Sandy Alderson’s Actions Speak Louder Than His Words Ever Will

Like he has so many times over the past month when talking to the media, Sandy Alderson once against stated that the Mets should be buyers as the trade deadline continues to creep around the corner next Tuesday. However, instead of being confident in what he was saying about his club, he decided to take a different route, one that he hadn’t heard yet this year.

If you missed exactly what the Mets GM said, here it is:

“It’s not a question of what we see on the field to make us buyers. It’s what we see on the field that causes us not to be buyers. The presumption is that we are buyers. And, it has been. But, realistically, the next seven, eight, ten games become important for us.”

 

Earlier in the season, when the Mets were playing much better, Alderson said that New York would be buyers at the trade deadline, without any hesitation. Now that they haven’t been playing very well, he’s going to wait even longer to see if the team can turn it around before he decides to make a move to help them out, which they so desperately need.

I understand that the 2012 New York Mets weren’t built to be World Series contenders when they broke camp in Port St. Lucie. However, I did think that if players performed the way they were capable of, this team would be a lot better than expected. Throughout the first half of the year, that’s exactly what they did. It can be called overachieving, but their performance through the first 86 games of the season was what I was expecting, if Terry Collins’ players performed close or at their career norms.

Since the heartbreak of 2006 and watching Carlos Beltran get fooled by Adam Wainwright‘s nasty curveball, it’s been tough being a Mets fan, mostly because when things go south, they go south faster than a fat kid eats his birthday cake. We all know the stories; 7 game lead with 17 games to play vanished in 2007, while a 5 game lead in September also disappeared in 2008. Once they were done blowing leads late in the season, literally the entire team spent time on the disabled list at some point in 2009. The 2010 season looked promising, as Jerry Manuel had David Wright and company 10 games over .500 going into the All-Star break, but that quickly faded in July. In 2011, we saw a new regime (Alderson and Terry Collins) take over, but be confined by the Bernie Madoff scandal, which ended in watching Jose Reyeswalk away from the only organization he ever knew.

February 24, 2012; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets left fielder Jason Bay (left) and general manager Sandy Alderson watch spring training workouts at Digital Domain Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

That’s a lot of crap to happen to one team in a span of six seasons. Throughout 2012, it’s been apparent what the Mets have needed the most: some bullpen help. No matter how you slice it, the relievers for the New York Mets on the whole, have been atrocious. It puts extra pressure on the offense to score more runs because it seems as if no lead is safe, and forces starting pitchers to try and be perfect all the time. A prime example is the 9-5 win against the Nationals this week. That game was in the bag after the 3rd inning, but the bullpen slowly kept letting the Nationals back into the game, and it was almost another nightmare for fans to watch. However, Alderson has been steadfast in saying that the Mets are buyers and will continue to be buyers, and they plan on buying some relievers.

During the All-Star break, we heard that the front office felt that they “owed it” to Terry Collins and his players to get them some help as a reward for how they’ve played thus far this season. Also, we heard that Bernie Madoff’s name hasn’t been floating around Citi nearly as much anymore, and New York was willing to open their pockets a bit to get some reinforcements for a playoff run. Alderson did made it clear that they weren’t planning on giving up any of their top prospects (mainly Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey), which makes complete sense, but they’re still planning to be buyers.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone flat out tells me they’re going to do something, then blatantly neglect to follow through on said promise. It’s getting to the point in the season where the snowball is picking up speed; the team was able to get past losing Mike Pelfrey for the season and avoid losing David Wright to the DL because of his fractured pinkie. However, now we’ve lost Dillon Gee for the season, Johan Santana is on the DL, Frank Francisco is still far from a return, and the bullpen still can’t get anyone out consistently. It’s been getting to the point for a few weeks now that this team can’t hold on by themselves much longer. The players have heard their front office say that help is on the way, but have seen no trace of it yet.

Just within the past two days, the Astros traded away Brandon Lyon (0-2, 3.25 ERA, 35 K’s in 36 IP) to the Toronto Blue Jays and Brett Myers (0-4, 3.52 ERA, 19 saves in 30.2 IP) to the White Sox. Once these two relievers were traded, we heard that the Mets had no interest in them. We’ve also heard within the last week or so that Francisco Rodriguez and Huston Street were “too pricey” for New York, yet they’re still rumored to be talking to San Diego about Street. Also, New York has been “interested” in Jonathan Broxton since ‘Nam.

It’s not so much the lack of action from Alderson that makes me angry, it’s with how he’s changed his story. He’s gone from saying that the Mets will definitely be making moves, to needing to wait until after the All-Star break to see how the market forms, now to saying how the results of the next few games leading up to the deadline will dictate whether they will make deals or not. That’s not fair to this team or the fans, and that’s partially why the stadium is half full. This lack of action while the trade market for relievers is active and developed leads me to believe that the front office doesn’t have faith in this team, and they were just waiting as long as possible to see if the ship would start to sink to justify not spending money or prospects. The players should feel betrayed- I do.

Fans and writers have been saying for weeks that the Mets need bullpen help immediately (which is the understatement of the century) and we haven’t seen anything. What Sandy has been doing is typical lawyer speak from someone with a Juris Doctorate. Sandy, if you never believed in this team and was never planning on making a deal since you don’t want to part with any prospects, that’s fine, just say it from the start. It’s like diagnosing a disease; once we all know what it is, it’s a lot easier to cope with. However, saying that we’re going to be buyers and not doing anything is much worse.

For all I know, the Mets could swing a deal five minutes from now and my entire argument would become moot, but I won’t believe it until I see it. This team needs help and is sinking fast, and we’ll see if the captain decides to do.

Topics: Brandon Lyon, Bretty Myers, David Wright, Francisco Rodriguez, Huston Street, Jonathan Broxton, Matt Musico, MLB Trade Deadline, New York Mets, Rising Apple, Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hector-Cortes/100000351183370 Hector Cortes

    Sandy Alderson failed to take action 2 weeks ago like he should have to help this team going forward and now makes me worried if when we eventually do get to become a much better team in the pennant race if he’ll actually make deals that will help towards playoff pushes in the future. Omar was the same way saying he’d trade for guys and never pulled the deals off that he needed to and right now Alderson is in the same boat.

  • Acoustic567

    One thing Sandy has made clear is that he will not trade anyone who is in line to help the Mets in 2013 or 2014. Given how often bullpen acquisitions turn out not to be so great — Rauch and Francisco, anyone? — I believe that this is a wise position to take.

    We don’t know what the Padres are asking for Street, and without knowing that, I can’t say whether Sandy should make a deal for him. As for Brandon Lyon, he is not someone who would make a dime’s worth of difference to how this season turns out for the Mets.

    Sandy is in a tough position, not because of the fans but because of the players. He has to make clear he’s not going to mortgage the future, which most fans don’t want him to do, while convincing the players he still believes in the team’s chances this year. It doesn’t bother me that he may change the tune as the situation may change — all I want is for him to make the right move, not to “keep his promises.”

  • http://twitter.com/mmusico8 Matt Musico

    Great points by both of you guys and thank you for reading. There wasn’t one time where I wanted Alderson to mortgage the future for relievers because it doesn’t make any sense to do so.
    Keeping your word is pretty important to me, and it probably is for the players too. Each one of these Mets believe they can make a run at the playoffs. They heard their front office say that they see they need bullpen help, and they’re going to do something to improve it. The players should feel slighted because what they did over the first half is now being overlooked due to this current skid.
    He basically just has to throw them a bone to give them some confidence and he hasn’t done that yet even though he said he would, and now it’s starting to show.

  • http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.blogspot.com/ MikeLecolant.BTB

    Double speak is a part of being a GM. This bullpen needs to be reconstructed regardless. And so I think Sandy will be busy. The chips in the 2012 season are being forced to fall where they may. But Matt brings out a great point because no one likes to hear their GM speak out of both sides of their face. Sandy is better than that. Tell us the situation is fluid. But don’t sway with the breeze.

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