Openness, honesty and transparency. Virtues that tend to unfortunately fall on deaf ears in the many parts of the business world let alone professional sports. With the new administration gradually taking root in Flushing, times, like the saying goes, “they are a changin” and the man ushering in this change believes deeply in these virtues. This former Marine doesn’t just talk the talk. Sandy Alderson is a true believer and wants to make all New York Mets fans true believers once again.
Just a few minutes ago, Sandy Alderson, through a conference call, spoke to the media and a few selected bloggers including myself and Matt Cerrone. The topics ranged from the Winter Meetings which capped off today in Orlando to the overall direction Sandy Alderson wants to take the Mets in the coming years.
Here is some of what Sandy Alderson discussed –
- He would have NEVER accepted the position to be the General Manager of the New York Mets if he was forced into a “Moneyball-esque” type of approach.
- He believes that in spite of the current financial constraints that if the team were to be in contention by the All Star break, he would hope if not even expect ownership to provide him the necessary finances to acquire talent as he deems necessary.
- He wants fans to understand that New York is NOT Oakland and the decisions made there do not effect decisions he has and will make in New York.
We were able to ask questions regarding many topics including his overall philosophy regarding player development.
- He believes in using both Metrics and traditional scouting to achieve his goals
- He relied heavily on scouting for this past Rule 5 draft
- He also said that the non-tendering of Chris Carter and John Maine and the predisposed realization that Pedro Feliciano may sign elsewhere, does not concern him very much.
He also understands the fans’ frustrations and concedes that this past Winter Meeting wouldn’t assuage that frustration.
We discussed potential acquisitions, emphasizing on starting pitching, and Alderson stated that he’s been in contact with more doctors than players agents so far. That could be in regards to both Jeff Francis and Chris Young who both have had injuries the past few years.
He was very candid about his relationships with players, as he puts is professional and friendly and warned of becoming too friendly and non-professional with players. Perhaps a Freudian slip and a nod to his predecessor?
He impressed me the most when he said that he wants to maintain contact, within the constraints of his busy schedule, with those of us in the blogosphere.
In fact he went on to say that he believes bloggers represent an even more important role than any other in the media as he would be able to express his viewpoints to us and have a dialog regarding them.
I was lucky enough to squeeze in the final question to Sandy and I asked him about his background as a Marine and how that played into the person he is today and the decisions he has to make on a daily basis.
He feels that his training as a Marine helped him to forge the structure and discipline needed to run the New York Mets, considering the market we are in. He believes in being aggressive but with good judgement which in turn should lead to good decision making. In the end, what more could anyone ask of Sandy Alderson and just about anyone else.
All in all it was certainly a great experience to have the General Manager of the New York Mets make himself accessible this way and hopefully again in the future.
There is life in Flushing Mets fans. Patience.