Jun 14, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson (left) talks with chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon before the start of a game against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

So, whose fault is it, Sandy?


Sandy Alderson publicly supported Terry Collins as manager a couple weeks ago amidst buzz that Collins was on the hot seat as the losses kept mounting.

Well, now the “sources” are backing up Sandy’s words. Via Andy Martino of the NY Daily News:

People in the team’s front office say that Alderson has been thinking a lot lately about the team’s run differential (minus 10), which he believes indicates that the team should be around .500, not 31-39. Other disaster teams, like the Phillies (minus 26) and the Padres (minus 61) have far worse differentials.

But the GM, in searching for explanations and ways to improve, adamantly does not believe that managerial tactics are to blame for the underachieving, colleagues say.

That strongly suggests that Collins is safe for the foreseeable future, and it doesn’t even account for another key point of Alderson’s personality: He truly does not believe in change for the sake of change, and speaks often of the risks of that approach. This GM feels that a team can make itself worse, if its decisions are guided by emotion or narrative, rather than cold logic.

In New York, we are accustomed to managers automatically losing their jobs under certain circumstances, like a string of losing seasons. But the guy running the Mets simply does not think this way. He values stability over the short-term jolt of change.

That may be well and good, and I personally have believed that we have needed to get away from the “short-term jolt of change” tactics that have plagued the New York Mets over their 50-year history. But this is now Collins’ 4th year managing this team. The team has not gotten better in that time, and one could argue it has only gotten worse. And the roster certainly has to do with that. While the minor leagues have begun to flourish under Sandy and his front office team’s leadership, which is something the Mets direly needed to fix, his judgement at the Major League level has been less than stellar.

While I do not believe Terry is the long-term answer at the manager position (even if “long-term” just means the length of his contract, including his 2016 option), he is more than a sub-par in-game manager, and has not put Sandy’s lackluster roster in proper positions to succeed, regardless of our perception of talent level.

The unfortunate circumstance for Mets fans is that this team is unlikely to have long-term success with the Wilpons at the helm (and I bet Sandy thinks about that from time to time, trying his best to turn a Dodge into a Cadillac.)

Since they bought out Nelson Doubleday for full stake of the team, the Mets have had only 4 winning seasons out of 12, one of which was a rebuilding year that needed a strong push at the end to finish 83-79 (’05), 2 which included epic collapses, and 1 where the Mets couldn’t capitalize on the greatest postseason catch ever to win their 5th pennant. The Wilpons have yet to show they can capably run a Major League baseball team, let alone that they understand what it means to own the New York Metropolitans.

I want this team to win desperately, but it breaks most of our hearts to have a gut feeling that will never happen with the Wilpons owning the team.

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Tags: Sandy Alderson The Wilpons

  • http://www.vitamincm.com VitaminCM

    It’s Mr. Met’s fault that’s who.

  • Nemo22

    Any normal GM would recognize that he hasn’t done the job in improving the ML team. Yes, Sandy has made some good trades that look good on paper but have not helped the ML team yet. Where are Sandy’s position players after 4 years? What holes has he fixed?. Four years running and this team has gone from bad to unwatchable to irrelevant. I have been a Mets fan for over 40 years and I cannot put myself through the torture of watching this team play.

  • Iowa Mets fan

    You can’t blame ownership. For years they were great to fans – overpaying for some of the best free agents on the market, trying to get the best players available to win games and make fans happy – ex. Jason Bay. Can you blame them and Sandy for not wanting to sign free agents like Jacoby Elsbury for more than he received? Handing out over priced and multi-multi-year contracts for less than star talent has finally stopped. They’ve finally learned to not do that! The team had to be completely rebuilt and it will take several years, like the Astros or an expansion team. Despite their terrible record the team is getting better overall. The Mets now have great starting pitching. They will trade some of the pitching this off season for hitting. With a couple of clutch, good batters the Mets would turn many of those 1-run losses into wins and be in first place.
    Now that the Mets have pitching Sandy will work on position players. It can’t all be done in 3 off seasons. I’m glad the Mets stopped paying for overpriced free agents. Stephen Drew? Thanks Science!

    How can you blame Terry? His lineup can’t hit! And the poor bullpen – pitching innings 6-9 so often.

    Also, quit boo-ing. That’s just ridiculous. The Mets are a great team to root for. They don’t have punks. They seem to like each other and they play as hard as possible.
    Go Carlos Torres! Rubber arm.

    • Sam Maxwell

      Yeah, they spent money then, but they put it in the hands of someone who did not know how to spend for long-term success, and Madoff, Citi Field exposed not only the Wilpons and how poorly they run the team, but exposed how poor of an overall job Omar Minaya was doing. It was a perfect storm.

    • Ken Meoni

      Even back then they went for the second best available………Bay, instead of Holliday. To be the best, you have to go after the best. Now, we go after over the hill players.
      Who do I blame………all of them, except Mr. Met. :) That was a good one Vitamin.

    • Victor Chu

      Iowa Mets fan – not sure if you’re related to the Wilpons, but yes, we can blame ownership for most of the last 6 years. I wouldn’t say that they were “great to fans” by any means especially during that period (like why would they built a ball park that zaps the offense from their marquee player) … and, sure, they spent SOME $ during the pre-Madoff era, but at their direction, they have operated like a small market team since 2009 (not coincidentally with Madoff going to jail). And, I don’t blame them for signing Bay, but they have gone after 2nd or lower tier players outside of Johan. I would not have signed Ellsbury either, but the fact of the matter is, the Mets are financially constrained and the Wilpons don’t want to give up >50% ownership to get the necessary injection of $ from investors or sell outright (see the Dodgers as an example), just so Fred can have his “legacy” and Jeffie can keep his toy (the team) like James Dolan does with the Knicks and Rangers to keep him out of more trouble than he’s currently in. Other owners and GMs have turned their teams around faster, with the Astros being the exception, and even they are looking good — and, look at Miami … they are even more exciting than our Mets even without Jose Hernandez! As for the the Mets getting better overall, have you watched any games this year? There clutch hitting is barren, which means they have no margin for error with their pitching or defense. When they have pitch and defended well, the team has won (like in April). When the pitching (including the relievers) and the defense (like last night) are even slightly off, AND the team doesn’t hit, well you get the May and June results. I will agree that they have solid (but not great) starting pitching, but you can’t win consistently by scoring only 3 runs or less per game. As for trading pitching for hitting, I’d be very cautious with that — how often do teams have/keep 5 or even 6 starters healthy nowadays? That said, an improvement in offense (especially clutch hitters) is paramount … not sure Stephen Drew would have been the answer this year … it’s a team thing (read: Wright, Granderson, Chris Young, Duda and d’Arnaud). If each of the current crew had played consistently this year to their potential/historical peak years, the team would likely be in 1st place even with the crappy bullpen during the early weeks of the year, but that’s a lot of ifs. Still, in my mind, the Mets have had 5 off-seasons to turn things around … the rest of us fans are still waiting. I’m not as down on Terry as a lot of other pundits are, but there have been decisions he’s made that make you scratch your head … the best tactician of the game he is not considering the # of 1-run games the team has lost. Still, he’s good for a generally young team like our boys. The bullpen has been better overall, but yes, they are taxed. At some point, I think some of these guys will break down, especially with all the extra inning games the team has played. Finally, boo-ing is a “right of fans” … not all of it warranted at times, but for most of us, it is just an expression of our frustration since that curveball from Wainwright in the 2006 NLCS. I do like that they don’t have any punks poisoning the clubhouse … the players are having a tough enough time as it is … I feel very sorry for David Wright, but thank god, guys like Valdespin are gone. OK … enough of my diatribe, now that lunch is over. Back to work!

  • Ken Meoni

    Just look at the picture. Would you call this a brain trust?

  • A Pocono View_

    Yes u can blame ownership, perhaps maybe not for all, but yes u can.They’re all culpable…and while rebuilding usually takes more than 3 yrs, they should be getting better each yr, and they’re not.And while the players are probably better than record indicates, and they may be playing hard for TC, mostly, they’re not playing right.