Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In Sandy We Trust?


Now that the dust has settled on the hiring of Sandy Alderson, it's time to think about what we hope he will do for our Metropolitans. I have been a Mets fan for over twenty years and I can not stand what an embarrassment the franchise has turned into of late. We need a leader who can make us proud to be Mets fans again, and who can restore the good name of the Mets organization around baseball. I don't want to talk specifics yet, but this feeling of a fresh start from Alderson's hiring has me thinking of all the reasons why I love the Mets, and what kind of organization I hope they become during his tenure. From what I have read, Alderson seems like the perfect candidate to lead the Mets going forward. Above all else this is an intelligent man. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1969 (a memorable year for the Mets), and is a Harvard trained lawyer. He is also a proud man having served in the United States Marine Corps. One thing I have admired about him thus far is that he does not seem too proud. Unlike former GM Omar Minaya, whose loyalty to goons such as Tony Bernazard reeked of nepotism, Alderson seems committed to surrounding himself with capable and talented assistants. He has hired former Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi and former Dodgers GM Paul DePodesta to work in his front office. I hope that Alderson can begin to reforge the Mets image to reflect my image of him, intelligent and proud, but not too proud. True, the Mets are more financially solvent than the Oakland A's, the team which all three of these aforementioned men are famous for making successful on a tight budget. The success of Alderson as Mets GM, however, will not be determined by how well they match up to the A's. Rather, the Mets measuring stick for success will be their cross town rivals the Yankees. It seems like the Mets identity over the past ten years has been "the team who tries to do what the Yankees do, but comes up short." Let's all do ourselves a favor and stop playing catch up to the Yankees because it's never going to happen. Even if we live another 300 years, we still probably won't get to see the Mets win their twenty-seventh World Series. I, for one, am fine with that. If we get one, it will mean more to me than I can even imagine. In fact, I like the Mets because they're not the Yankees. My Mets are scrappy underdogs. They're not regal pinstripes, but rather jovial orange and blue. They don't make you think of baseball as a business, but rather the game that we all grew up playing, and loving. My Mets are pitching and defense. They're old school, hard nose, no nonsense National League baseball. They're strategy. They're players who can grow beards if they want to. They never stop hustling, even when the final out in the World Series is dribbling meekly towards the first baseman's glove. Us fans don't expect them to win every year. We would never leave a playoff game early. We know our enemies well, and respect them. Each one of us is doing a better job managing the game in our minds than whoever is getting paid to do it from the dugout. And don't forget it! Sandy, what can you do for us?
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