MetsBlog Q&A: with Alderson about fans & decisions

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Last week, I had the opportunity to speak with Mets GM Sandy Alderson by phone for an exclusive MetsBlog Q&A.

Here is the last back and forth from our talk…

Matthew Cerrone : There has been a lot of talk about the decision-making process, with the regards to this specific front office. So far, given what you signed up for, and given how this spring has progressed, what adjustments have you had to make, what’s worked and what hasn’t?

Sandy Alderson: I think it’s important to have some structure. I think it’s important to follow a process. And, ultimately, it’s important that whatever structure and processes you impose you have good people involved who are carrying these things out. So far this spring, I think we’ve tried to be systematic about how we approach things. … For example, we released Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez, but we tried to do it pursuant to a more structured process than most people would have expected. But, from our standpoint, while that was important internally, it was also important because of our commitment to each player and in fostering a relationship of trust with the other players. I do believe it is important to approach things logically. That doesn’t mean everything has to take three weeks. You know, something could take just a few minutes. But, you do have to be careful of emotional responses to things, especially in professional sports, where it’s easy to get worked up about something or doing something that you might regret 24 hours later.

Matthew Cerrone: There are a lot of fans who believe they could be successful GMs. I never dismiss this, because there are a lot of educated fans and, technically, every GM was just a fan at some point before getting the job. But, what do you make of fan opinions about your job, given what you know is happening behind the scenes?

Sandy Alderson: Well, I do believe many fans have the experience and capacity to have good ideas about teams and how they’re built and how players are used and so forth. So, when I have conversations with fans, I have the utmost respect for their opinions. Because, I recognize that when it comes to any sport, opinions can vary and mine isn’t always the best, which is why you have people within an organziation who can take different view points and that can lead to constructive arguments and more informed decisions.

Matthew Cerrone: Can you tell me something about being GM of a baseball team that most fans would be surprised to hear?

Sandy Alderson: I think most people don’t fully understand how emotionally involved we all get. It’s a business, yes, and you try to be detached. But, we all get emotionally involved with the team and its winning and losing and it becomes something that controls your whole day. If you win the night before, your day starts very differently than if you lost. And so the rhythm of the season, the winning and the losing, it really controls your entire waking hours from the time the season begins to the time it ends, because the game is so unpredictable. There is an edge to everything that is either softened or hardened by whether you won or lost the night before. We try to be dispassionate and we try to be logical, we may appear to be rational, but we all get caught up in the emotion of the competition, which I think that’s a good thing.

To see the first and second part of this discussion, click here.

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