SBD/Issue 36/Franchises

New Mets GM Sandy Alderson Promises Teamwork In Front Office

Alderson Intrigued By Location, Resources
That Exist In New Role Of Mets GM

New Mets GM Sandy Alderson during his introductory news conference on Friday "dismissed the notion" of having full autonomy, and he "sees himself as an executive who will work with ownership in decision-making," according to David Lennon of NEWSDAY. Mets Owner Fred Wilpon said that Alderson will have "more latitude in the role than anyone" since Frank Cashen, who served as Mets GM from '80-91. Alderson said, "In some instances, I will make decisions. In other instances, I will make recommendations. That's the way it should be" (NEWSDAY, 10/30). Alderson agreed to a four-year contract through '14 with a club option for '15, and Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said, "It's a new direction and it's a new voice for the fan base and for ownership." In N.Y., Andy Martino wrote Alderson on Friday "projected exactly what the Mets wanted from their next general manager: a person whose stature, experience and confidence could assure ownership and the fan base that the future will be better than the recent past." Fred Wilpon said, "He's got a lot of experience. Loves the game. He's very excited about this job (and) he's had a great history. ... It's nice to have articulation like that. He has ideas and he's able to express that. That's good" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/30).

DIAMOND VISION: Alderson made clear his "stated goals: Unify the entire organization with an underlying ideology; refurbish the minor-league system; achieve payroll flexibility to compete in free agency" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 10/30). In N.Y., Harvey Araton wrote the Mets "needed Alderson a heck of a lot more than he needed them." Alderson said, "This is not a job I would have taken anywhere." He took the job "because he was intrigued by the location and the resources -- at least what he imagines those Bernie Madoff-challenged resources to be -- and because" MLB Commissioner Bud Selig "promoted him to Wilpon for the chore of putting the Mets’ tattered house in order." Jeff Wilpon stressed his role with the team "hasn't changed." He said, "What your perception of my role is and the fans' perception of my role is not correct." But Araton noted "longtime whispers ... run contrary to the claim" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/30). ESPN N.Y.'s Ian O'Connor wrote Fred Wilpon "called the past two years the most difficult of his ownership career," and he hired Alderson "to make his on-field troubles disappear" (ESPNNEWYORK.com, 10/30). Fred Wilpon said, "It helps Jeff particularly because he has that kind of professional relationship with someone who has a lot of experience, enabling him to concentrate on other areas, as well, which he might not have been able to concentrate on" (NEWSDAY, 10/30).

Alderson (c) Hired To Reverse Recent On-Field
Results, But Payroll Will Not Be Unlimited

NOT MUCH TO WORK WITH: Alderson "refused to say this is a rebuilding situation, but he also said he is a 'realist' about their short-term and long-term goals." Alderson acknowledged that the Mets "have very little payroll flexibility for 2011 and the Wilpons went as far as to say they're pretty much at the 'maximum' right now" at about $130M. As a result, Mets fans likely can "forget about any big-ticket free agents such as Cliff Lee or Carl Crawford this winter." Alderson said, "We want to be in the market every year. Will we be in the market this year aggressively? Unlikely" (NEWSDAY, 10/30). More Alderson: "I think what we're looking at for 2011 is a little less flexibility than we'd like to have." Jeff Wilpon added, "I assume we're close to the maximum. ... And I don't think he would recommend, and hasn't recommended, going above that right now" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/30).

TURNING THE PAGE: In New Jersey, Bob Klapisch wrote, "It took guts for the Wilpons ... to hire a tough, self-confident man like Alderson, because it means they'll both have a lower profile from now on" (Bergen RECORD, 10/30). On Long Island, Ken Davidoff wrote the hiring of Alderson as GM "represents nothing less than the dawn of a new era." Alderson "gets it." He understands New York, the Mets, "he gets the Wilpons," and perhaps "most important, he gets baseball" (NEWSDAY, 10/30). In N.Y., Mike Lupica wrote the Mets "officially got better Friday." Lupica: "All you had to do was watch the way Alderson carried himself, the things he said and the way he said them" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/30). In New Jersey, Tara Sullivan wrote, "The innovative thinker, in combination with the seasoned leader, presented quite a picture Friday, offering the Mets a strong, experienced voice that was lacking in six years under former GM Omar Minaya" (Bergen RECORD, 10/30). NEWSDAY's Lennon noted Alderson now has to "pick up the pace on any front-office hires, as well as appointing a manager, to have them in place" by the MLB GM meetings beginning on Nov. 17 (NEWSDAY, 10/31). Alderson, 62, is the "oldest current general manager" in MLB (N.Y. POST, 10/30).

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