and knowledgeable poster on MMO.

    Obviously Alderson did a great job building the A’s, then had to tear it down and built it up again for Beane.

    Very impressive work.

  • joeyd1966

    According to joey d who you were debating with earlier, Alderson had absolutely nothing to do with the baseball decisions made in Oakland. He handled the business end while the teams assistant and advisor Bill Rigney put the team on the field together. All he ever posts is about Sandy not having any knowledge of the game and only understands the game through a study of statistics. For some reason he gets his shorts in a knot when people give him credit for being the architect of that team but all the research I’ve done contradicts everything joey says. To me it makes no sense for the A’s to hire Alderson as GM and Vice President of Baseball Operations only to disallow him to make personnel decisions and let the guy Alderson replaced to make the decisions. Especially when there’s quotes from Bill Rigney himself saying things like”Sandy will make a decision on it soon”.

  • Joey D.

    Hi John Q.,

    I am in agreement with you if you are talking from a fan perspective and with stats. I said those were important aspects that were not under appreciated by those who played the game but looked over by the fans and the media who talked in terms of stats to mostly measure performance.

    Those of us who got to understood the game more as we got older began to appreciate those aspects of the game and that’s why we looked forward to Kiner’s Korner for a more astute conversation of the game just concluded. What many heard during his Sunday afternoon visits with Gary, Keith and Ron was what real baseball was all about and when stats were used, they were used just in terms of reference and no more.

    Batting titles, ERA leaders, home run leaders – those are nice personal marks to shoot for and to have one’s name appear in the record books. We all like them. We all wanted Jose to win the batting title in 2011. But there is a difference between the superficial understanding of stats by the fan base in their use of understanding the game and the understanding of the game by the players and managers who take it to a whole new level and do not approach the game in terms of stats at all other than for personal gratification.

    They approach it in the way Ralph Kiner taught us to do so. They always did and the proof is how within the circles of the games, those players on your list were so well respected by their peers. It’s just that quite often these aspects of the game can appear not to be so glamorous to the casual fan – which is why I think so many don’t appreciate it when compared to let us say football when not every position is called a “skill position”. No such thing in baseball.

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    Well you didnt state prospect….but if thats your argument he hasnt really traded any prospects. Pitcher or hitter so…….

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    Not sure you caught this but there was harm and foul……Did you see the team record??? And the empty stadium???Lot a lot of money

  • Joey D.

    Hi Eric,

    That is a frustration we both share. It’s not so much those who embrace a new way of looking at things statistically that upsets me as it those who try to re-write history and make it seem that Sandy and those like him changed the way baseball was seen from the inside. It’s just Sandy being associated with Oakland that he gets credit for developing a farm system and for the players who were drafted while he was GM. What input could he have had with no knowledge of player evaluation and with the personnel firmly set in place to build up that farm system, individuals with extensive baseball backgrounds.

    So why does he get the credit? Because he was lucky to be appointed the General Manager based on his management skills for a position that was being defined as changing to a corporate perspective from that of a baseball mode? What was his part? The people who were directing the mechanism were already in place doing their job.

    Again, Sandy deserves the credit for helping to shape the Oakland organization into one of the top business models in the game. That is no small achievement considering the status of the A’s when new ownership took over. There is nothing wrong with giving him kudos for that. But with developing and reshaping the farm system and the scouting system that led to their excellent draft picks? The kudos for that goes to the others mentioned in my reply to Matt. It goes to those who ran the farm system and the scouting department who were already there, not to the one who authorized the checks or went over the legal documents. There is also no shame in saying that, either and that is not being disrespectful of Sandy. It is simply giving kudos to the proper individuals.

    But I do believe I understand why Sandy feels so confident in his knowledge of the game which many of us can see is very superficial.

    He sees baseball in the same analytical manner he applies to other venues in life in which he has found success, i.e., business, economics, management, law.

    The problem is that one has to be open minded enough to know that methodologies which can be applied rather successfully to certain areas cannot also work in others, in this case a reliance on statistics to use as the basis of coming to a correlative conclusion. We have witnessed way too often occurrences in areas more serious
    than baseball where steps taken based on statistical guidance void of so much vital understanding of the actual ebb and flow of events occurring around them finished up with results of a completely different universe than the “probabilities” that were forecast with such confidence.

    Remember Allan Greenspan and how his word was taken as gold? As the New York Times reported, that image fell apart after his direct failure to heed warnings regarding 2008 recession and, for example, housing:

    “But as the Fed slashed interest rates to nearly record lows from 2001 until mid-2004, housing prices climbed far faster than inflation or household income year after year. By 2004, a growing number of economists were warning that a speculative bubble in home prices and home construction was under way, which posed the risk of a housing bust.

    “Mr. Greenspan brushed aside worries about a potential bubble, arguing that housing prices had never endured a nationwide decline and that a bust was highly unlikely.”

    Probabilities based on what never happened in the past brushed aside the warnings by many based on what they were seeing instead?

    Greenspan speaking about the recession in general even admitted “This modern risk-management paradigm held sway for decades. The whole intellectual edifice, however, collapsed in the summer of last year.”

    The definition of paradigm according to Miriam Webster is “a theory or a group of ideas about how something should be done, made, or thought about”.

    So getting back to the less serious subject of baseball, it is still important to understand how much the statistically unknown influences the causes and events of the game and therefore conventional wisdom should never be questioned to the extent that Sandy does.
    Conventional wisdom should never be ridiculed as one getting nervous when being approached with an idea based on a “gut reaction” as Sandy Alderson said he does.

    That is a combination of disrespect and one being so arrogant to a point that it will not allow him to question himself or be aware of his own limitations.

    Not that I think most of us care anymore, but attached is that TIMES article from 2008 regarding Greenspan if anyone wishes to look at it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/24/business/economy/24panel.html?_r=0

  • skiplockweird

    Get over it bud.

  • john q

    Thanks, J. Bay.

    Yeah, I mean people can like him or not, everyone is entitiled to their opinion but when they start to marginalize his success with Oakland…..well, that’s just being tremendously disingenuous.

    The A’s went 643-491with a .567 win% from 1986-1992 which was the best record in baseball. People try to criticize him by saying that they only won “1” WS. Ok they only won “1” but the only team to win 2 during that period was the Twins. The A’s won 3 A.L. Championships no other team won more than 2. They won 4 Division titles, no other team won more than 3.

    And really the main reason that they went downhill in the 90’s was from the growing economic disparities between the big and small market clubs.

    Reacquiring R. Henderson, the Eckersley trade and the Harold Baines trades were great trades but lets not make him infallible because he made some real clunkers while in Oakland that came back to bite him in the ass.

    He traded a 21 year Jose Rijo for an over the hill Dave Parker. He traded Tim Belcher for an over the hill Rick Honeycut. He traded Jay Howell and Kevin Tapani for Bob Welch. He traded a young Stan Javier for a couple months of Willie Randolph. He traded relief pitchers Rod Beck and Dave Veres for nothing. He traded Darren Lewis for a 30 year old Ernest Riles.

    A very bitter irony is that he traded away quite a few players to the Dodgers prior to 1988 and they eventually beat the A’s in the World Series that year. Jay Howell & Tim Belcher were key members of that team Jessie Orosco came over from the Mets in that 3 team trade with the A’s. Alfredo Griffin was pretty terrible in that series but he came over from the A’s.

    Then the worst bitter pill was that he traded away Jose Rijo who was the best pitcher on the 1990 Reds. He was also outstanding in the World Series and won the MVP against the A’s. Rijo is one of those guys that you kind of forget because he never really had great w-l records but there was a time from 1988-1994 where he was the second best pitcher in baseball behind Roger Clemens.

    Rijo had this amazing 1993 that everyone overlooked because he got terrible run support and played on a bad defense team. K. Mitchell in left and R. Kelly in CF. Sabo at 3b and Hal Morris at 1b. Juan Samuel was the 2b. Then there were all these other below average defenders that came in and out. He lost a game giving up 0 earned runs striking out 7 with 0 walks. He lost another game where he gave up 2 earned runs, with 5 k’s, 0 BB. He lost another game with 1 earned run, 11 k’s, 2 bb. He lost another game with 2 earned runs, 10 k’s, 1bb. He had a no-decision 1 earned run, 9 k’s, 2bb. He had a no-decision, 3 earned runs, 10 k’s, 2 bb, He had a no-decision, 3 earned runs 9 k’s, 0 bb. He had a no-decision, 2 earned runs 6 k’s, 1bb. He had a no-decision, 1 earned run, 8k’s, 2bb. He had a no-decision, 1 earned run, 4 k’s, 3 bb. He had a no-decision, 1 earned run, 3 k’s, 4 bb. He had a no-decision, 2 earned runs, 7 k’s, 2bb. Those are 12 games he should have easily won. Even if he splits those games and goes 6-6, he would have finished the season 20-11 instead of 14-9.

    I can understand also how the whole “moneyball” thing became so big and blown out of proportion that Alderson became a huge target.

  • ray sadecki

    Hi Eric,

    Its not new, It just something that the Mets GMs of the last 30 years have forgotten about. I remember a recent GM saying pitching and defense is what we need, and young athletic players. He then filled the team up with a lot of old players who were not so athletic and pitchers who were not very good.

  • jason bay

    Good retort Bob

    Did Your buddy Jeff give you that one or did you come up with it yourself.

  • jason bay

    Live on ’86 all you want but the rest of us want a year in year out legitimate contender.

    It’s almost 30 years.

  • jason bay

    Dykstra made no secret if his steroid usage. Even told the press about “those real good vitamins.”

  • Joey D.

    Hi John Q.,

    That was an amazing and in-depth look at trades that went against Oakland in the long-run as well. Explains in part why the team aged virtually overnight and tanked after the 1992 season.

    I do think it is wrong for anyone to not admire Oakland for that great seven year run which began with their first winning ways in 1986 and continued through1992. Our only disagreement is the role that Sandy played in it regarding the actual baseball aspects of the game as opposed to the business management structure in which he was deeply involved in. As mentioned, the right people were already in place when he came on board heading the farm system, player development and scouting. Juan Marichal also came on staff in 1984 as Director of Scouting for Latin America. Then there was again Bill Rigney, whom Sandy said as far as Oakland’s success was concerned was the one who most deserved to be singled out being involved in every trade since he joined the organization.

    So I do think it is unfair for those to put Oakland down in relation to whatever dispute we might have regarding the role Sandy played in it regarding business management versus player management.

    As mentioned, the eighties ushered in an era of the new type of general manager – the corporate type, the CEO, many of whom were without the baseball background on a professional level but the business level on the highest plateau. This describes Sandy and he has described himself in that manner as well so it is not making anything up. With these individuals, baseball matters, as many owners stressed, had to be left to others until the GM himself took over the reigns of negotiating with player agents and other business related matters.

    Then there were some with the business background who had experience as college players or sports writers and had a love for the game and started working their way up within the organization. They were the types who could understand and become more of a player in the baseball decision making process if their workloads allowed them to.

    Last I checked, only three of the thirty current GMs were former players. And if we use Omar as an example, we know he was not a good business person. Some have questioned Ruben Amaro, Jr’s business credentials in Philadelphia as well but I cannot comment on that one way or the other.

    Sandy was needed, as were his contemporaries, because baseball was growing so big it could no longer be handled like a small business. Even the Mets, with all their financial woes, are now worth approximately $800 million. One needs a corporate CEO to run that show on a full time basis. As mentioned to Eric, it appears Sandy also tries to involve himself more in setting the tone for baseball operations but with his limited knowledge centered on probabilities I do feel he would be better allowing the baseball people he hired determine how the Met organization should move forward instead and not trying to leave his mark in that area.

  • jason bay

    You sound like your having a meltdown fruitcake.

    If you can’t defend your position without resorting to insults that are beneath even 3rd graders abilities the you have no chance with me.

    Grab some pine loser.

  • jason bay

    Honesty is something you wouldn’t be able to recognize.

    Dykstra was on the juice and after your rant you’ll claim you forgot about him.

    Yeah right.

  • jason bay

    You never had any to lose fruitcake.

  • jason bay

    It means your a fruitcake.

  • jason bay

    That’s good because your not capable of rational thought.

  • jason bay

    Agree

  • jason bay

    Probably because we haven’t developed one for ourselves since Strawberry who was drafted in ’81 concentrating on more immediate results with Hildago, Garcia, Spencer, Sullivan, Diaz, Feliciano, Church, Francouer…..

    You know the type of acquisitions your so in love with.

  • jason bay

    Like you know that Alderson demanded we draft a position player.

    LOL, what were you in the War Room during the draft?

    The story as everyone has read it is that then Scouting Director Chad McDonald loved Nimmo and that’s the way we went.

    Better than spending it on another Bay huh?

  • jason bay

    Stockpiling pitching would include trading for pitching and signing pitchers internationally.

    Wheeler, Montero, Mateo and Syndergaard would be examples of that.

    Draft wise there is Mazzoni, Verrett, Fulmer, Church, Koch, Leathersich, Meisner, Bowman, Welch, Whalen, Flexen, Oswalt (the last 3 of which were over slot signings) and tons more.

    Another example of stock piling pitching would be extending Niese and not trading pitchers, Dickey being the only pitcher traded and with his performance, not to mention what we got for him, that was a great job although we know how much you loved Thole.

    So yeah, he has been stockpiling pitching, that is obvious to anyone with a single functioning brain cell but he is also getting us a large number of potential impact position players which was something that happend only sporadically around here before he arrived.

  • jason bay

    Using existing assets in the most productive possible way is what a GM should do.

    Minaya could have done the same thing with Piazza, Glavine, Floyd, Cameron, Matsui…..

  • JimmyBX

    Actually, I MADE you leave. Tell the truth, son. It will set you free from the hate that sits inside your heart. 🙂

  • Fonzie

    You have an excellent memory John Q. That’s quite a bit of information in one post. So many people claim Alderson only won with a large payroll but at that time all 26 teams could compete for the same players. It wasn’t like the ate 90’s where teams like Pittsburgh and KC were farm systems for big market clubs. Payrolls were separated from team to team by only a few million not 50-100 million like it was a decade after Alderson left the A’s. Many also forget the core of young controllable players he left Billy Beane. It’s unreal how Joey D just refuses to give the guy credit for anything he’s accomplished by falsely giving the credit to the wrong people. It was Alderson’s vision that built that team not Bill Rigney. He changed the way the A’s operated a a franchise just like he’s changed the way the Mets have operated foolishly for years. It amazes me that so many can’t or just plain refuse to see this and go as far as making things up to rewrite history. Hopefully Alderson has learned from some of the mistakes that you’ve pointed out and does an even better job with the Mets when all is said and done.

  • Fonzie

    You already posted a link inadvertantly pointing out the person that was in charge of the business end in Oakland the last time you posted a link that had Bill Rigney saying Sandy will make his decision after a roster study is conducted by the player personnel department, a department that was headed by none other than Sandy Alderson. Or are you going to subject the readers here to the same old BS for the next ten years. Fun Fact. No one gives a sh**, get on with your life already.

  • john q

    Joey D,

    Yeah the rapid demise of that A’s team was pretty severe. That was a team that dominated in the late 80’s early 90’s (1987-1992 .583%) and then they were a 68 win team in ’93. They got old very fast and their pitching was shot. Eckersly was shot after ’92, McGwire was injured and missed most of 1993-94. Canseco & Weiss were traded. Baines left via free agency. Lansford, Steinbach and W. Wilson were old. Stewart and Welch were shot. R. Henderson got old and was on his walk year. Todd Van Poppel was a massive bust.

    That team was really an end of an era, the1969-1993 divisional era. That was a time period where relatively small market teams like the Orioles, Reds, A’s, Pirates and Royals were among the most dominant teams in baseball. Only the Yankees, Dodgers and Phillies were among the big market teams that were dominant . That was a time period when the Blue Jays actually won as many division & WS titles as the Yankees and they weren’t even in existence until 1977.

    What happened after that, 1993/1994 was the influx of massive cable t.v. money which completely altered the balance towards the big market clubs. Also you had the massive influx of steroids/home runs which fueled the t.v. ratings.

    I think you’re also right about your description of Alderson in the early-mid 80’s. He was probably the first of the new breed of baseball G.M’s. Well, the position had to change drastically because of free agency. It was a completely different game when you could sign Willie Mays and then “force” him to play for you and essentially pay him whatever you want because Mays had no recourse. So the emphasis before free agency was in scouting and player development.

    A lot of teams were very slow in acknowledging the changing impact of free agency and the A’s were on the cutting edge of that change. The Mets on the other were reluctant to acknowledge the change and were actually stupidly obstinate about it which resulted in the debacle which became the 1977-1979 De Roulet fiasco. Some of the stuff is tragically comical in retrospect. They were brutal to Tom Seaver over what $100-200 grand???? By the time Doubleday/Wilpon bought the team, they were in complete free-fall mode which would last another 4 seasons until they could finally rebound in ’84.

  • mattbalasis

    Interesting discussion. I’m going to try and respond as briefly as I can bearing in mind this could probably be it’s own article. I think if you get bogged down in a discussion about OBP and plate discipline when you’re talking about Alderson you are largely missing the point. I think Alderson’s influence in baseball matters is highly overstated. DePo and JP wouldn’t have been brought on were this not the case. I think SA gives DePo and JP a healthy dose of autonomy. Alderson is really about streamlining of the organization towards singular aims. The purpose may be getting on base, or not being afraid to throw strikes, or coachability and intelligence, or some combination … the philosophy almost doesn’t matter, SA’s responsibility is to put a system in place that will effectively support (at every level) whatever the philosophy may be … Chain of command, conformity of purpose, cohesion and coordination across departments, these are all integral to one of the larger tenets of what we consider the “moneyball” approach: building desirable stats into a system in the aggregate — not just in a few select players but across entire rosters. Alderson is in charge of the delivery system, DePo and JP are tasked with coming up with a message. If the delivery system is not in place, the message will never get across to your players … so it’s important, maybe as important as the philosophy itself, and maybe even more so. Philosophies and trends may come and go, but how we get them across to our players/students/clients/constituents is vital to whether or not they are actually heard, learned, and implemented.

  • OriginalLadyMet

    90%+⚾️ That’s because we are fans of a team in the National League- where pitching has always been the emphasis. Not so much in the AL, from my memory( Met fan since 1962, so the memories are up & down❗️)

  • john q

    Fonzie, My memory is pretty good but I used the internet for a lot of that stuff.

    The big difference in the early 90’s was the influx of local cable t.v. money which drastically altered the balance of power between the big market clubs and the smaller market clubs. It’s hard to remember now but the Royals actually had the biggest payroll in baseball in 1990. What’s often forgotten about the strike of 1994-95 was that it was battle on two fronts: Players vs. Owners and Big Market vs. Small Market teams. The Players and the Big Market market teams won. What’s often forgotten is the battle be Big and Small market teams.

    The influx of cable t.v. money enabled the Yankees and the Braves to fuel and sustain their 1990’s-2000’s dynasties. Former powerhouse dominant teams of the divisional era (1969-93, Orioles, Reds, Pirates, A’s, Blue Jays & Royals) largely became irrelevant during that time period. It was only through desperation and “Moneyball” that the A’s were able to become relevant.

    I’ve said it before but the Mets largely squandered this advantage during the 1990’s-2000’s. The Mets were reluctant to get involved in the early 90’s and then foolishly squandered their money and getting burned on the Bonilla & V. Coleman deals. Then incredibly scared and panicked they went into hibernation mode and didn’t start to spend money until the late 1990’s. Then they foolishly went into a 2nd hibernation mode in the early 2000’s instead of signing A-Rod.

  • Connor O’Brien

    ““What?” You say, incredulous. “But we’ve assembled a Moneyball dream team, they’re all about OBP, getting on base, taking walks.” That perception is not only wrong now, for reasons I will illustrate shortly, it’s not even an accurate description of Moneyball back then.”

    Sabermetrics has never really been centere around OBP, at least not over the past decade. Maybe OBP was a simple way to explain to the fans, but there are much better stats that teams have been using such as wOBA, wRC+, and others. People can spend all the time they want using the faults of OBP to discredit sabermetrics when in reality, it hasn’t been about that.
    Great points Matt about the pitching. In a changing game, Alderson is seeing (r appears to have seen) how valuable pitching is going forward. With steroids gone, it’s going to be much harder to find durable players. Finding big pitchers like Syndergaard who can (we hope) give you 200+ innings will be important.

  • joeyd1966

    That’s the perception because pro saber folks know just how important it is to get on base. If you’re a pro saber guy then you’re a pro obp guy, they go hand in hand.

  • Connor O’Brien

    It’s important to get on base in high quantities and with quality hits. If you have a .350 OBP but a really low slugging percentage, unless you are stealing bases or fielding really well, you’re not that great of a player. The same goes for someone with a .500 slugging percentage and a .200 OBP. The most productive players strike a great balance. wOBA

  • Fonzie

    According to Joey D Alderson did nothing but handle contracts. He left the baseball matters to others. LMFAO.

    This is how it went.
    A’s owner Walter Haas- Sandy how would you like to be GM of my A’s
    Sandy- Shoot, hell yeah
    Walter Haas-Okay good then but you can’t make any baseball decisions
    Sandy- Well umm why?
    Walter Haas- Because you don’t know anything about baseball
    Sandy- Whatya mean, I’ll do my best to score as many touchdown goals as possible
    Walter Haas- Don’t you worry we will have others make these decisions for you.
    Sandy- Well then why even name me GM.
    Walter Haas- That’s a question you should ask Joey D, he knows exactly what’s going to happen behind closed doors for the next 15 years

  • mattbalasis

    Totally agree here, and for the record I err on the side of statistics in a general sense, perception be damned! That being said, I think the discussion in so far as SA’s role in reality probably has little to do with nuts and bolts stat-crunching. As I posted in a thread below, I think Alderson’s influence in baseball matters is highly overstated. I think DePo and JP wouldn’t have been brought on were this not the case. Does SA insist on certain philosophies & parameters? Probably, but at this stage in the game SA has as much experience in player acquisition & development as the next MLB executive, if not more, and with the exception a few select guiding principles I think SA gives DePo and JP a healthy dose of autonomy. What I saw in the changes Alderson instituted initially and which he’s gone about consolidating since then, are what he is really about, streamlining of the organization towards singular aims. It almost doesn’t matter what the aims are or whether they’re stat based or scout based or observation based or some combination, what’s important is that an organizational STRUCTURE be in place that serves to inform a uniformity of purpose down to the last man. The purpose may be getting on base, or not being afraid to throw strikes, or coachability and intelligence, or whatever might give you a competitive edge moving forward … the philosophy almost doesn’t matter in regards to SA’s responsibility, which is to implement a system that will effectively support (at every level) whatever the philosophy (the mission) may be. Sounds like the military? Probably because it is … Chain of command, conformity of purpose, cohesion and coordination across departments, these are all integral to one of the larger tenets of what we consider the “moneyball” approach: building desirable stats into a system in the aggregate — not just in a few select players but across entire rosters. This is not new. Most organizations are trying to do this on some level. The Twins approach for instance is cultivating strike-throwers across all levels … So, the way I understand it, Alderson is in charge of the delivery system, DePo and JP are tasked with coming up with a message. It is no small task to streamline an organization’s structure to such an extent that changes and approaches can be implemented quickly and uniformly across multiple levels in cities across the country. If the delivery system is not in place, the message will never get across to your players … so it’s important, maybe as important as the philosophy itself, and maybe even more so. Philosophies and trends may come and go, but how we get them across to our players/students/clients/constituents is vital to whether or not they are actually heard, learned, and implemented. In fact, I’ve often wondered whether an optimized organizational structure is itself “the new moneyball,” because that was such a presiding focus of Sandy Alderson when he was initially brought in.

  • jason bay

    LOL Fonzie,

    He is also very good at comparing the answers to two different questions, posed to two different people at two different times and then…….surprise of all surprises, getting two different answers.

    These findings are then methodically transcribed and meticulously reported on exposing, not Alderson,…….but himself as some kind of a kook.

  • Donal

    Just pointing out that Matt was incorrect with his assertion. And I think you need more than 2 hitters to be a complete team.

  • Donal

    Thanks for telling us about geeks who say meaningless things, anonymous guy on the internet!

  • Donal

    Unfortunately, he was a victim of his own fast start. He couldn’t come out tell the media “ya, that was kind of a fluke. We’ve got talent, but we aren’t built for the long hall. We’re better off regrouping and bringing in complimentary pieces for Wright and Reyes and Beltran from within.” especially with the owner’s son undermining him at every turn.

  • Connor O’Brien

    What do you know about sabermetrics that makes you say that? What kind of reading have you done on it?

  • Tejesh

    This comment couldn’t be more stupid if it tried. Sabermetrics is
    nothing of the sort, it’s advanced statistics meant to tell you how much
    a player is worth beyond the triple slash, HRs, RBIs, wins, losses and
    ERA.

    Moneyball = finding and bringing in talent that is
    currently undervalued in the marketplace, a way to cheaply contend.
    We’re still in that process. Please learn a little before sounding like a
    dumbass. Thanks.

  • astoriacub

    you have NO idea what you’re talking about.

  • astoriacub

    fantastic, insightful post, Matt.

  • Connor O’Brien

    29 teams use sabermetrics (possibly 30) so yes.

    Do some actual research on the stats before you call them meaningless.

  • NeedNewOwners

    Read the first bunch of posts and here we go again with the Sabremetrics Geekoids and Nerds that dominate this board. You people have ruined the human side of the game and turned it into a programmed, overly analytical bore filled with soulless creeps like Sandy Alderson. Go back to the Star Trek conventions please, or retreat to your parents basement and stop killing the rest of us with your over the top arrogance. Thank you very much for just going away quietly. Go ruin soccer or hockey, please.

  • NeedNewOwners

    Go Fred! Tell it like it is!

  • NeedNewOwners

    Wow, you are one obnoxious geek.

  • Connor O’Brien

    For pointing out that the two things are diffrrent?

    It is undeniable that they are so…

  • Connor O’Brien

    Sabermetrics are “poor mans stats”? Hardly.

  • NeedNewOwners

    Blah blah blah. What are you even talking about?

  • Connor O’Brien

    Sabermetrics isnt about OBP like many people uneducated on it think.

    I thought I wrote in english but maybe not… everyone else understood.

  • NeedNewOwners

    It is the immediate usage of the terms stupid and dumbass that get my back up. All of you sabre people are filled with your high and mighty intellectual arrogance and are always quick to put down others. Your brand of baseball is a complete bore and is breeding mediocre teams like the Mets.

  • Sylow59

    1) People into Sabermetrics (and who use them corectly) are educated. They tend to be highly compensated individuals in their day jobs.

    2) The bridges you drive over, the cars you drive, the trains and planes you take, the TV sets you watch, the kitchen appliances you use, the prescription drugs you take, the doctors you see, the lawyers you use for whatever stupid thing you did, and the computars you use to post insults were all designed by geekoids and nerds. Try getting through life without these. You’re welcome.

  • Connor O’Brien

    Again, the Red Sox, Cardinals, and other good teams use savermetrics heavily. Thinking it is just the Mets is extremely naiive.

  • Sylow59

    More correctly:

    “anonymous guy on the internet, which BTW was designed and is maintained by geeks”.

  • sperry

    Typically the people who say this are just mad because they don’t understand even the simplest methods used in sabermetrics.

  • Connor O’Brien

    “Haha! Youre smart!”

  • NeedNewOwners

    Mostly they use money. What are their payrolls versus the Mets? Look it up. They sign stars with high averages, RBZis, etc.

  • Connor O’Brien

    Yes, lets consciously choose not to think about why things happen.

    Thats for nerds. Theyve never contributed anything for this world anyway.

  • Connor O’Brien

    No. They dont use rbi, ba, and w-l. They use their evaluation process to find the right players.

  • Connor O’Brien

    What is your reasoning to WHY its bad? Who created the field is irrelevant if it works.

  • Connor O’Brien

    No, they are only as good as the evidence behind them. If that is really youre reasoning, you have obviously never analyzed a single sabermetric stat.

  • Sylow59

    “First invented by a pork and beans factory security guard.”

    Yes, Bill James worked nights as a security guard. It allowed him time to work on his analysis. He did have a PhD in Statistics at the time. At this point he is pretty wealthy, so isn’t it more properly: rich man’s stats?

    And your background is …?

  • Sylow59

    can you supply your research showing they’re maningless?

  • Sylow59
  • Connor O’Brien

    That doesnt disprove a single sabermetric stat.

  • DrewC

    I was pointing out that the Giants didn’t go “all in on pitching”. That is a myth. They have some pretty good hitters as well.

  • Sylow59

    “The work of science is to substitute facts for appearances and demonstrations for impressions.” -John Ruskin

    Since the anti-Saber people clearly miss this point I wonder what they think of this whole “Earth ain’t flat” issue..

  • Lutece

    Man, every single time you guys feed the troll(s). Every. Time.

  • Connor O’Brien

    Still havent even mentioned a single sabermetric stat…

  • Connor O’Brien

    Give me research. Rhetoric wont win this type of argument, only actual evidence against sabermetrics will.

  • Sylow59

    You don’t even know what I’m asking for, so how can you form an opinion about it?

  • Derpy

    Um, the issue I see here is that pitching in baseball as a whole has gotten better. I see strong pitching as losing value pretty rapidly, and offensive value reaching an all time high. Especially right handed hitters. There are fewer good right handed hitters in the sport right now then there have been for decades, and I think teams who stockpiled this talent are the ones who really have the most valuable commodities. It scares me how much value pitching has lost in the past few seasons, knowing the Mets have invested almost everything into their pitching, with very few exceptions.

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    DING!!!! DING!!!! DING!!!! DING!!!!

    WE HAVE A WINNER!!!!

    Comment of the Day

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    You just said it best Connor

    “SAVER-METRICS!!!”

    LMFAO

    SAVE SAVE SAVE SAVE

  • Rich

    It’s kinda funny to read these posts and the arguing over moneyball 🙂
    When you get right down to it, you still need to play the game and win. Billy Beane has done a good job in Oakland but the truth is, it was always about the pitching. That is the sham of moneyball, Sure he found some undervalued assets just like GMs for 100yrs before did. But to make a movie about it and never mention Zito, Hudson and Mulder once tells you that its mostly fiction……as for sabermetrics and all that nonsense, it still comes down to the HR/RBI/AVG and your eyeballs. All the other new fancy stats are complete BS…..nothing irks me more than a phony WAR stat. Stop telling me that Carlos Gomez is one of the best players in the game because of his WAR…..or that Trout is better than Cabrera last 2 years. It’s garbage! Did you know in the last 2 seasons, Cabrera drove in 96 more runs than Trout?????? read that again, 96 in only 2 years!!!…..276 to 180!!!….the game is about runs, scoring them and driving them in. Cabrera hit 20 points higher, He scored about 25 less runs. My eyes saw 2 great players but one was MUCH better than everyone….but because of that very subjective stat called WAR, you had idiot writers pushing Trout for MVP when one guy won a Triple Crown. Oh btw, last year Josh Donaldson had a WAR of 8.0 which was 2nd to Trout. Josh effin who? Gimme a break. Any stat that generates a player with 24/93/301 ahead of a guy with 44/137/348 is a clown stat!…..no amount of defense makes up 44 RBIs and another 15 runs scored.

  • CJM

    Brilliant analysis!

  • mattbalasis

    I saw the stat about Gomez and it raised my eyebrows as well. He’s a damned good player but I certainly wouldn’t compare him to a Cabrera, who changes an entire lineup simply with his presence (something you can’t really quantify). The impact on players AROUND you for instance. That said, I think (as I mentioned below) we’re missing the point of the article if we get bogged down arguing about sabermetrics. For the record, my understanding of the Mets front office is that they use an all hands all eyes all stats on deck approach to evaluating players, Stats are certainly a part of it, but DePo insists their decisions are informed by detailed scouting reports more than any other aspect of their assessment process. That’s from the horse’s mouth. Now as I mention below, a few guiding principles aside, DePo and JP in all likelihood function under a high degree of autonomy. Alderson’s legacy (if he succeeds) I’m convinced will have more to do with organizational efficiency and a cohesion of purpose across all levels. A necessary function in any multi-tiered organization, the ability to effect singular aims uniformly from top to bottom. Whatever the aim, whatever the teaching tenet, whatever the philosophy, without a functioning coordinated hierarchy, it will not get across. I included a more detailed explanation of this in a couple of threads below, but trends, philosophies, and stats of the month come and go, but nothing gets across to the players on the field without a functioning efficient delivery system. That’s what SA has been working on.

  • SLG and RISP are far more important measures than HRs and RBIs. To call one player a superior player because he had more men on base ahead of him when he got hits is ridiculous on its face – even more so if you actually think about it

  • NeedNewOwners

    Blah blah blah. You are an arrogant intellectual snob. Still living in Zmama’s basement, Genius?

  • NeedNewOwners

    Geeks are geeks, and men are men.

  • He’s got a good point. We don’t use greeks to help make decisions about options trades. We just look at the options and go with our guts. Ya know, like real human beings do. Without thinking or applying reason and probability.

    as an aside, you should really look into derivatives as a career, CO’B. If you like math – and it seems like you do – there are far worse ways to earn a buck.

  • NeedNewOwners

    You are a bit too smart for your own good. Real annoying.

  • PhD in trolling

  • seriously. What’s that guy, got a high school diploma or something? Damn high falutin, elitist, East Coast ivory tower intellectual. Wish more people embraced ignorance like us do

  • mattbalasis

    ??? Are you talking about value in dollars or value in wins? Because if you’re talking about performance, I don’t follow … at all. Teams are relying more on pitching to WIN … sure good hitters have (as a direct consequence of the pitching resurgence) become more scarce (and therefore more valuable) but that is a DOLLAR value. In terms of performance, pitching wins more so now than at any time in the recent past … more than likely because steroids (which have always helped boost power stats more than any other category) have been weaned from the system.

  • Derpy

    Pretty much every team in baseball has these high upside pitchers coming through their system. The whole sport has a huge surplus of pitching. Offense has dropped so much that the value of offensive players is going through the roof. It is going to come down to which teams have those offensive players, because pretty much everyone is going to have pretty decent pitching.

    The fact that pitching is dominant now means that pitching is less valued than before. You want to be dominant in the areas that nobody else is dominant in, and average in the areas they are dominant in. When you have a huge amount of pitching everywhere, then players other than pitchers will make up the difference between a W and a L.

  • mattbalasis

    Hmm … interesting, but I think you may still be confusing dollar value with performance when you talk about the scarcity based value of good hitters. What i see is a more level playing field & a game reverting back to a norm where most teams won with pitching. Teams like the giants are a good example … and there isn’t that much pitching to go around … it’s not like every team is going to be throwing 3 or 4 Kershaws at you … true aces will always be hard to come by. They also seem to be getting more fragile every season with TJ surgeries left and right. You know what they say, you can never have enough pitching … esp. if you want to win in the playoffs.

  • Derpy

    Last time I checked, the NL ERA for April is 3.45. That is insane. Ten years ago the average NL ERA was over 4.0. When giving up 3.6 runs per game makes you a BAD pitcher, you know pitching has really changed. If you were building an ideal team you would want:

    1: batters who never strike out, we’re talking 10 per season

    2: batters who walk a lot

    3: batters who hit homeruns

    4: pitchers with great command

    Have those 4 things, and your team is going to win a lot of games. Baseball has gotten to the point where you just need to throw strikes and batters will get themselves outs, and if your batters put the ball in play and have power, then you’ve managed to gain a massive advantage.

  • Connor O’Brien

    When you are trying to acquire players and evaluate them, you want to isolate the player you’re looking at. You want to look at the things only he can directly do. Otherwise, it’s like saying your congressman is terrible because the organization as a whole is. He/she may be terrible, but you have to specifically be talking about only your congressman to determine whether he is doing (or trying to do) a good job,

    The same goes for baseball players. Yet, RBI and RS are the worst stats to individually evaluate a player. All those RBI and RS numbers you put out are drastically influenced by players around them, not necessarily what that one player did, making those stats bad.

    One of the numerous goals of sabermetrics is to eliminate this uncertainty, or at least minimize it. No longer should we have to ask “if we take this guy off the best offense in the league, what’s he going to do?” If you are better able to isolate that one particular player, you can better predict how he will perform in the future.

    I definitely understand why many baseball fans still cling to RBI, RS, BA, HR, OBP, W-L, and others because they have grown up with those being the ONLY option. There hasn’t been ANY viable alternative until the past 10-20 years, at least not in the mainstream.

    Nonetheless, in order to be able to look at the game objectively, you have to set down those predispositions, at least temporarily. You have to open your mind to the fact that yes, Miguel Cabrera might not be the best player in baseball (and he certainly isn’t). It’s hard (which is why so many resist it completely) to question your long-held beliefs, but it is how change happens for the better.

    Believe it or not, stats invented by a 19th century cricket writer (YES, YOUR TRADITIONAL STATS WERE INVENTED BY AN UNATHLETIC NERD TOO!!) are not the best ones out there. They didn’t have computers to crunch numbers and figure out the real trends. Really the game was at its infancy. Just because it’s tradition doesn’t mean it’s the best.

    (P.S. just because you have never heard of a player (and maybe the fact that he plays in Oakland has something to do with it) does not mean he didn’t have a great season.)

  • Connor O’Brien

    Who were your stats invented by?

    (Hint: he never even went to college, and also never played baseball, a common argument against “the geeks”)

  • Connor O’Brien

    Typed it on my phone.

  • Connor O’Brien

    Smart people run the world. 😀

  • Connor O’Brien

    Sorry to bring sabermetrics into the thread like that Matt.

    And yeah, Alderson’s number one goal was to change player development. It isn’t flashy, and for Mets fans who just don’t want to hear it, that won’t register with them, but it is the most important piece to a winning organization.

  • Connor O’Brien

    lol

  • Connor O’Brien

    It’s incredible how we can move forward with empirical evidence in almost everything we do as a species… except baseball…

  • FalseHustle

    Can’t get RBI or runs without help unless you hit home runs. Try actually making an attempt at understanding the thing you are bashing before barfing out this ignorant drivel.
    Though I’m sure you’ll just keep spewing uninformed circular arguments that most intelligent baseball people dismissed back in 1975.
    I especially love your argument that Josh Donaldson is a nobody because you don’t know who he is.
    Seriously, do you still think wins and saves are important stats for evaluating players? You can’t possibly….. can you?

  • FalseHustle

    Look, the last time I checked, the goal is to win games. So that means that pitcher wins must be the most important stat for evaluating a single player’s performance. Doesn’t matter if you give up ten runs so long as you pitch to the score, show some grit and get the team a win. Those guys who pitch complete game 1-0 losses deserve the heckling- they aren’t winners.

    Well, maybe saves are more important than wins, because of the immense pressure faced by relievers whose job it is to get three whole outs without giving up three runs.

    I don’t know why I let those few people who are willfully ignorant bug me still. You have shown great equanimity in not saying the things you must want to say every time you hear another anti-saber screed. Keep fighting the good fight! 🙂

  • FalseHustle

    Yawn.

  • FalseHustle

    Seriously. You didn’t make up the crack about living in his mother’s basement. Would you have even thought to say something like “still living in your mother’s basement?” if you hadn’t read some 70 year-old’s ignorant and outdated blog post about being left behind as people’s understanding of the game moved on without him? We’ve all read the same things you have, so don’t try to pass off ridiculous insults as your own. It’s sad, and makes it look as if you don’t have an original thought anywhere in your head.

  • Guest

    Oh, really? put the bat on the ball? It’s that simple? Protection in the lineup doesn’t mean anything?Pitching DOESN’T matter (even in the playoffs?) lol … ok there Mr. I played pro wiffle ball in the Bx … you’re entitled to your opinion as we all are, (without the personal insults preferably) but you won’t begrudge us us for wondering about affiliation from anyone who is THAT down on this team (and who is from the Bx!) & spare us the internet tough guy act while your at it … funny stuff dude. One thing that def isn’t smoke & mirrors is Mets pitching (unless you’re talking about the smoke they’ll be throwing past Yankee batters later this season!). And for the record, every single team in the league incorporates sabernonsense in their player assessment, but I guess you know better? Please explain …

  • Bob Walsh

    What a breath of fresh air around here.

    Welcome. I don’t know about you but when I used to come home from a game and tell my dad how I did I told him that I struck out twice, walked twice and increased both my OBP and WAR.

    Its laughable. Its obscene, and should be to anybody that truly knows the game of baseball.

    Tell me how many hits and how RBI you had, and I’ll figure out if you’re any good. They may try, these stat freaks, to prove other patterns exist, but I am quite certain that some of the greatest teams ever assembled would fail the SABER scrutiny.

    RBI, RISP, BA, HR, Slugging, wins and losses.

  • Bob Walsh

    I’m still laughing. You have absolutely no idea. None.

  • Connor O’Brien

    You are supoosed to be banned but i cant fix that with my phone…

  • Bill_James

    Why even waste your time?

  • Bill_James

    ME!!!!!!!

  • Sylow59

    How on Earth did the education system fail you on such a grand scale?

  • Sylow59

    keep thinking that as we drive off with your girlfriends in our Jaguars as you unclog our toilets.

  • Hotstreak

    Its the other way around bro. You must prove SABER worth. Do it now with Mets draft picks amd trade acquitions.

  • Connor O’Brien

    So you are saying that you can base the validity of a STATISTIC off the choice Alderson made in drafting a player (of which sabermetrics is second to scouting)???
    If you’re going to call sabermetrics garbage, then attack the actual statistics! Don’t avoid the real point here!

  • Hotstreak

    I love BABIP and QS. But I feel OBP (not SLG%) is way overated. What about LOB which s kills scorig. Yes I also love two out RISP.

    How did SA use SABER to draft. You can not show it. It is your burden. OBP also leads to K’s.

  • Connor O’Brien

    Sabermetrics is not about OBP. That is not a prevalent stat at this point. OBP was invented by Chadwick in the 1800s. It’s good, but not great.

    All teams that heavily use sabermetrics balance it with scouting. Scouting for the draft is very important. Neither traditional nor sabermetric stats help too much in that process (at least not yet).

    The ideal balance, in my opinion is to weight scouting and sabermetrics 55/45ish with sabermetrics being the 55.

  • Hotstreak

    You certainly are entitled to that opinion. But sauying this GM support SABER is really saying he supports OBP. That is swat he will not extend. Murphy. What is a guy like Wright doing. Yes its early.

  • Connor O’Brien

    Again, OBP is not used as heavily in front offices as it used to be. wOBA, and other metrics including bases per out, a favorite in the Mets front office, are the ones more heavily used at this point. There is none of my opinion at all.

    Saying sabermetrics is centered around OBP is completely ignoring the advances in statistics and hailing Moneyball as something current.

  • Connor O’Brien

    Thank you Mr. Guest. I admire your work.

  • Hotstreak

    wOBA falls short of measuring run production. Its not getting ducks on the pond or even in scoring position. All those stats measure the same a triple with two out or no outs. Going to Win Propability Index seems more logical but it is not tied to a player’s stats. There is nothing like a key hit and in rare cases a BB or HBP.

  • Connor O’Brien

    wOBA is one the best context-neutral statistic out there.

    To get context-sensitive information, WPA is certainly a good option.

  • NeedNewOwners

    Oh really?…”False Hustle”? That about says it all. Was I even talking to you? Mind your own business. And what is the problem with a 70 year old? No respect for experieince and wisdom that only comes with time, right? You are part of the know it all generation. Live life first, little one, before you bore the world with your arrogant opinions.

  • NeedNewOwners

    Yes. And what a great world we have right now, right? Arrogant little boys like yourself who know it all after an entire 17 years here. God help us when an elitist like you begins to shave and actually is in charge of something. Get a girlfriend, stop obsessing over your computer and statistics and live life a little bit. If I were your parent, I would get you out of your room and make you grow up a little bit. you have so much to learn about life and that fact reeks from everything you write.

  • NeedNewOwners

    lol….punk

  • mattbalasis

    It’s not fair to deny them credit for Syndergaard and Wheeler, they actively went out and scouted and obtained them … and there are A BUNCH of good pitching prospects they acquired via the draft, including Fulmer, Leathersich, Verrett, Whalen, and Flexen … And to date they have not dealt a single pitching prospect from an increasingly eye opening surplus (and that is really my point) … not so much how they got them, but the fact that they are stockpiling … the fact that they inherited a number of good prospects is not surprising (the mets have always had a token few good prospects at the very top), however, depth has always been an issue and the the premise that SA’s administration has done a lot to build up exceptional pitching depth, honestly isn’t something I’ve seen disputed by hardly anyone.

  • mattbalasis

    From Baseball Prospectus, farm system organizational rankings:

    8. New York Mets

    Farm System Ranking in 2013: 10

    2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link

    State of the System: Solid blend of pitching and
    positional talent, ranging from high-risk/high-reward types at the lower
    levels to safer high-floor prospects nearing the major-league level.

    Top Prospect: Noah Syndergaard (11)

    Breakout Candidates for 2014: Amed Rosario and Marcos Molina

    Prospects on the BP 101: 3

    Must-See Affiliate: Short-Season Brooklyn

    Prospects to See There: Amed Rosario, Marcos Molina, Casey Meisner, Chris Flexen, Champ Stuart

    Farm System Trajectory for 2015: Steady. The Mets will
    likely graduate four of the top five prospects in their system, but the
    helium from low-level talents like Rosario, Molina, and Meisner could
    keep the system holding strong in the top 10 in the game, despite the
    graduations.

  • Connor O’Brien

    You have never met me. Great assumptions to be making.
    If he tries to use his brain, he must be a loser! Thank you!

  • mattbalasis

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22906

    And here’s the thing, not only is the Mets system ranked #8, but every team in the Mets system is at the top of their rankings or close to it. Also, Alderson’s previous organization? For 4 years running it had been ranked as one of the top farm systems in baseball — and Alderson (like Oakland) had nothing to do with the drafting there — as always though, he put the right people in place. Here is San Diego’s current, #11 (still good) ranking:

    11. San Diego Padres

    Farm System Ranking in 2013: 3

    2014 Top Ten Prospects: Link

    State of the System: Injuries to key prospects in 2013
    hurt the stock, but high-ceiling arms, the top backstop in the minors,
    and a strong draft haul keep the farm on the edge of the top 10.

    Top Prospect: Austin Hedges (18)

    Breakout Candidates for 2014: Franchy Cordero and Zach Eflin

    Prospects on the BP 101: 3

    Alderson wisely took advantage of a downturn in the financial fortunes of the Wilpons to focus on doing something that hadn’t been done since the early 80’s … rebuild the farm system. Personally, I think it was the right approach because you have to believe (unike San Diego) that the Wilpons eventually will spend more (as they have in the past) to augment legitimate prospects and (almost more importantly) legitimate depth coming from the farm.

  • mattbalasis

    hmm, for some reason I’m having trouble posting.
    anyway … Mets are currently ranked #8 by Baseball PRospectus. Aldersons previous system is at #11 (due to a rash of injuries) but has been a top 5 organization for 4 years running.
    It’s what mets fans have been clamoring for for ages isn’t it? To rebuild the farm and stop trading away our prospects?

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22906

  • mattbalasis

    They have been around longer and are older ,,, we’ll know about more recent picks, Nimmo, Plawecki, Dominic Smith and others in time, but farm is better top to bottom than it has been in a while — that much is more or less undisputed — look @ team wins & losses.

  • mattbalasis

    They have been around longer and are older, lets see how Nimmo, Plawecki, Dominic Smith, and all the other 18 and 19 year olds do as they get closer. That the Met system is vastly improved top to bottom is indisputable. Every team in their system is doing well … check the won / loss records. It’s not just Baseball Prospectus (a well respected publication) it’s virtually everyone ranking them higher than they have been in quite a while … are you implying it’s some kind of vast conspiracy led by Sandy Alderson to make us think the Mets farm system is a good one? lol. C’mon. The thing is even the PERCEPTION that the Mets farm is a good one helps the team because other teams will value our prospects more. SA has his defects but lets give credit where it’s due. Here’s another one with the Mets at #11 (and the Padres dropping from top 5 to #8) : http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2014-01-23/farm-systems-rankings-2014-prospects-red-sox-astros-pirates

    And I quote: “The Mets have done an enviable job recently of accumulating and developing high-ceiling talent and solid depth in what was a barren system just a few years ago.”

  • mattbalasis

    And the won/loss records & team ERA’s in the minors? That’s a conspiracy too?? lol ..
    I give up.

  • mattbalasis

    Naaah … he couldn’t possibly be doing something right,

    Facts??? Seriously?

    Las Vegas 20 – 9 .690 1st

    Binghamton 14 – 11 .560 2.5 back

    St. Lucie 15 – 12 .556 0.5 back

    Savannah 18 – 8. 692 1st

    Kingsport 40 – 27 .597 1st

    Want to take a look at team ERA’s next?

    That’s a hell of a conspiracy! How did Sandy Alderson fool all those “fat” reporters into thinking the Mets have a good farm system??

    lol whatever dude, whatever.

  • mattbalasis

    At the lower levels?
    pretty much …

  • mattbalasis

    “NOTHING after St. Lucie is Balderson’s”

    Leathersich, Plawecki, Bradford, Reynolds, Taijeron, Boyd, all drafted by SA, ALL at Binghampton … and that doesn’t even account for several players on that roster that he’s traded for …

    At AAA, Verrett & Muno were drafted by SA, Serrateli, Teagarden, Eveland, Syndergard, Andrew Brown & Vic Black & a bunch more were traded for or signed to minor league contracts by SA …

    There are actually only like maybe 6 players on that AAA roster drafted by Minaya.

    At this point I think it’s fair to say Alderson owns this farm system, the vast majority of the players were drafted or traded for by SA …

    A lot of GM’s will gut a farm system to bolster the parent club … SA has done the opposite, he’s neglected the parent club and focussed on the minors … the low minors in fact. He’s built the system up by it’s roots. There is a LOT of pitching in the low minors. Savannah and Kingston pitching staffs are DOMINATING … whether you acknowledge it or not, the numbers don’t lie … the Mets’ farm system is very much on the upswing, there is just no question there. I’m surprised that anyone is even arguing this. EVERYONE acknowledges at this point that the Mets farm system is vastly improved. I’m sorry you don’t see it that way … not sure what to tell you other than to check the minor league stat sheets … it’s all there.

  • mattbalasis

    “NOTHING after St. Lucie is Balderson’s”

    Leathersich, Plawecki, Bradford, Reynolds, Taijeron, Boyd, all drafted by SA, ALL at Binghampton … and that doesn’t even account for several players on that roster that he’s traded for …

    At AAA, Verrett & Muno were drafted by SA, Serrateli, Teagarden, Eveland, Syndergard, Andrew Brown & Vic Black & a bunch more were traded for or signed to minor league contracts by SA …

    There are actually only like maybe 6 players on that AAA roster drafted by Minaya.

    At this point I think it’s fair to say Alderson owns this farm system, the vast majority of the players were drafted or traded for by SA …

    A lot of GM’s will gut a farm system to bolster the parent club … SA has done the opposite, he’s neglected the parent club and focused on the minors … the low minors in fact. He’s built the system up by it’s roots. There is a LOT of pitching in the low minors. Savannah and Kingston pitching staffs are DOMINATING … whether you acknowledge it or not, the numbers don’t lie … the Mets’ farm system is very much on the upswing, there is just no question there. I’m surprised that anyone is even arguing this. EVERYONE acknowledges at this point that the Mets farm system is vastly improved. I’m sorry you don’t see it that way … not sure what to tell you other than to check the minor league stat sheets … it’s all there.

  • mattbalasis

    “80% of the top pitchers in this system belong to the previous GM LOL. It’s probably higher.”

    You’re wrong dude, you’re just plain wrong.

    “NOTHING after St. Lucie is Balderson’s”

    Leathersich, Plawecki, Bradford, Reynolds, Taijeron, Boyd, all drafted by SA, ALL at Binghampton … and that doesn’t even account for several players on that roster that he’s traded for …

    At AAA, Verrett & Muno were drafted by SA, Serrateli, Teagarden, Eveland, Syndergard, Andrew Brown & Vic Black & a bunch more were traded for or signed to minor league contracts by SA …

    There are actually only like maybe 6 players on that AAA roster drafted by Minaya.

    At this point Alderson owns this farm system, the vast majority of the players were drafted or traded for by SA …

    A lot of GM’s will gut a farm system to bolster the parent club … SA has done the opposite, he’s neglected the parent club and focussed on the minors … the low minors in fact. He’s built the system up by it’s roots. There is a LOT of pitching in the low minors. Savannah and Kingston pitching staffs are DOMINATING … whether you acknowledge it or not, the numbers don’t lie … the Mets’ farm system is very much on the upswing, there is just no question there. I’m surprised that anyone is even arguing this. EVERYONE acknowledges at this point that the Mets farm system is vastly improved. I’m sorry you don’t see it that way … not sure what to tell you other than to check the minor league stat sheets … it’s all there.

    When it’s convenient “It’s been 4 LONG years!”
    When it isn’t convenient “It’s only been 4 years!”

    too funny …

    Look at the rosters … look at the stat sheets.
    Do some homework before you make these ridiculous “80%” comments, lol.

    4 years is a long time in the minors.

  • mattbalasis

    Where do your AA guys come from? AAA right? What you’re saying just isn’t true. Hererra, Nimmo, Dom Smith, Syndergaard, Plawecki … the list goes on, all SA’s. You just can’t face the facts, namely that SA took a farm system that had a few nice players at the very top and NO DEPTH and he turned it round. You can’t accept that because it would involve you somehow acknowledging you might not be 100% correct. So whatever. We’ll see where the Mets are in a couple of years, if they’re a pitching powerhouse I’m sure you’ll attribute it to Minaya then too, lol
    Seriously, lets agree to disagree, I will always take the view of EVERY MAJOR SPORTS PUBLICATION OUT THERE (not to mention my own eyes and actual stat sheets) over some guy on a message board.
    Have a good one bro ..

  • joeyd1966

    I’m aware, just stating why people perceive sabermetrics to be all about OBP. BTW, it’s impossible to slug 500 with a 200 OBP outside of a small sample.

  • Connor O’Brien

    I know. I’m exaggerating to make a point.