Since he was hired to be the Mets general manager, Sandy Alderson has shown flashes of humor during interviews, via his twitter account, and through other public appearances. I’ve always enjoyed that about him, as I think having a sense of humor can bring some much needed lightheartedness to a high stress job. However, Sandy’s latest joke during a speech at the BBWAA dinner Saturday night didn’t exactly make me laugh.
To lighten the mood during his remarks at the dinner, Alderson provided a message for Mets fans:April 11, 2011; Flushing, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (right) talks with general manager Sandy Alderson before the game against the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger via USA TODAY Sports
“There’s been a lot of talk about our outfield. And I want you to know that I’m in serious discussions with several outfielders I met on the internet. There’s one I really like. He says he played at Stanford.”
Not only is Alderson poking fun at the situation involving Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o, but this is not the first time he’s made a joke about the outfield, which most analysts are projecting to be the team’s biggest weakness in 2013. When asked about the same topic back in November at the GM Meetings, he responded with:
The truth to these statements are not the point; I find it hard to have a team, or any part of a team, be confident in their ability to perform on the field when their boss has repeatedly showed a lack of confidence in them in the public eye. Sandy hasn’t done a great job in putting an outfield together this winter that others are confident about, and he’s well aware of it. The acquisitions of Andrew Brown and Collin Cowgill will work out better than some people think, but they are by no means the answer to an outfield that looks weaker on paper right now than it did at the end of the 2012 season.
Instead of making jokes about a glaring weakness, I’d much rather see our GM actually do something about it and make a move. I understand that players like Josh Hamilton and B.J. Upton have aided in making the outfield market overpriced this winter, but there have been plenty of moves made by other teams that I would have loved to see the Mets make. Instead, they sat on their hands while division opponents such as Phillies and Nationals improved with acquisitions of Ben Revere and Denard Span, respectively.
So, I’m real tired of these jokes being cracked for the world to see; it’s part of the reason why plenty of people (including their own fan base) don’t take the organization seriously. “The plan” they’re following to become a consistently competitive team seems to be a solid one and while it remains to be seen whether it ends up being successful or not, I don’t think this humor tactic will help the Mets become a legit power within the National League East again.
For an organization to become a winner, everyone needs to be on the same page and have confidence in what they’re working toward. Even though it’s obvious Alderson would like to acquire more proven outfielders going into this season, he needs to own up to the moves he’s made at this point in the off-season, and publicly show confidence in the players Terry Collins will be putting on the field, whether he believes it himself or not. If he continues to make fun of the Mets’ roster, how does the front office and ownership expect fans to pay the price of admission to watch a ballgame at Citi Field this summer?