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Alderson responds to payroll talk, says firing Hudgens was his call

Hitting coach Dave Hudgens, who was fired Monday, insinuated twice on radio that if Mets ownership didn’t limit his ability to spend on payroll, GM Sandy Alderson could acquire better players and construct a consistent, winning team.

“I don’t think Dave has the full information,” Alderson responded, talking to reporters later in the day. “He has information from the clubhouse and dugout, and that is a limited perspective.”

That said, according to columnist Andy Martino, Alderson’s friends and colleagues say he expected to, eventually, operate with a slightly higher payroll than he’s had (Newsday, May 28). Howard Megdal has been reporting on a similar theme in Capital New York since 2012.

In a report early Tuesday, Megdal goes a step further, accusing Jeff Wilpon of forcing Alderson’s hand, demanding that Hudgens be fired, according to a knowledgeable source (Capital New York, May 27). The team refused to comment on Wilpon’s reported role in Hudgens’s dismissal, Megdal writes.

Alderson was consistent in telling reporters Monday and Tuesday that he made decision to fire Hudgens and release Jose Valverde, and he’s repeatedly said payroll is not an excuse, while taking responsibility for players not performing as expected.

Nevertheless, according to columnist Joel Sherman, “It is hard to find a baseball official outside this organization who does not believe a Wilpon or two is impacting day-to-day baseball decisions” (NY Post, May 28).

In the end, “Alderson was supposed to bring order to chaos,” columnist Anthony Rieber wrote for his newspaper on Wednesday (Newsday, May 28). “That Alderson felt compelled to fire his hand-picked hitting coach shows all has not gone according to plan. The fans are antsy. The owners probably are, as well.”

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

I am really, really uncomfortable with this alleged drama, especially at a time when I’m finally starting to see reasons for optimism, i.e., Jacob deGrom and Rafael Montero in the rotation, Jenrry Mejia doing so well as a closer, Travis d’Arnaud coming back and Noah Syndergaard being healthy and likely to be promoted in the next few weeks.

I see the good, powerful, young pitching the Mets and other evaluators have been talking about. Sure, I have no idea what is going on with the position players, but I assume a trade will eventually be made. We’re close, I think. However, just as this ship is close to realizing a lot of patience and hard work, these reports about management end up reminding me of similarly destructive, irrational behavior from previous front offices, all of which ended badly and kicked off yet another ‘rebuilding phase.’ I’m praying this isn’t about to happen again…

In other words, please, Mets, hold the doors on just a bit longer, grip the wheel, “white knuckle it,” and I truly believe we’ll start to see things come in to focus before the end of the year. I hope I’m right. We’ll find out soon enough…




75 comments
Max Denby
Max Denby

I actually think with a few bats, next year we are not THAT far away.  But one thing that must go is TERRY COLLINS.  The man has lost us a ton of games over the last couple years.  He is clearly a stop gap.  I would rather rip the bandaid off now. 

anthony G. Decesare
anthony G. Decesare

As long as this lineup is what it is, this team is not close and all your doing is wasting good pitching performances.

Jerry Colfer
Jerry Colfer

I think the discomfort comes from a feeling of Deja Vu. We are about where we have been at this time of the season since 2010 (except 2012 which ended like the others). Added to this is the crushing debt of the Wilpons and dispair sets in.

However I think this time could be different as Matt suggests. We have the pitching to return some solid talent and we do have guys in the lower minors who could form a solid future. We still seem to find ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but there is some resilience at the top of the lineup. Sandy is going to have to deal with the CY issue if he doesn't correct quickly, but we have options. Me, I remain hopeful.

John John
John John

Are you on drugs?  In what universe are the MEts "close."  How many guys batting .200 do we have in the lineup.  How many saves have we blown this year.  How much do you want to bet that they trade Daniel Murphy next year because they can't afford to resign him.  Close?  Close to a sixth straight losing season. 

dmaneri
dmaneri

I couldn't agree more with Matt Cerrone; this is a time for patience. I've been watching since day 1 in '62. The Mets have NEVER had so many highly touted prospects coming up. I haven't been this excited about a losing Mets team since '83. They'll soon have a surplus of quality pitchers and trade fodder for a good # 5 hitter. Duda's leash getting shorter -- don't be surprised to see someone else playing 1st by end of June! Patience pays!!

cmetsfan
cmetsfan

Hudgins must be in the lack of information club with the rest of us. Pretty big club! Either the team gets complacent and loses for some disturbing reason, or the talent isn't here. Gotta be one or the other ya'd think.

MetsFan1962
MetsFan1962

Lies pure lies. We can no longer believe what Sandy says. Cash is the problem.

archer41
archer41

In general, this team is baseball's equivalent to a drama queen.  Should this much press and coverage be devoted to such a substandard team?  Probably not.

Bob G
Bob G

Can we please be honest with ourselves??? We're not in a rebuilding phase, we're in a dead zone. Yes, because the team has stunk for years, we've come up with a couple of good pitching prospects and hopefully Wheeler will wake up, Syndergaard will be good and Harvey will come back healthy. To rebuild (maybe the Wilpon's will understand this) a building you need a lot of money for all the pieces that need to work together. Without money there is no building, we're just biding time, waiting for Fred's debt to drop (how long will that take?) and hoping that when it does, he will spend again. We are just floating in the abyss right now, not rebuilding. 

Rob Steven
Rob Steven

Jeff Wilpon is nothing more than a spoiled rich kid playing in his fathers sandbox.

Every time this idiot gets involved in any type of baseball decision it turns into a disaster. Scott Kazmir anyone? The fall out from that trade brought us the "genus" Omar and Willie. I can not stand to look at Jeff's face and I cringe whenever I even see his name.

I believe Jeff and Omar are responsible for the field dimensions as well. Great job, Jeff!

I love the Mets but wish the Wilpon's would go bankrupt and put us fans out of our misery.

What a disaster!

narpath
narpath

I've been a Mets fan since the mid-80s, and this is the closest I've ever come to just giving up on the team. I want them to be good, but I truly feel like they need new ownership willing to invest significant money into the team in order to attain that.


I would like to have the optimism about the future that others seem to have, but I don't. Yes, we have some potentially good pitchers coming down the pipe. We've had that before. It's unlikely that they will all turn out good. Maybe Harvey and one other guy will be good, the rest will end up faltering, maybe becoming third or fourth starters, probably on another team. That's just the way things tend to unfold.


There's just not a lot to be excited about, and ownership seems more inclined to save money than to create a good team, which is ridiculous in the world's largest baseball city. 


I'm coming close to just not following the team anymore. It's getting too pointless. I probably won't get there entirely, but at this point, I'm just checking boxscores because the games are not fun to watch.

Robert F DeWit
Robert F DeWit

A friend of mine was involved with the completion of the rotunda at Citi Field in time for the opening a few years back. Jeff Wilpon was in attendance and as the presentation was being made he would pass notes to a vp flunky to ask the contractor questions. He felt the contractor was beneath him so he wouldn't talk to him directly. He treats the employees that same way. That is the answer to what's going on, or rather NOT going on with the Met's. As long as Jeff Wilpon is involved nothing will get better.

donw
donw

At end of last year top concerns were shortstop, bullpen, 1B, and innings eater for Harvey.  So what did we do?

Passed on Peralta who got $53 million over 4 years; got Granderson for $60 million over 4 years

Passed on Kazmir who got $22 million over 2 years ; got Colon for $20 million over 2 years; passed on Harang for peanuts

Passed Byrd who got $16 million over 2 years; got CYoung for $7.5 million over 1 year + guaranteed ABs

I know hindsight is 20/20 but Sandy totally misread market and undervalued what he had in Lagares.

For around the same payroll this year, we could have had Abreu at 1B, Peralta at SS, EY, Lagares, Byrd in the OF, and Harang or DiceK as the 5th starter instead of Colon.

Now we're stuck with Granderson, Colon, and CY - none of whom are addressing what we knew we needed as of last fall.


bigdirty
bigdirty

I think the frustration is really starting to boil over in the fan base. I think Cerrone is right in his feeling that the team does have many positives in term of young players coming up. The frustration is that ownership has not given the team enough fire power to help in the development of these players. The team needed to sure up the offense more than it did in the offseason.

When it becomes the product becomes unwatchable it's time to start to be concerned as an owner. This team is rebuilding but to watch a few innings is in enjoyable and torturous. It's been that way for 2 years already. There is no real in season fix but there is no faith that the ownership will do what's needed financially in the off season.

This team is not far from contending for a wild card spot but it needs a major infusion of offensive talent. The fan base needs to feel,that the team can come back from a 2 run deficient. I am pretty sure pitchers will develop more if they know thatcher don't have to be perfect all the time.

Michael Zvirblis
Michael Zvirblis

Imagine being anyone of these guys? Having so much money & surrounded by stupidity.

Ron W. Davis
Ron W. Davis

it does not make a difference as long as it was the right decission. its just sementics who's decission. i am sure he fired people he hired before. his so called people. this is not a issue who made the choice it should of been Teflon Dan Warthan as well. 


CocoaBeachnut
CocoaBeachnut

The Wilpons were so successful at managing their fortune that now they think they can manage on the field as well! If it's true that they are meddling into SA's turf, expect Sandy to fulfill his contract and then tell the Wilpons to go pound sand. SA is too much of a gentleman to walk away in the middle of his contract.

tullydew
tullydew

Sandy has lost the confidence of the Wilpons. Now they are meddling in baseball decisions. Sandy no longer has full autonomy. This could be the beginning of the end for the Sandy era.

11gilkey
11gilkey

The Mets always talked about being competitive 2014 with an eye on 2015 as the year for being in contention.  Harvey was a bit of a setback, but if they truly wanted to be competitive this year in their division, an $85 million payroll and numerous questions at 1B, SS and the bullpen, made it all look like a farce.  And that's coming to fruition. Their lineup was horrendous on Day 1 of the season and it's horrendous now.  The Mets front office and Maggie were the only people who thought Lucas Duda was the answer at 1B.  I'm not saying that Ike was either.  But I knew 2 years ago that Duda wasn't.  He always lacked confidence and it show.  That just won't cut on this team in this market.  Chris Young had one good year in a hitter's park a long time ago.  He was a 4th OF last year and they tried to sell him on being our #5 hitter.  Granderson has never been 4th hitter and they tried to sell us on that.  We're not stupid.  The Wilpons just don't want to spend the money to make this team a contender.  Their payroll in 2006 was $140 plus mill.  There's a reason those teams were good.  Hell the bench players back then were reliable good veterans.  

Nick Squatrito
Nick Squatrito

At some point you need to start competeing no matter how many prospects (that nay or may not pan out) you have. Enough is enough already

flmetsfan
flmetsfan

@dmaneri If the Mets aren't sure whether Matt Harvey will be the same Matt Harvey post TJ surgery, and the Mets aren't sure whether Noah Syndergaard will pan out after his rehab stint (not that he was pitching well this year in AAA anyway), and the Mets aren't sure when Dillon Gee will be back, who, pray tell, who are they trading for which power hitting first baseman.

Funny, I've been a fan of the Mets since May 1969, and I can remember "...so many highly touted prospects coming up."  They were Bill Pulsiphur, Jason Isringhausen, and Paul Wilson.  This is not 1983, Daryl Strawberry is not playing right field, Dwight Gooden isn't lobbing "Lord Charles", Lenny Dykstra isn't at Tidewater, and Walt Terrel is not overachieving.

I'll be patient, but I have never seen six pitching prospects (Mejia, Familia, Harvey, Wheeler, Montero and Syndergaard) so hyped in all my days as a Mets fan.

matt greco
matt greco

@dmaneri 


who exactly are they replacing duda with by june 1 that is significantly better?


who do they have that's close to being ready in the minors that is going to play SS everyday at a major league level?


who do they have that's close to being ready in the minors that is going to play LF everyday at a major league level?


i guess a better question would be...what planet are you on?  yes, they have pitching coming up...but you can't win if you can't score.  the offense is pathetic, and there is NOTHING even remotely close to being ready in the minors that can fix that...

Bob G
Bob G

@archer41 You make a great point but we're in NY and I think shell shocked that this garbage can go on this long without something earth-shattering happening.

James
James

@Bob G That is the eternal question, we were/are rebuilding, we needed to get rid of bad contracts, we needed better core players to build around and we needed financial flexibilty.  I get all that.  The question is if the Madoff thing has permenantly ruined the Wilpon's ability to spend or not.  This off-season was a mixed bag, Alderson did not spend the money he had all that well and we did not spend as much as we could have.  Next year we should have more of the new core up and the payroll needs to go up.


That was a bit rambling, I disagree completely that we are in an abyss, Harvey, Thor, deGrom, Gee, Mejia all prove that that is simply a false statement.  We have good young talent that is ready to take the stage.  We need to spend money to surround that talent with better veterans especially in the offense, and we need to see if this takes place.  I do wonder if Harvey's situation played a role in their off season or not, but clearly what we did this past off-season can't be the "new norm" or we will be the Pirates for the next 2 decades (and not the ones from last year).


ken1010
ken1010

@Rob Steven If Jeff fired Hudgens, at least give him credit for a good decision there.

buddyryan
buddyryan

@Rob Steven Fred and Jeff Wilpon are the second worst owners in sports....only Sterling is worse.

Keith Matos
Keith Matos

@donw How about the 2 biggest mistakes that the off season produced.....Nelson Cruz - no offer and Jose Abreu who everyone knew was going to be a player but we said to rich for our blood once again.

TheJMan
TheJMan

@donw


signing CY in November and giving Granderson the fourth year ... 

two huge mistakes .. total misread of the market

TheJMan
TheJMan

@CocoaBeachnut


too much of an ego to walk away as well-- look at his stubbornness 


he's on record over the past few days that he thinks this team is "close"

he obviously would want to see that come to fruition 

anymos
anymos

@Joseph Baffi They saw Duda was making less money than Ike and Ike had value a trade piece.  Abreu was never an option because they couldn't afford to sign another first baseman, fill holes in the outfield, and replace Harvey in the rotation.  I still think Granderson will come around.  CY was an overspend, but $7M on a one year deal isn't a killer.

luckylou
luckylou

This crop of pitchers is way better than than generation K. Not even close.... Be patient. We don't want to rebuild again.

eavdr10
eavdr10

And the pitching hasn't proved anything yet. A couple of wins against the Pirates and everyone's giddy again. Jeez

Nick Squatrito
Nick Squatrito

Sterling may be a racist but that doesn't make him a bad owner. At least he knew how to build his team for success. I'd take him over Wilpon any day of the week

anymos
anymos

@Victor Triguero @tullydew This is the most ridiculous line of thinking I see on these message boards. Like somehow the same issues that impact other teams rebuilding don't apply to the Mets. If anything, its more difficult here because of numbnuts fans who think it should be easy. The owners have cut payroll roughly 50% since Sandy got here. He's in his fourth year on the job- there was no talent in the upper levels of the minor league system when he got here. How exactly do you figure this job should have been done by now? Go take a look around at some other teams who went through rebuilding and how long its taken them- the notion that this could be done in 3 or 4 years time is crazy.

TheJMan
TheJMan

@Victor Triguero @tullydew


what everyone leaves OUT ....


he's had money to spend--look what he's spent it on 


to have this philosophy but to fill the roster with low OBP--High K guys.. insane 

90wins
90wins

@Nick Squatrito The Wilpons are probably as racist as Sterling too, it's just that they haven't been caught on tape. WOR710, seriously, isn't it obvious? What was wrong with WEPN?

TheJMan
TheJMan

@anymos @TheJMan @Victor Triguero @tullydew


when he could have easily re-signed Hawkins for the bullpen and Byrd for the outfield at far less the cost and put that other money to more use


like going after one of the Cuban players

TheJMan
TheJMan

@anymos @TheJMan @Victor Triguero @tullydew


that's just false 


he chose CY at the beginning of free agency -- that $7.5 million took a chunk of what he could spend


he chose granderson -- gave him a fourth year when no one else would--they bid against themselves

he gave colon $20 million .. quite the number for a 40-year old when they had starting pitching depth


he's not chose well dude 

anymos
anymos

@Joseph Baffi Just because they're not good doesn't mean they aren't first baseman.  They're still on the roster and they're still collecting paychecks.  Its about economics.  They dumped Ike because he was going to make $3M and Duda was cheaper.  They're making moves to save a few million and you think they owners are going to sign off on Abreu?