I want the Mets to hire White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn, because he’s highly regarded, he’s young and progressive, he understands and uses new media and advanced statistics, and he’d likely bring a basket of new ideas to a stagnant team.
The thing is, the Mets need to hire Alderson… and there is a big difference between wants and needs.
In knowing the Mets like I do, unfortunately, I have a feeling this is not the time for experimenting. I mean, if a young up-and-coming GM paid off it would be amazing and exhilarating. I’d love every second of it. But, the downside, right now, in this climate, with what’s going on across town, with people just waiting for the Mets to fall harder than they already have, the risk is greater than the reward. There is too much to lose, especially with a new ballpark, a TV network and a fan base tinkering on total disinterest.
Instead, the Mets are in desperate need of restoring order inside the franchise. They need direction, they need order, so to be attractive to other people. The league’s other executives, agents and players, even their own players, all need to know the Mets are safe, stable and in good hands, after which a young guy like Hahn, or Logan White, or John Ricco, etc., can come in and start a more progressive era.
In late September, in the New York Post, Joel Sherman said the perception around baseball is that Jeff Wilpon is ‘short-tempered,’ ‘tone deaf,’ a ‘credit seeker,’ an ‘accountability deflector,’ a ‘micro-manager,’ a ‘second-guesser,’ a ‘less-than-deep thinker,’ and ‘bad at self-awareness.’
Like I said at the time, whether this is true or not is not necessarily most important, because perception is often reality, and what must that have done to the last GMs ability to make moves around the game? My fear is that a young GM, like Hahn, would be perceived by fans, media and the rest of the league as a puppet, regardless of the real state of his relationship with Ownership, and so perception would again limit his ability to make changes.
Yes, in some ways, Alderson is a walking marketing campaign. I have no idea how long it will take him to turn the Mets in to a 90-win team. I don’t know if he will have the foresight to sign this better player over that worse player.
The thing is, when you spend the better part of four years hunting down public perception, issuing statements about mysterious injuries and surgeries, arguing with the league’s most influential agent in the press, when you have a GM accusing beat writers of being disingenuous, when your $17 million closer punches someone in the player’s lounge and is arrested, when your ace is accused of rape, when people see you as broke and incompetent, and when your fans are apathetic from being burned over and over and over again, oddly enough, winning is not necessarily the most important short-term goal. Instead, working to create an environment for winning is more necessary… and I feel Alderson is most qualified and capable of doing that.
The Mets have said Alderson will ‘complete’ his interview today in Citi Field, meeting again with Jeff Wilpon and John Ricco, as well as Dave Howard and other team executives, though he is not scheduled to meet with Fred Wilpon or Saul Katz.
Instead, the team is saying call-back interviews, which will include Wilpon and Katz, will likely occur next week.