Sandy Alderson told team executives – including Fred Wilpon – that he thinks the Mets could win 90 games this year (Harper, Feb. 27).
“I think it has to be a mind set,” Alderson later told the Daily News. “Part of creating a winning environment is setting ambitious goals and working toward them. But it has to be systematic and it can’t be totally unrealistic. I don’t think it is in this case.”
Wilpon later said during the meeting, “We better win 90,” in response to Alderson’s bold statement (Harper, Feb. 27).
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
This is bold. But, you know what? Good. I know, I know, everyone is going to laugh at Sandy, they’re going to goof on his statement and list sensible — probably accurate — reasons why the Mets aren’t winning 90 games. However, I’m also bothered when he sets his sights on ‘competing,’ which is another way of saying, ‘A for effort.’ Similarly, Wilpon once talked about playing ‘meaningful games in September,’ which is a phrase that will never die.
So, when Alderson says he thinks the team can and should win 90, why is that a bad thing? As long as he truly believes he’s built a team that can do that, I say go for it. If it doesn’t pan out, if they fail that goal, try again. But, the idea that simply competing is an acceptable goal has never rubbed me the right way. I can go 0-162, but if I lost every game by one run I technically ‘competed.’ It’s a weak way of thinking and talking.
I’m glad Alderson is finally raising the stakes for his young team, regardless of whether fans and media think it’s unrealistic.