As the Mets head into their second week of the season, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin believes that the New York media will start to ramp up their focus on Mets GM Sandy Alderson.
“Sandy spotlight intensifying. Say what you want about Terry Collins, but educated fans know where the fault will lie if the Mets end up with a sixth straight losing season in 2014. Alderson has now had four offseasons to fix things.”
I agree with Rubin here. This is something that will gain more traction as this season continues to evolve. It’s time to assess where this team is now, where it is heading, and when the losing will finally end.
As I’ve written many times already, whatever happens this season with the Mets, it’s not on Bernie Madoff, it’s not on Omar Minaya, it’s not on Fred Wilpon, and it’s certainly not on Terry Collins.
This season – good or bad – is all on Sandy Alderson.
If the Mets fail, he fails.
Over his first three years as the Mets general manager, Alderson has been somewhat of a sympathetic figure. Most fans understood the situation he inherited and weren’t holding him accountable for most of team’s shortcomings and their shoddy results.
However, with all of the bad contracts jettisoned off the books, and the team able to spend around $40 million this offseason, and three drafts under his belt, this is now his team and he know’s it.
Whether it was an intentional leak or not, a 90 win season is his goal for this team. Alderson later clarified that it was time to set a higher bar – time to turn a sharp corner – and time to develop a team culture that firmly establishes that losing is unacceptable.
Of course we all agree, but where was this focus on winning in the previous three years? I would have thought that challenging your team to be the best they could be was something that was prevalent in every clubhouse and in every season. Why is this something new to the Mets?
It’s good to see that winning was taken off the back-burner and put in the forefront where it should have been all along. Losing breeds bad habits and the Mets have had way too many of them.
I recall when Alderson and his front office first took over that we were going to see “moneyball with money.” You can blame ownership for the lack of the money, but who’s to blame for the lack of moneyball?
Here we are in year four of the Alderson era and Sandy finally has his own farm system fueled by his own drafts, trades and international signings. He went into this offseason with plenty of money to spend, as well as an ample supply of trade chips to bring in some talent through that avenue.
The team you see on the field are the results of his four offseasons of planning, and this 162 game season will be his judge and jury.
This was an executive who was billed as being at the top of his class in rebuilding an organization, restructuring a farm system, and exhibiting that you could achieve sustainable success without a heavy handed approach to spending and payroll.
Some may already be putting the Mets minor league system under the “Mission Accomplished” column for Sandy, but I would rather wait and see what fruit this system bears and what success they bring to the team before I drape that banner over our facade.
Initially, 2014 was supposed to be the year when all the winning was set to begin. However, there’s a sense that the goal posts have been shifted despite the rallying cries of a 90-win season. I don’t like moving the goal posts. I look at that as retreating.
With that said, I do believe we are moving forward and in the right direction so I won’t raise a stink about it. But let’s see where we are in July and then we can reevaluate.
This team is in desperate need of a winning season in 2014. Our franchise cannot endure a sixth consecutive losing season.
We’ve had our three years of cleansing and it felt tortuous at times. Now it’s time for the rebirth.
You don’t have to win 90 games, but you do need to win 85 of them.
It’s time for the Mets to rise up from the ashes.