If it’s time to start thinking like winners, it’s time to start acting like it

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins are trying to change their team’s mindset, according to people in the clubhouse. In the past, the lockers were home to guys who saw themselves as only young, inexperienced minor leaguers hustling for playing time and a future job.

However, management believes it is time to start thinking like a team ready to win 90 games and reach the postseason, which is what Collins and Alderson are starting to preach behind the scenes. The ultimate goal may or may not happen in 2014, but that’s not the point. The point is to turn the collective thinking and perception, to start thinking like winners, in advance of better days.

Jeff Wilpon, Curtis Granderson, Sandy AldersonIn his closed-door speech that kicked off camp, I’m told Collins stressed management’s expectation for success. His clubhouse will no longer be just about preparing, competing, winning jobs and developing talent. It’s time to get on the road to winning. Alderson essentially said the same thing to his staff, which was originally reported in the Daily News last week.

I don’t think anyone in their clubhouse feels 90 wins must — or will — happen in 2014. However, I believe they think it’s possible, if for no other reason than baseball players seem wired to be overconfident. Plus, when so many teams come out of nowhere to hunt for October, as has happened the last few years, their hope and optimism can be justified in March.

I like this attitude. It’s not overt like Rex Ryan or Willie Randolph, but it’s more aggressive than we’ve seen the last few years. I believe positive thinking and clear goals are important, and I’m glad these guys are thinking and talking this way.

It’s not just about mindsets, though… it’s also about reality and talent on field. So, in the event Seattle wants too much in return for SS Nick Franklin, the Mets should just go for it and sign free-agent SS Stephen Drew to a two-year, $20 million contract. It may not be the best investment of all time, but it would send a signal to fans and players that today’s talk of wining will be supported by new action. Similarly, if Noah Syndergaard is among the five best starting pitchers in camp, despite better judgement, maybe he should literally be among that group on Opening Day.

I don’t think you can talk about expecting to win 90 games and then do nothing extra to help make it happen. If it’s time to start talking like winners, it’s also time to start acting like it too.




112 comments
Adolfo Arauz
Adolfo Arauz

That means we have to jettison 75% of our fanbase.

Ed Renner
Ed Renner

Excellent column. Simple logic. Something the almighty hypocrite Sandy Alderson doesn't seem to have.

thisthingcameapart
thisthingcameapart

Oi this is such a Mets way of thinking "The point is to turn the collective thinking and perception, to start thinking like winners, in advance of better days." Just win games! It isn't difficult to get people on board with winning- everyone already loves to win-just win some damn games this year please!

Joey_Mac10192
Joey_Mac10192

@metsblog great stuff, i couldn't agree more. We've heard the talk, now its time to get it done on the field.

Jimmy
Jimmy

1) Get a real SS.

2) Bring your BEST players up north with the team.

3) Actually sell tickets.

Wow, that was easy!

legs3
legs3

The philosophy of holding your future stars back for super this and extra year that never ends with this team.  When does winning games in April and May not count as important as in Sept. and Oct.  Lets bring our future stars up in June or July so when we are 10 or 15 games out ownership can say see we have future guys for next year that will make us better.  Hold Harvey back so we can see him pitch 3mos and take a year off and hope and pray he doesn't turn into another Wilson , Izzy , Pulsipher or even Santana.  Getting hitters out in Triple A and building innings count up doesn't help us stay in the race until at least May or June when we are pitching serviceable Vets.  Yea they eat up innings but is that what winning is about.  Man how about a change!!

Nick P Saporito
Nick P Saporito

The over/under for Met wins for this season is 71...They will have a hard time hitting 70..This GM talking 90 is ANOTHER load of crap to the fans...Hey Sandy,that statement WON'T sell tickets,try again..

Brian Descovich
Brian Descovich

You can start to act by winners by putting a reasonable product on the winners.   You can scream at the Jacksonville Jaguars to act like winners all you want ... it'll do no good.     And that's what Wilpon and Sandy are doing here.


It's a good sentiment.  But no one believes this is a 90win team, the Owner and GM don't even believe it.   So how can they expect the players to act as if they're on a 90-win team?   The players (with some exceptions) aren't stupid.  They know who is sharing a clubhouse with them.   And they know what owners who want to win do - they see it around the league.   Their owner isn't giving them a chance to be a 90-win team.  


Dante Puzzuoli
Dante Puzzuoli

Finally an honest jab at the wilpon's. Thank you Cerrone 

steve333
steve333

It's hard to think like winners when the owner is a loser

eric88
eric88

As far as a trade, in his forth year Sandy has NEVER made a trade unless he is dumping a Vet doing well and going into his walk year. Pagan, Beltran, Dickie, Byrd.  I don't think he will make a trade. No evidence he would. He asks to much for players that are not valued much by other teams. Think Ike and Duda.

Eric Olesh
Eric Olesh

Don't worry about Syndergaard's development of a change up or an extra year of team control, bring him up!  Thinking about winning leads to winning.  All very provable.

eric88
eric88

Signing Drew would cost a 3rd rounder. However, In the 52 year history of the NY Mets only 2 3rd round picks made a positive contribution and make ANY MLB team. That was Rick Aguilara, and Roger McDonald That's it . Around BB very few 3rd rounder get to the MLB. No problem giving it up,

Kevin VanTassell
Kevin VanTassell

It maybe wishful thinking, but I think there's still a move to be made. Four of the biggest trades the Mets have made have been between March and mid June.

03/27/87 David Cone

04/05/72 Rusty Staub

05/22/98 Mike Piazza

06/15/83 Keith Hernandez

eric88
eric88

Talent cost money. The 79.5 mil payroll is as far as they go. Forget Drew. For those of you that say the payroll is almost 85 mil, forget it. Early last week Sandy said when asked by a reporter if the 5 mil for promotions {concerts etc.] was included in the payroll figure and he replied,"yes, it includes everything". My question is, if the Mets should win 90 games why did they double their usual promotion expenditure? The BS never ends with this team.

ctsteve
ctsteve

Starting to act like winners is a statement that seems to be pure p-r when you've already made a decision to spend in the bottom rungs of all major league teams.  Money talks...and the refusal to commit it to the Mets success say a lot.

Lets start acting by winners. How do we do that? We hold people accountable that fail to perform by replacing them. Replacing them by who? Apparently no one, so lets just keep marching them out there and maybe we'll get lucky. 


This whole thing seems like spin on the negative pr the Mets were getting as a result of Alderson saying the Mets could win 90 games in that leaky executive room of theirs. Almost certain either Fred or Jeff can't keep their mouths shut...well unless its about money then they are as mum as possible.

11gilkey
11gilkey

Acting like a winner and playing like a winner are 2 different things Cerrone.  

I totally disagree with signing Drew! It's nit a good investment in money or resources. He not worth $10 mil a year or the 3rd rounder you would give up by signing him. Why would you commit to a shortstop with virtually no upside? He is what he is and that is nothing special. I'm not saying Tejada is the answer but neither is Drew! The Mets made multiple bad decisions that put them in rebuild mode since our collapses. Let's not make another one! Drew should have never turned down the qualifying offer.

Coq de Pierre
Coq de Pierre

@mike miranda   Agreed. It's like winning the Special Olympics.

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

@legs3  Considering they aren't going to win %^&* with this team anyway, I'd much rather have that extra year of control instead of using it up to get 10 or so starts in the majors on a 70+ win team. Especially when the kid could use the work to make his off speed pitches better. If they were a team on the fringe, then that's a different story.  

eric88
eric88

@andrew fisher  I'm not paying the 2nd highest ticket prices in MLB, to see the fifth lowest payroll in Baseball. Im not a fool.

Ed Yano
Ed Yano

Who exactly have the Mets had to trade in the last 4years that other teams might actually want?Of course he could have traded Wright Murphy Harvey but I don't think that would have been a good thing.Why don't you tell us what trades you would have made?

Brian Descovich
Brian Descovich

@Eric Olesh  What long term difference does it make if Syndergaard goes to arbitration in 2016 or 2017?        If he hits arbitration as a Super 2, yes it will be a year earlier - but he'll have less production under his belt.   After 3 full years in the bigs, his arbitration award will almost certainly be higher.


In the end - there's no practical difference if he hits arbitration in 2016 and gets 7mil, or hits it in fall 2017 and gets 9.5mil.      At the end of the day the Mets will want to pay up in 3/4 years to sign him to a long term deal, so when exactly he hits arbitration is irrelevant to a large degree.  I'm very surprised Sandy doesn't understand this.   But the problem is, I think he does know that - but is on a tight year-to-year budget.   He can't spend the extra $5 this year even if it saves him $10 next year.   

eric88
eric88

@Eric Olesh   90 Wins!! You see anybody who thinks they can win 80!! That means one of to things Sandy is delusional or a BS artist.. Based on the past I'd say probably both.

boisclair
boisclair

@eric88  Mike Piazza 31st round.  But it's not about the draft pick.  I don't want Drew.  Let's get the kid from Seattle or the vet from Cleveland.  No more fenway park sluggers who wet their pants when the see citi field.

mets2891
mets2891

@eric88 Mets fans whining about 3rd round picks are fools, I mean there's really no sensitive way to put it.

mets2891
mets2891

@Kevin VanTassell The Mets would've never traded for Piazza if it wasn't for Doubleday overruling Fred Wilpon.

mets2891
mets2891

 What is this the NFL?  Who gives a sh&* about a 3rd round pick?  Yeah, the Mets have made a lot of bad decisions that have put them in rebuilding mode, like getting in bed with Bernie Madoff.

boisclair
boisclair

@Matthew Orchant  Outfield is underated.  It between the 4, we will get excellent defense, and solid offense.

mets2891
mets2891

@Matthew Orchant They could've signed Jose Abreu and Drew and then really have created some excitement, but that's not how the Wilpons run things.

dukewillie
dukewillie

@eric88 @andrew fisher  I hope more Mets fans think and act as you do, until they sign better players, principally a SS and a 1B if Ike & Duda don't cut it.

TheRealSayHey24
TheRealSayHey24

@Kevin Connelly @Robby Johnson  Luis Castillo had a 4 year contract with the Mets, at $6.2M per, but fans consistently cite that signing by Minaya, as one of the 3 signings that crushed the Met franchise.  The others being Bay, Perez (instead of Lowe by the way, which was a year longer and more money per - and a worse signing).  This should have been peanut money for an organization that had their finances in order.