Alderson has expectations, but so do fans

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Sandy Alderson’s comment about winning 90 games was never meant to be public, he said. It was a private statement to his staff. Yet, it became public, by way of a “leak,” and it has been tied up and twisted in to a symbol of the opposite of Alderson’s intention.

Alderson was asked by media yesterday to further explain the remark, which is now 35 days old.

“It’s time for us to get better. What you can measure, you can improve. I can’t really measure competitiveness,” he said. “It wasn’t a guarantee. It wasn’t a prediction. It was a challenge, OK? A challenge to all of us internally: How do we get there?”

Sandy Alderson scrum“It’s important for us to change the conversation,” he said. “This team is now about being successful. Being successful is not some nebulous concept about winning or being competitive or playing meaningful games some month later in the calendar. This is about concrete expectations about what we need to do. 90 wins is about challenge. I stand by the notion that we need to get better, and in doing so we need to set concrete goals for ourselves.”

I like the general idea. I believe setting big goals and expectations is success. It’s a good thing, and something that has been sorely missing from the Mets since the late ’80s.

Here’s the thing about expectations, though: fans have expectations too. I’m reasonable and patient. I understand that – despite what they want to call it – rebuilding an entire baseball organization from the ground up — to nearly the top — takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. I also agree that the way the Mets set expectations in the past, i.e., “competitiveness,” is a loser’s mentality. I want to see the Mets win 90 games one day. I don’t think anyone expects it to happen in 2014, including Alderson. He, like me, expects to see it eventually. And that’s the real issue: When and how?

I can expect to win $1 million in tonight’s lottery, but it isn’t going to happen if I don’t buy a ticket. I can expect to win a marathon, but it’s never going to happen if I don’t train properly and educate myself on how to do it. In other words, it’s hard to expect anything – let alone 90 wins – from a team with an improper first baseman, a mentally and physically weak shortstop, and a crap-shoot bullpen, and with their best pitcher watching from the sidelines.

My hunch is Alderson would agree, because it reads like a similar pessimism may be at the heart of his 90-win challenge to his staff.

He’s essentially saying to them, “I’m frustrated and I expect better than this,” and, “How are we going to eventually make it happen?”

Alderson is not alone, though. 43,000 people in Citi Field were thinking the exact same thing yesterday, while looking directly at him, his staff and his bosses.




118 comments
azmetsfan
azmetsfan

This team as configured is only slightly better than last year, and all the talk bout 90 wins is corporate speak. Next year we have a shot, with the pitching staff we've assembled and only if we pick up a legit bat at first, a real short stop, a bullpen and some studs in the outfield... so basically we're screwed if we don't spend a ton in the offseason. I have been a fan 50 years and it seems we are perennially in a rebuilding mode or just mediocre...We as paying fans deserve better...so hence the bitterness

azmetsfan
azmetsfan

I have news for you, no matter what you do, you're never winning a marathon. stick to lotto tickets. You have a better chance. What a dumb analysis.

Darrell Smith
Darrell Smith

With their BP in shambles , their defense full of holes and the fact they strike out to much , The'll have a hard time matching last seasons win total.

We might be in for another wonderful loosing year.


Hank Lee
Hank Lee

How about putting together a team that the fans think has a chance to win 90 games?

hashburry
hashburry

The difference in all this is Alderson can actually have an impact on results.  That is what drives most frustrations in life.  Not having any control.  Fans can only wait and hope.  Alderson talks in the third person about "what do we need to do to get better".  Well, hoping bad players get better is what fans do.  We hope Davis hits .300 and 40 homers.  We hope Tejada miraculously becomes a better player.  A GM knows better, and should not be in the business of "hoping" for better results.

cver
cver


And it was a tough loss yesterday, but maybe we should all reserve judgment a bit on the pen, the 2014 Mets, etc.  You all know how critical I can be, but it's definitely a small sample.  Sure, some of these guys have already been given enough rope, but Ike, for example, is still here.  Might as well see if he can find his mojo again, since he is.  At least give him a couple of weeks.  After that, if neither he or Duda does anything of note, time to quietly start shopping or at least try Campbell or Flores.

cver
cver

I don't expect any team to win any set number of games as I also don't expect any team not to.  Nobody knows, just like you can go out and spend money on sluggers like Chris Young and Granderson to hit HRs and it could very well be Lagares and Brown who are the ones who hit them.  The truth is that the Mets could definitely win 90 games this season - it's not impossible.  They need to go out there and do it.  Just like the Wilpons and Mr. Katz could come up with the extra money to get some more players.  Frankly, that is easier - the team is worth a billion dollars and they are worth probably that much themselves.  They seem to be able to find cash for other projects.  If they didn't have those resources, the City shouldn't have given them all that land for free to build more around the stadium.  The Mets would be in better shape if they brought up Syndergard and Montero, I believe.  But sure, they need the bullpen to succeed.  I did like Valverde - hope he continues to succeed.  He was fun!  I thought Tejada looked OK out there yesterday and was sorry to see him booed.  Cut him some slack and let him get his confidence back and let's see what we have.  Jose is on the DL.  I'd rather see them trade one injured player (Niese) for him, as I've said a bunch:)  Why shouldn't the Mets win 90 games this season?  That's a rhetorical question - no need to answer it, as the comment section is virtually devoted to that subject.  They need to get a new hitting coach and manager though.

David Mittman
David Mittman

If we were really about "better" we would have Montero and Thor in the bullpen now, as St. Luis does and be 1-0 after they both relieved yesterday. 

I could have told you our relievers were not ready.

Dave

lgm101290
lgm101290

"I stand by the notion that we need to get better."


Wonder if that thought crossed anyone in management's mind during the off season. While other teams aggressively move to fix their respective organizations we seem to always be "waiting for the market to dictate our move." Whenever a question is asked about holes on the roster you get the patented - "Right now, we're trying to determine what realistically is available in those areas where we feel we need to prioritize, but also what else is out there that might be able to help us in a more creative way."


For me the bottom line is simple - when a team has holes, fix them. Fix them in the best way possible, be creative as possible but do it within reason. Sandy's creativity is taking on reclamation projects, older veterans and career minor leaguers. Scott Rice, Andrew Brown, Carlos Torres, Omar Quintanilla, Josh Satin, Anthony Recker, etc. are not solutions; they are stop gaps.


Management's ability to observe and address problems spilling over from last year is near laughable -


Ike Davis - Looked about the same to me yesterday, rolling over, flailing at anything middle away.

Eric Young Jr - Like a good 6th man in basketball, he should not be starting but rather be our super utility guy or "first man off the bench."

Ruben Tejada - Serviceable shortstop with the glove but his offensive inefficiencies are exposed in an anemic lineup. 

Juan Lagares - For the love of god enough with the platoon speak give him the job. While he may not reach the level of Gomez, he is the closest thing we have to what Carlos Gomez has become.

Bullpen - Come on, how could you not open the checkbook this past offseason? It is embarrassing. Outside of Valverde, Parnell and Lannan nobody has done anything and what's that? Lannan and Valverde are reclamation projects? Who would have guessed it.


jonn
jonn

Negativity, negativity everywhere.  It's one game trolls.  Make an educated assessment at the end of the month. 

archer41
archer41

I bet this team spends more on the front office "brain trust" than the pen.

slainte2
slainte2

I have an idea.

Something has to change with this bullpen… right now our bullpen looks weak, like they are going to lose a lot of games for Mets, and we have additional starters who are better than our relievers.

Solution: Piggyback the starters.

Starters go hard six innings, no more (Neise, Gee, Colon, Mejia, Wheeler).Three additional “backers” go three innings on a three game rotation, start seventh inning clean (Dice, Torres, DeGrom).  I mean these backers pitch in a three game scheduled rotation, everyone knows exactly when they are going to pitch (tomorrow Colon-Dice, next game Wheeler-Torres, Mejia Degrom, Gee-Dice, etc.). Close it as needed w Parnell (let’s hope he gets better).Add three situational relievers only in case somebody gets blown out early… hopefully they won’t see a lot of action, and at very least they won’t be up and down warming up every game. That’s the BP.

Eliminate TC over-managing his BP, trying to pick spots and hope for success from mediocre (or worse) middle relievers, pitching to one batter and then making another switch … I know he is trying to max the platoon leverage, but just doesn’t seem to work.  Instead, how about we put our better pitchers out there.

I would set rotation of starter and backers and let it go for two months, then evaluate everyone.Backers can move into starting roles if needed since they are pitching on sort of a starters’ schedules (who have start day and throw day, nothing in between).If we want to ease rookies into league in June, then make Noah, Montero, etc. start in pen in the backer rotation, where they could come into clean 7th innings only every third game, pitch three innings, know exactly when they are going to pitch (like a starter does), and no up and down in bullpen (like a reliever does).

whattya think?

selldamets
selldamets

Really Matt? 43,000 people in Citi Field yesterday? Were these imaginary people? Invisible people? Or more likely, the number fed to you by the Wilpons. The fans do have expectations. You used to be a fan, remember?

Macacawitz
Macacawitz

When you look at it objectively, it's hard to envision a scenario where the GM could have done a worse job in the offseason.  He didn't even attempt to address the most glaring needs at short or first, instead opting for an overweight 41 year old pitcher in a transparent attempt to circumvent "Super 2", and overpaying for an outfielder who's done nothing in two seasons.  The bullpen is an abomination and the other FA outfielder he signed is a strikeout machine.  I don't know who Alderson has incriminating pictures of, but the perpetuation of his reputation as some sort of guru is laughable.  The guys been here for three years now, and things have gotten progressively worse.  He bristles at people calling him on his 90 win comment as though he's still the sheriff in some one horse town like Oakland or San Diego.  Nothing would make me happier than to see the Wilpons go while taking their bagman Sandy with them. 

tullydew
tullydew

My expectations are the Mets should act like large market MLB team. This isn't Kansas City or San Diego. Having a $82 million dollar payroll in embarrassing and unacceptable.

Is that asking too much?

rowjamie
rowjamie

Sandy - if you want to win, you cannot have a roster that inclues EY JR, Tejada, or Quintanilla (and probably Ike and/or Duda).  These are fringe major leaguers at best, and certainly do not have any place on a playoff team.  Same goes for most of the bullpen.  


I don't get to pick the roster, you do Sandy.  So put together a real team already. 

Vince Haney
Vince Haney

Why did he go north with another shite bullpen then?

cver
cver

I have hopes that Lagares will be our new Tommie Agee.  He already has the glove.

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

@slainte2 There's definitely merit here.  I don't think I would do it as written in stone as this because there needs to be some flexibility for extra innings, injuries etc.  I think the pen should have two long men in it, these would be converted starters, DeGrom would be one good fit.  (Carlos Torres is NOT a long man). 

Right now there is no strength in the pen and no guy I'd ever trust.  TC burns out his guys so much, playing matchups with bad pitchers is a Fool's Errand.  If you're able to go 6 innings / 3 innings on a particular day, you  may save 5/6ths of your pen and give them a breather.

This makes so much sense it will never happen.

Ed Renner
Ed Renner

@slainte2

That's the ticket. Let's change the game of baseball because the Mets talent evaluators have no talent. Let's not reinvent the wheel of a hundred year old sport.

Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly

@selldamets Same as every other team... Yanks were "Selling out" games where the stadium was a empty even on TV. Boston had the laughable marathon of sellouts. 


Matt can only post the publicly given numbers. Do you expect him to hand count everyone in the stadium?

dukewillie
dukewillie

@Macacawitz  Sandy is hamstrung by the Wilpons budget. We'll have to wait until the new loan (with no budget restrictions) kick in . Then we'll (hopefully) see Sandy adding new players aboard (maybe even signing Drew.)

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

@Macacawitz  There's some truth in here but also some things that are just wrong.  


What would you have done with a $100M budget in the offseason?



Joseph DeFazio
Joseph DeFazio

@Macacawitz  I don't disagree with everything you said.  However, he needs credit for the THOR and Wheeler trades.  Granted it is still early, but they look to be forming a solid foundation for the best rotation in baseball once Harvey is healthy.  Otherwise, you are right, he has done less than zero to address the glaring offensive needs.  He found lightning in a bottle with Byrd last year and may do so again this year with Chris Young.  

Joseph DeFazio
Joseph DeFazio

@tullydew  the numbers don't bother me as much as not going out and signing players that are better than what you have.  Our bullpen is atrocious and has been for years.  Also, we have glaring holes in our line-up.  

Joseph DeFazio
Joseph DeFazio

@rowjamie  i'll agree with the above except for Davis.  You don't hit 30+ HRs by accident.  You also don't hit 30+ HRs and are considered a fringe MLB player.  I know it hasn't been pretty for awhile, but I believe his problems are more mental than physical.  Same can't be said for the others.  Also, Tejada would probably make for a decent utility infielder on a team with a capable everyday SS.  

cleonsvan
cleonsvan

@rowjamie I agree with everything you said but I still think Tejada can be an adequate ML player.

cleonsvan
cleonsvan

@Vince Haney Apparently he didn't want to spend any money on it. He let Hawkins walk away despite wanting to stay.

jonn
jonn

@Victor Triguero Whatever you say, bud.  I'm not name calling, seems to me like the people who "troll" on here do it because they enjoy it.  It's not a derogatory remark like if I were to call some one a "jack-ass".  Also, I don't own tough guy pants, nor do I claim to.  Thanks!

slainte2
slainte2

@BringBackDaveTelghe  

All ideas can be tweaked, but bottom line is that looks like a terrible bullpen right now.  Trying something different (and i think above has merit too) is better than just drifting along and hoping for better result.


Enough of original ideas ... let's get back to complaining.  Who is more stupider anyway, Matt and his typos or Sandy and his SS?

slainte2
slainte2

@Ed Renner @slainte2 

Come on Ed, game is always evolving.  Teams used to have 10 man pitching staffs, and Sparky Lyle would have three inning saves.

Marek Januszewski
Marek Januszewski

@Mark Kelly @selldametsI personally expect accuracy. If there were 43,000 tickets sold that I would understand that. But he wrote "43,000 people in Citi Field" which is just bad reporting.

Macacawitz
Macacawitz

@dukewillie @Macacawitz  This is exactly why pressure should have been exerted on the Wilpons by both MLB and the Players Association to sell the team.  Once outside influences begin to impede day to day operations - largely due to the financial indiscretions of owners by going broke in a ponzi scheme - a change needed to be made in the best interest of baseball.  The fact that this charade has been allowed to go on is a disgrace. 

Macacawitz
Macacawitz

@BringBackDaveTelghe @Macacawitz  The issue isn't the $100M payroll, the issue is the team's complete unwillingness or inability to go for longer term contracts with upper tier free agents.  When you go into negotiations hoping that a player will sign for one or two years at the most, you're basically dismissing all top tier free agents.  So that's why you have Colon and Granderson and CY.  You'll never win using that formula.  

Macacawitz
Macacawitz

@Joseph DeFazio @Macacawitz  You can't give him credit for things that haven't happened yet.  (If) Wheeler can manage to find the strike zone and (If) CY can find his game again, and (if) Thor lives up to advanced billing, then you can give him credit.  Until then they're just very bit IFs.  While gambling on the IFs, it's important to build an infrastructure that keeps the team competitive over the course of the season.  It's in that regard that he's failed miserably. 

Wayno
Wayno

Steve just stop already!!! Its so annoying when you comment. The redsox backups last year would start at every position for mets. And how was their bullpen??! Just go away

Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly

@Joseph DeFazio @rowjamieSure you do. Adam Lind hit 30 HR at 25... and then wasn't a good baseball player for 4 years. 


It happens a LOT. Good year, then not good career. Wasn't there this running Rookie of the Year curse in the AL for like 4-5 years. 


Bobby Crosby

Angel Berrora 

Eric Hinske


Happens a lot. Guys have a good year, and can't make adjustments. Ike's shown he is no different to this point

slainte2
slainte2

@Ed Renner @slainte2 

We need better talent.  IF we don't have that, we should use what we have in best way possible.

Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly

@Michael Frias @Mark Kelly@selldametsYour correct... When the baseball teams announce attendance they typically do Tickets Sold not people who showed up. 


In no way do i believe that 43K people showed up yesterday. The 43,000 in attendance is something that every single team does...it's silly but it's what they do.


My point was it's not just a METS thing, and it's the only number Matt Cerrone can go based on. Unless he is in the stadium hand counting everyone to say the number who is there.

Michael Frias
Michael Frias

@Mark Kelly @selldamets Define "Sell-Out".  Jets and Giants "Sell-Out" every home game, in the sense that, every ticket for all 8 home games have been claimed by someone come kickoff.  Does every seat have a butt in it come kickoff? No.  That doesn't make it any less of a sellout though.


Tickets sold and Attendance are two totally different things.  No one has ever argued that.

Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly

@selldamets @Mark KellyNo i have a job so i can't watch the afternoon games only listen sporadically. 


Obviously there wasn't 43K... I doubt there has ever been. But your crying about something that happens to every team, not just the mets. Yankee stadium will be 1/4 empty today as well, but they will announce a sell out. 


The NY Jets haven't sold out a single game in the new stadium... but every game is sold out to avoid an embarrassing blackout. Heck the giants haven't sold out some games.


It's what they do. It's not the WILPONS being shady or Matt being fed info.