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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mets GM Sandy Alderson thinks the Mets are better than most people think

New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is feeling some heat for the team’s drastic reduction in payroll and a couple of his tongue-in-cheek jabs about the franchise’s frugality on Twitter.

However, he doesn’t believe the 2012 season will be the lost cause many expect it to be for the Mets.

“Look, I think we all once in a while have to chuckle at ourselves and how we’re perceived. By no means am I making light of where we are as a franchise,” Alderson told WFAN radio in New York. “I will say that everything we do currently is kind of interpreted through that financial lens. It is absurd in many instances, but what I’ve tried to do is inject a little humor into the last couple of weeks of the offseason.

“Once we get to spring training, we’ll be almost all business. I think Mets fans have a sense of humor. I think they’re passionate and I certainly don’t want to offend that passion. Three months from now that financial picture could be a lot clearer and a lot brighter. In the meantime, we’re going to spring training and I think we’ll have a far more interesting team to watch than many people have felt.”

The financially-troubled franchise has slashed about $50 million from its opening-day payroll in 2011 and lost star shortstop Jose Reyes to free agency during the offseason. As the Mets have taken a step backward, the Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals have improved, leading many to predict a last-place finish for New York in the NL East.

“I look at it from this point of view. I don’t think anybody on our team, with the exception maybe of Jose Reyes, who’s no longer with us, had a career year,” Alderson told WFAN. “I don’t think there’s even one guy on our team, even the big-money guys that doesn’t have something to prove. ... I think these guys will play hard, and we can call it ‘overachieve,’ but I think the team is better than people are giving it credit for.”

The Mets finished 77-85 last season, their third consecutive fourth-place finish.

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