Before the season began, Mets GM Sandy Alderson had told fellow staffers during an internal meeting he thought the team was capable of winning 90 games. Naturally, like everything else in Mets land, Alderson’s thoughts immediately became public fodder, in turn igniting the fire of an extremely reactive fanbase that comes equipped with a severe inferiority complex.
So prior to today’s game against the Nationals, he clarified his statement to members of the media. In doing so, Alderson sounded like a guy who’s had just about enough of the surrounding negativity and seemingly accepted sense of doom that often hovers over the troubled organization.
“It wasn’t a guarantee. It wasn’t a prediction. It was a challenge, a challenge for us internally — how do we get there? Was I surprised by the skepticism? Am I concerned about the optics? No. It’s time for us to get better. And what you can measure, you can improve. I can’t really measure competitiveness. What’s wrong with a hard standard? To me, the worst thing we can do is have sort of a nebulous notion of, gee, let’s try to do this or try to do that. We need to turn a corner. It needs to be a 90-degree angle.”
It’s safe to assume “baby steps” is one of Alderson’s least favorite expressions. He went on to echo the spirit of the always poignant Don Draper:
“What I want to emphasize is that it’s important for us to change the conversation.”
A change in conversation must begin with a change to that pesky “same old Mets” laugh track we have all become so accustomed to. Alderson continued:
“I’m never thrilled when private conversations are disclosed publicly, which happens all too frequently in connection with the Mets,” he said. “Shame on me for assuming that it wouldn’t. And actually, I didn’t assume that it wouldn’t. Around here you have to assume everything that’s said eventually becomes public.”
His line of “shame on me for assuming” and a not so subtle dig at the organization in saying “around here.” Yikes. These are the kind of words you get from a fed-up guy who’s about to call his agent and say “rescue me.” But perhaps Alderson thought this was the only approach to take to get people to shut up, listen and learn.
Either way, it’s important to remember these are comments coming from the team’s GM before the first game of the season.
So I certainly wouldn’t write off the idea that at some point soon we’ll see Alderson pull a Costanza and storm Citi Field with a “body suit guy” stunt or a ceremonial dragging of the 1986 World Series trophy, all in the desperate interest of getting canned.
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[via Yahoo Sports]