Sandy Alderson’s Optimism

Sandy AldersonImagine the surprise among New York/Metro Area Mets fans when they saw this morning’s Daily News . Sandy Alderson has apparently thrown down the gauntlet. In a supposedly “closed door” meeting – but of course knowing full well that anything quotable would find its way into a newspaper: such is the nature of a leaky outfit like the Mets – Alderson said the Mets should win 90 games. Yes, that’s “nine-zero.” This year. The immediate reaction over here was “I’ll have some of what he’s smoking.” 90 wins? With unsettled situations at first base, shortstop and the bullpen? When there’s still uncertainty about the final composition of the outfield? When seemingly all the acquisitions of an admittedly fine winter – by Mets’ standards, anyway – will only serve to replace production that has been shipped elsewhere or is currently sitting on the DL shelf? How could anyone in his right mind think this bunch, as presently constituted, could produce anything above and beyond a .500 mark? On second look, though, it appears there might be a purpose behind such outlandish talk.

No, as presently constituted, the Mets do not look like pennant winners. Not even a little bit. But this is the strongest looking Met squad since Sandy Alderson took over the GM job following the 2010 season and one needn’t look terribly far into the future to see bluer skies. Remember, one of the reasons Alderson and Terry Collins were brought in was to reverse the losing attitude that has pervaded Citi Field from the moment its gates opened – to “change the culture” in the current parlance. Alderson’s statement is a signal that – at least in his view, which is one of four that count – the culture shift is nearly complete. This can be looked at as the Mets attempting to emulate the 1992-into-1993 Yankees, who made a flurry of seemingly wheel-spinning moves, acquiring players who quietly became key components of the early portion of the dynasty. Now, the Yankee management never had to say anything like “We should win xx number of games;” they could rely on their fans to do that for them. In any case, the 1992 Yanks won 76 games. They upped their total to 88 in ’93. Now, before anybody gets crazy, I’m not saying the Mets are on the cusp of reeling off four pennants over the next five years, or establishing themselves as the force in MLB or New York City, as they were in the long-gone ‘80s. The point is, there are certainly worse teams and more woebegone eras to pattern the franchise after.

The other thing the Sandy Statement does is it gives the Mets a slightly more subdued Jimmy Rollins “we’re-the-team-to-beat” moment. This is Alderson trying to raise the expectations of the fans he has left. No problem there; again, this is what winning organizations do. Does Sandy Alderson really think the Mets are primed to break into the 90-win club? He might be a year too early, but they should get closer that mark than they’ve been since 2008.

If he is serious about 90 wins in 2014, though, it would appear that really has spent too much time in Colorado or Washington State…

Follow me on Twitter @CharlieHangley.

14 comments for “Sandy Alderson’s Optimism

  1. Name
    February 27, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    I’d like to know what most people were smoking when they predicted the Nationals to be one of the best teams in the NL, if not the top team.
    There’s a reason there’s betting on sports. It’s unpredictable.

  2. Metsense
    February 27, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Bovada has the Mets over/under at 73.5. I am a Met fan and I’ll take the over and sweat every moment that c-note is out there because my brain tells me that the Bovada is right.

  3. Jerry Grote
    February 27, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    with pitching and defense, anything is possible.

    Now, I don’t see Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy pitching the ball over to Ike Davis as defense, but I have hopes that only one of those three will be in the field after April Fool’s Day.

  4. February 27, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Everything would have to fall into place for the Mets to even contend for a wild card. I think the baseball gods will not be kind to the Wilpons or Met fans until the team has new ownership. There’s a sort of what comes around, goes around revolving around current Met ownership.
    Jerry Grote is right. Pitching and defense always gives your team a chance to win. I just hope TC abandons his philosophy on the bullpen and takes the best 7-8 pitchers north with him.

  5. Chris F
    February 28, 2014 at 9:49 am

    I think this is more a warning shot across the bow of the ship. If absolutely everything under the sun broke for teh Mets, I see 85 or so wins. Im hopeful for a .500 season, and I more or less expect 74-79 Wins.

    This is more a sign that 4 months of hitting on the Interstate wont be tolerated.

  6. Chris F
    March 2, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    I am not pressing the panic button.

    Really, I’m not.

    Yet still, three prettly lousy games into ST, I’ve seen little that makes me think breaking even is on the horizon, let alone 90 wins. Look I get that ST means next to zero, but after today’s embarrassment in Jupiter, which felt a lot lime many games in the past few years, we need to take stock of the present situation.

    Regardless of the pitching situation, scoring runs still looks painful. The bull pen is hardly a lock. The team looks a lot like it usually does. Sure Wright and Murph aren’t out there, but old familiar patterns look like they are still present.

    Are we having game chatter for ST games?

    • Jerry Grote
      March 2, 2014 at 8:15 pm

      best three losses ever.

      Got two HR, a double in and loud outs in like six AB from 1B.

      Fifth starter competition has 8 IP, 1 ER, and 9K and two of those guys might be in the pen.

      Best of all, we’ve got zero production out of the SS position, which will pressure the FO.

      Everything else is fluff.

      • Chris F
        March 2, 2014 at 8:41 pm

        I hear ya JG. But not scoring runs against no name pitchers is quite a familiar refrain. Out scored 21-6. Anyway, yes, a few loud outs. Duda’s hr was something else.

      • March 2, 2014 at 9:29 pm

        Love this summation, JG

        • Jerry Grote
          March 3, 2014 at 2:02 pm

          More of “who cares after this” today.

          Noah strikes out Heyward on three swinging strikes, pitches the first two innings and gives up all of one hit. It’s 2 PM on the first March Monday and I don’t care terribly what happens to the rest of the game or the day.

          That … right there … is all the hopium I can handle for one not-yet-spring day.

          • Chris F
            March 3, 2014 at 2:32 pm

            And Familia has looked good too! I loved the 98 mph to shut the door on Heyward! Kimbrel has let bases loaded with no out! Im smelling some steaks coming!

            • Chris F
              March 3, 2014 at 2:34 pm

              ok, bases loaded no out…and no runs…

              Im still excited about Noah and Familia.

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