If you read my previous entry on the Mets General Manager possibilities, you know that I am a strong proponent of the Amazins’ trying to pry young Jon Daniels away from the Texas Rangers. While that is unlikely to happen and the Mets would have to wait until the Rangers disappear from the playoff scene to pursue the Queens native (a possibility if the Rangers lose to the Rays in Game 5 tomorrow), I say go for it full bore.
In the mean time though, it appears as if former Oakland A’s GM, San Diego Padres CEO and current MLB executive Sandy Alderson has emerged as the favorite to lead the new Mets regime. SI.com’s Jon Heyman in his latest Daily Scoop Column cites Alderson’s “close ties to commissioner Bud Selig, who has close ties to Mets owner Fred Wilpon” as being a primary reason why the 62-year old Seattle native may be in the driver’s seat to take the controls in Flushing.
Currently, Alderson is manning MLB’s operations of trying to clean up the corruption of baseball in the Dominican Republic. It is not the first stint for Alderson in the league office. The former Marine was Selig’s right-hand man in the commissioner’s office serving as executive vice president for baseball operations. Alderson’s tenure as A’s GM from 1983-1997 was a highly successful one in which he helped rebuild Oakland into a baseball powerhouse. The A’s won four division titles, three pennants and the 1989 World Series during Alderson’s reign in Oakland.
Alderson is perhaps best know for being one of the pioneers of sabermetric analysis in baseball circles. For those of you who have been living on Mars the past 10 years or so, by way of Wikipedia sabermetrics is defined as “the analysis of baseball through
objective evidence, especially baseball statistics that measure in-game activity rather than industry activity such as attendance”. Alderson is credited for having passed on his knowledge to his successor in Oakland, Billy Beane, who has had a pretty good run with the A’s since 1997.
Clearly, this man has a lengthy baseball resume and would bring instant credibility and respectability to the Mets front office. Plus, it would be interesting to see this guy, who dealt with slashed payrolls toward the end of his time in Oakland, be able to toy with a $130-million dollar budget. Most importantly though, Alderson is the type of executive who you know would have as close to full autonomy as possible in a Jeff Wilpon led organization. His resume says so and Jeffy Boy might be forced to take his hand off the controls if they want to coax Alderson to come on board. That may as good a reason as any in my book to hire this guy…like yesterday.
When I get beyond my disdain for Mets ownership though, I really want a fresh new face. I want a guy who is able to instill new school sabermetric principles and use is old fashioned brain to put together a team built from the core to the top. That means this man will have the ability to seek out great scouting cohorts (not Omar Minaya please) and to help construct a stellar farm system. No more signing guys like Jason Bay and Francisco Rodriguez to inflated contracts. That crap has to end. Time to try and build a championship caliber team like the Phillies have over the past five years.
That being said, I am a big fan of some of the other guys who have already been confirmed for interviews with the Mets this week. That trio is Allard Baird, a Red Sox assistant and the former general manager in Kansas City; Josh Byrnes, the former general manager in Arizona; and Rick Hahn, a highly-coveted assistant with the White Sox.
Whatever ends up shaking out in the Mets front office, you have to at least like the fact that the organization, at least on the surface, appears to be going in a direction the fanbase is warm to. The ultimate question will be answered when the man who takes charge decides whom to put in the Mets dugout. I have a gut feeling that Wally Backman is gonna be that man.