Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins battle for most outrageous remark

Reverse LogoIf there’s one thing that we’ve learned heading into Year Four of the Sandy Alderson-Terry Collins regime, it’s to take their words with a giant boulder of salt. The biggest area where perhaps we weren’t told the exact truth was in the payroll numbers for previous years. But there have been other instances of doublespeak as well. This past week was a doozy for things that management said that just didn’t make any sense.

Collins indicated that Lucas Duda could be part of an outfield platoon. If you check our archives, you’ll see me as one of the biggest Duda supporters around. But the thought of putting Duda back into the outfield in anything short of an extreme emergency is unfathomable to me, as it should be to anyone with two functioning eyes.

Duda is not an outfielder. No matter how many times one tries to put that particular square peg into a round hole, it’s not going to fit. At this point, there’s more justification for playing Ike Davis in the outfield than there is Duda. Davis may be a lousy outfielder. But we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Duda is a terrible outfielder. So, why would you willingly do that again? The only thing that makes sense is that this is another smokescreen coming from management.

Another recent Collins uttering had Eric Young Jr. as his preferred leadoff man. Yep, the one with the .290 wOBA for the Mets last year. Yep, the one who seems to have lost his job with the signings of Curtis Granderson and Chris Young. Call me crazy but it seems like a difficult thing for Young Jr. to be a leadoff hitter when he’s unlikely to start the majority of the games.

Perhaps as a point of support for the previous idea, Collins also mentioned that new free agent Young will compete with Juan Lagares for the center field job. There may be a mini revolt by the fans if Lagares is not the Opening Day center fielder. After his outstanding job with the glove last year, it’s virtually unthinkable that Lagares has to win a starting job in Spring Training. So, why is our manager suggesting otherwise?

The only thing that makes sense is that they promised Young when they signed him that he would have the opportunity to play center. If so, then perhaps fans aren’t the only ones who shouldn’t believe what management says.

Meanwhile, Alderson wasn’t about to let Collins have all the fun with the off-the-wall quotes. Alderson was quoted in MetsBlog as saying that for the first time, Wilmer Flores participated in an offseason conditioning program. The implication was that getting in shape may help out in his bid to play various positions.

This boggles my mind. Alderson has a reputation of being the smartest guy in the room, one that wouldn’t surprise me a bit if it were true the majority of times. How then could a guy take over a franchise with few impact hitters and not pay special attention to their most heralded batting prospect? How on earth could the Mets not have Flores in a conditioning program before now?

Recall that Flores was signed as a shortstop but was moved off the position for a lack of range.

Alderson indicated that Flores would see some time at short during Spring Training. Some fans have long held out hope that Flores could be the answer at that key defensive position. Perhaps others envision a new Kevin Mitchell, a guy Davey Johnson would spot at short when flyball pitcher Sid Fernandez was on the mound.

That’s an interesting idea. It should be pointed out that Jonathon Niese and Jenrry Mejia both have a groundball rate over 50% while the average mark is around 45%. The other three pitchers have groundball rates in the low 40s. That is below average but not quite in the territory of Fernandez or especially Daisuke Matsuzaka.

It’s hard to imagine that a guy who many doubt can play second base in the majors could somehow handle shortstop on a semi-regular basis. But even if he could – Would you want one of your top hitting prospects sitting on the bench 40% of the time or playing every day in the minors?

At least that is something on which reasonable people can disagree. Contrast that with the goofy idea that Duda should spend more scheduled time in the outfield in 2014. On that basis, Collins wins this week’s outrageous management claim.

12 comments for “Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins battle for most outrageous remark

  1. blastingzone
    January 31, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Oh that wacky and wild Collins what a clown! He has foot and mouth sickness because he’s always putting his foot in his mouth! The man is clueless!!

  2. ReneNYM1
    January 31, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Obiviously the Duda to the outfield was a smokescreen comment.

    • January 31, 2014 at 10:55 am

      It all better be lipservice in hopes of making the team look stronger. But does anyone actually believe Tejada can be a legit SS or Duda can play OF respectfully? Maybe Flores is possible, especially since the kid can hit…

      Mr. Alderson, Drew on line 2.

      • January 31, 2014 at 11:12 am

        Sorry Mike the call went to voicemail and everyone at the Mets front office is out to lunch for the foreseeable future.

        • Metsense
          January 31, 2014 at 10:16 pm

          :)

  3. January 31, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Why should the Mets promise Young anything Brian? They only signed him to a 1 year contract. Lagares is home grown and has paid his dues. God help us. Where are their priorities? why even bother to bend over backwards to promise him anything? 7 million for a player the team hopes will make a come back and rejuvenate his career. And if he does he’s gone by the trade deadline.

  4. January 31, 2014 at 11:58 am

    I can understand that SA may want to take some pressure off Lagares. But how do you expect for players to mature and grow if you keep signing stop gap players who are not going to part of your future? If Young winds up playing a majority of the year in center field then it’s time to clean house.

  5. Name
    January 31, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    I don’t believe Lagares has earned the starting CF job. If we scroll back to the archives of older articles and our game chats, I don’t think many suggested that Lagares would have the job outright at the end of the season while we were still watching him. I remember most people saying that CF would probably start out as MdD/Lagares platoon with hopefully one winning out. Now that we have Young, i don’t see anything different, just substitute Mdd with Young. It’s rare for a player’s stock to “improve” so much in the offseason and it may be a case of a player in theory seeming better than they are in real life.

  6. Patrick Albanesius
    January 31, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I agree that Lagares shouldn’t be given the job outright in spring, but this franchise has been afraid to rely on young talent for years now. You see other successful and non-successful teams thrown their rookies into the flames occasionally to see how they handle it. The Mets seem afraid to overexpose their guys at nearly all levels. Guys are either taking too long to develop through the system, or being held back for financial reasons. I like the off-season moves, and I’m excited to finally see some young talent emerge sooner rather than later. Collins and Alderson, you are experts in your field. Act like it. It’s not hard. Close your mouths and do your jobs. If this smokescreen crap is part of your strategy, then your strategy sucks.

  7. Metsense
    January 31, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    Playing Duda/Chris Young/ Granderson in the outfield along with Flores at shortstop would just neutralize the better than average pitching staff. The next step would be to bench Murphy and play Eric Young at second base to assure he can be the lead off batter ! Sandy’s comments are a smoke screen whereas Teflon Terry’s actually scare me.

  8. February 1, 2014 at 12:19 am

    Maybe Collins is thinking of moving Murphy to first base?! So that EY will get his well deserved at-nats and can work on his OBP! Sorry. Got carried away. Just like the manager.

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