Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
There is an endless, unwinnable debate being had among fans and media about what Sandy Alderson is doing and why and if it’s smart, foolish and in the best interest of Mets fans.
Today on WFAN, host Mike Francesa had the following exchange with Alderson, which says everything you need to know about the GM’s priorities and goal:
Francesa: What would make this a bad year?
Alderson: We’re not going to be happy unless we have a winning season.
Francesa: So, you expect to have a winning season?
Alderson: We’re not going to be happy unless we have a winning season. But, here’s the other thing we have to take in to account: It’s important for us, and I’m not saying more important than winning games, but, it’s important for us that we see a continued development of the players at the Major League level that we’re counting on over the next several years…
Francesa: Especially Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Travis d’Arnaud?
Alderson: So, if we have a winning season, let’s say we win 87, 88 games, but the two or three guys that you talked about fade, is that a good season.
Francesa: Not for you…
Alderson: That’s my point.
Francesa: So, is it more important to develop those guys than win this year?
Alderson: Well, both things are important.
Francesa: Right, but you want to win the right way. You want to win and have your guys develop.
Alderson: We want to win, and we want to set the foundation for winning over and over again in the future.
I mean, there you have it. You don’t have to agree with the approach, but if you still don’t understand what he’s trying to do after reading this, then I don’t know what else can be said…
Personally, I’m on board. In the last three years, Alderson has put the Mets organization in a position to essentially start new in 2014, at which point they’ll have just two long-term contracts on the books, money to spend, and a crop of young talent from his farm system ready to promote or trade. I think when he talks about 2014, he’s not necessarily talking about contending, so much as he’s talking about finally starting from zero, with a somewhat clean slate and a lot of options, ready to move quick. Frankly, this is probably what ownership should have done 10 years ago, which is to basically do a reset on the organization.
I’ve written this before, but I’ll write it again: Yes, I’m tired of seeing this team lose more games each of the last three years. But, I’m equally tired of the Boom and Bust cycles of the last 25 years, none of which produced a ring, and none of which produced a consistent stretch of success. Sure, the Mets made the playoffs here and there, but then it would all come crashing down a year or two later, after which they’d take a decade to rebuild, take flight and then quickly crash again… over and over again.
Is this reset occurring because ownership wised up? Is it happening because someone finally realized the old way wasn’t working? Or, is it occurring because they had no choice? Because it was forced on them, because it had to happen with all the off-field, financial issues? I don’t know, and I don’t really care, because it needed to happen either way. This organization has long been in need of this type of cleansing. I’m glad it’s happening, for whatever reason it’s happening, because I’m tired of always rooting for miracles only to have my hopes dashed every September. It just sucks it has to be happening now and not 10 years ago. Yes, these last few years have been brutal and boring. I understand if people tuned out. Now, though, more resources are becoming available – at the same time only two guaranteed contracts are on the books and the farm system is in better shape – meaning Alderson can start building us a sound, sustainable, professional, winning franchise to watch and enjoy. If this happens, I’ll be OK and feel these last few years of brutal baseball were worth it. Why or how we get there will not matter to me…