Before the 2012 and 2013 campaigns, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson stated publicly that he expects the Mets to “compete” or “be better” – ambiguous statements that didn’t do much to excite anyone. People scoffed. This year, he apparently said in a staff meeting that he thinks the Mets can win 90 games. People scoffed.
Dec 10, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the MLB Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
Yes, it would be pretty surprising if the Mets made a 16 win improvement in 2014. No, it’s not a big deal that Alderson has high expectations.
According to John Harper of the Daily News, Alderson’s remark (which was echoed by team owner Fred Wilpon during the meeting) wasn’t supposed to get out. However, Alderson is standing by it. Writes Harper:
"…there is the potential for Alderson to look foolish, but he didn’t flinch when I asked him on Wednesday if he had indeed made the 90-win comment. ‘All I’ll say is we have higher expectations than we’ve had in the past,’ he said. The Mets GM went on to talk about the importance of not only aiming high but making sure everyone gets the message. ‘Because I think it has to be a mind-set,’ he said. ‘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.’"
It’s clear that 90 wins isn’t an edict. Rather, it’s the general manager exuding confidence and setting the bar high prior to the season.
Many in the media will chuckle at Alderson’s comment, and many Mets fans will be angered by it for some reason. However, saying the Mets should win 90 is a hell of a lot better than saying ambiguously that they should “compete.”