The Cold Hard Truth About What Sandy Says On Payroll, Spending, Winning

alderson sandy wilpon

Thoughts from Joe D.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to listen to Sandy Alderson’s interview until late last night and now that I have, I just wanted to weigh in after hearing and reading everyone else’s point of view.

I get the sense that many fans are still in denial and believe that everything is hunky-dory with regards to the team’s current payroll level, the wherewithal to get that payroll level from the bottom five in baseball to at least the middle tier, and what factors will ultimately drive that decision.

Let’s consider the message that Sandy Alderson has been preaching ever since the year began. A year, mind you, when there was supposed to be no more handcuffs, no more constraints, and plenty of payroll flexibility.

February 13 – “Yes, I feel very comfortable that it [payroll] will climb back up. But at the same time we need to have some success on the field, which drives some attendance, which drives some additional revenue, all of those things. It is incumbent on us to have some success on the field in order to do that. I said it was unlikely that we would sign another major free agent. I think that’s still the case.”

March 31 – “What I’m hoping is that as we get better and the fans respond to that improvement that payroll number will go up.”

Yesterday – “I do believe the payroll will go up if we generate the type of revenue that supports that. That’s why we have to win.”

Yesterday – “The old adage you have to spend money to make money, I don’t entirely believe that. Does it raise the probabilities? Yeah, it probably raises the probabilities, somewhat, but it doesn’t ensure anything.”

Let me give it to you straight…

Hope is not a strategy. And that’s exactly what the Mets are employing as far as their model for any future and additional spending.

Let me further explain how all of this works…

Pay attention…

Throw some shit on the wall, and hope that it sticks.

Hopefully we’ll win, then the fans come to Citi Field in droves, and then we can end the charade, spend some money, and purchase some real major league quality talent.

I hope that clears things up for everyone.

The Mets own a giant cable company that generates tens of millions in annual positive cash flow, it’s in fact a big, huge, enormous, cash cow.

The Mets own a blog network that generates even more additional revenue as they steer all New York sports internet traffic to more than a dozen different sites generating untold millions more – courtesy of you the fans.

For crying out loud they even own the damn building which houses this huge cable and blog empire. They have thousands of hosts, analysts, producers, bloggers, technicians, etc. on their payrolls collecting the checks that drive those exorbitant revenues.

And yet they won’t invest a dime of that on the team we love. Instead they want us to make the investment. 

The cold, hard truth is that they won’t spend anymore money to increase payroll and produce a better product on the field, until we the fans bring in the additional revenue.

Payroll will not increase until an annual per game average of 30,000 of you get your asses to Citi Field to watch the team flounder in last place

Don’t look so shocked… MMO has been saying this for three years. Nothing has changed.

Suddenly this has become OUR PROBLEM.

Thank you Mr. Wilpon. Thank you Mr. Alderson.

As for you my friends, keep HOPE alive.

Because that’s the real plan… Hope.

May 27

Sandy Alderson joined Michael Kay and Don La Greca on ESPN 89.7 where they touched on a wide array of topics; the most notable being payroll.

La Greca, a Met fan and ticket-plan holder, cited the teams assets–Citi Field, SNY– in addition to their New York market as reasons to have a payroll higher than the current $85 million. Alderson had a telling, and perhaps controversial, response.

“Eight five is the payroll this year, it was the payroll last year,” said Alderson. “I do believe that payroll will go up if we’re able to generate the kind of revenue that will support that and that’s why we have to win.”

“We played pretty well for the first month, one month isn’t going to translate into a lot of people coming out to the ballpark, we played poorly this month. So you take one step forward and take a step or a step-and-a-half back. And we have to be more consistent.”

“The old adage you have to spend money to make money, I don’t entirely believe that. Does it raise the probabilities? Yeah it probably raises the probabilities, somewhat, but it doesn’t ensure anything.”

Alderson summed up his thoughts on payroll correlating into wins towards the end of the 20-minute interview.

“From my standpoint the payroll is not an excuse.”

Kay and La Greca also touched on Dave Hudgens and his comments that ownership needs to “let the purse strings loose”. Alderson asserted that he is not under financial restrictions from upper management despite what many–including his former hitting coach–believe.

“The short answer to that is no,” said Alderson. “Look, I take full responsibility for the results on the field with the payroll we have and the choices we’ve been able to make. Whether we’re paying a guy $10 million or $500K, if we choose to have him on the team, he’s going to have to perform and he’s going to have to perform to an expectation that we have.

“Dave doesn’t sit in my office, I come down to the clubhouse and we talk about team matters. That’s a perception that a lot of people have, and I don’t think it’s a fair one.”


Overall, I am surprised that, with the fanbase being as hostile toward the Mets front office and management as it is right now, Alderson would be so bold as to say that increase in attendance will have a direct relationship with payroll boosts. It simply does not work that way. Fans are not going to pay to see a sub-standard product.

Alderson is right in that the payroll doesn’t have to be sky-high to be successful. However; if you are going to be frugal in your payroll, the Mets need to be smarter with the players they bring in, and they haven’t.

Here is how it works:

Put together a competitive team, then fans will come. It doesn’t work the other way around.


About Clayton Collier 388 Articles
Clayton Collier, a senior editor for MMO, is a Journalism major with a minor in Broadcasting at Seton Hall University. He is also a staff member at 89.5 WSOU, Seton Hall's modern active rock radio station. Following him on Twitter: @Clayton_Collier or E-maili him at