In a Q&A with season ticket holders Saturday afternoon at Citi Field, Sandy Alderson answered questions about the fan’s role in the organization increasing payroll.
“Look, what I have said on many occasions is it’s not up to you to come and create a situation where we can improve our payroll,” he explained, attempting to clarify comments that led fans to feel the opposite is true. “We need to play better with what we have. And, I don’t define that in terms of payroll, but with the players that we have.”
Alderson said he has the ability to raise payroll, but intends to do it only when the team is in a position to realistically fight for a playoff spot, whether in season or in the off season.
“I really do believe that we are close,” he said. “So, let’s focus on what we have between now and the trade deadline. Let’s see where we are. And then in the offseason, that’s another question you can ask me and I’ll have to answer again, for sure.”
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
In regards to his first response, most fans and almost all radio hosts, columnists and reporters seem to skip the first step, hearing, “You have to come watch a bad team before we actually spend some money on players,” as Adam Rubin said in late May on an ESPN podcast (ESPN, May 28)
As I said last month, the way I hear this, and the way I’ve always heard this, is that Alderson expects fans to start buying tickets when the team’s young pitching begins to finally deliver wins, at which point revenue will go up, at which point he’ll have more money to spend on payroll, which should help get more wins, which will increase revenue, which will continue to increase payroll, and so on, and so on… His answer to fans this past Saturday seems to support this.
Now, don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying I expect him to follow through. He may, he may not. I don’t know. This remains to be seen. All I’m saying is, in regards to the messaging, the focus seems to be first be on winning with less, which will fuel spending, as opposed to an increase in attendance being expected to come first. Whether or not this will work is a whole other debate…