Sandy Alderson’s call to action is going unanswered

Call-To-Action“I think the last 10 games were important because they make the next 10 games relevant to what happens at the trade deadline. We’ll see what happens over the next 10 days or so. But certainly the last 10 games have to make us a little more optimistic.”

That’s what Sandy Alderson said to the New York Post just before the second half of the 2014 season started. It was a challenge of sorts for the players. Keep winning and you’ll earn your reinforcements. The Mets have since lost three out of their last four games, and it’s looking like Alderson’s decision to buy or sell is getting a lot easier each day.

To their credit, the Mets came off of the All-Star break swinging, scoring five runs on eight hits, the team did just enough to topple the San Diego Padres on day one of the 10 day challenge. The Padres at the time were 41-55, had just traded away their vaunted closer Huston Street, and were 3-7 in their last 10 games prior to the break. It was the perfect team for the Mets to face going into a 10 game road trip that would take them to Seattle and Milwaukee afterwards. A series win was expected and a sweep would have been a feather in the cap.

Neither was meant to be, as the Mets were shut out in the second game on just five hits. For an encore, rookie right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne made a claim to fame by trying to get the first no-hitter in Padres history. He nearly got there, until the Mets were able to scrounge a bit of offense together. But it wasn’t enough to avoid defeat and a series lost to one of the worst team in the league.

Then last night in Seattle, on the 10th anniversary of David Wright‘s first game, a night that should have inspired the team to play better than their numbers suggest, it was all Mariners all night long. More accurately, it was all Dustin Ackley, but it doesn’t really matter who did the dirty work at this point. Since that first win against the Padres, the Mets have now scored three runs on 17 hits over three games. Alderson is just waiting for someone to pick up that call.

To be sure it isn’t entirely the Mets offense to blame for this recent slump. Bartolo Colon suffered from an illness which was partially to blame for his five inning, four run struggle, but the offense was able to pick him up. Dillon Gee wasn’t so lucky the next night, and even though he struck out eight while not walking a single batter, he got hit hard, including two home runs. Zack Wheeler did his duty in a solid outing to finish out that first series, but again the offense stumbled. Then again last night, neither Jon Niese nor the offense were up to snuff, and another important game goes down the drain.

It was the same old story last night. 1-7 with RISP. Ten men left on base. Twelve combined strikeout from the lineup, and a starter (coming back from injury mind you) who just didn’t have his best stuff going. So what are we Met fans, and more importantly GM Alderson supposed to take away from all this?

No easy answers to be sure. Good teams can suffer through runs of bad luck and sour bats. Great teams limit them to just a few games before rolling onto a winning streak of their own. Are the Mets a great team? Are they even a good team? As fans who bleed blue and orange, we wish it were so. But the only thing that really matters are results, and right now they aren’t pretty.

Alderson’s job is to make this team better. While many have complained that he has done little to create a winning atmosphere, he has built this team for the future, not the present. In order to turn that 180 degrees he first needed a legitimate reason to do so. He challenged his players, and to some extent his manager. What he’s received so far in return is dead air. Is it too late to turn it around? Maybe not technically. But that 3% chance of making the playoffs the Mets were clinging to just four days ago is painfully dwindling by the decimal each day.

10 comments for “Sandy Alderson’s call to action is going unanswered

  1. July 22, 2014 at 6:48 am

    When was the last time SA was in a buying mode Patrick? Even if this team wins he is Not going to be a buyer You have noticed a pattern here over the past 4 years? Haven’t you?

    • Name
      July 22, 2014 at 8:43 am

      Indeed. Where was Sandy in 2011 and 2012 when the Mets call for action was going unanswered?
      He doesn’t pick up twice and expects the Mets to answer back on his first call? Gosh, he’s more irrational than my ex-gf.

  2. July 22, 2014 at 8:51 am

    Or my ex-wife

  3. Metsense
    July 22, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Should Sandy be buying at the deadline? Only if there is an established impact middle of the order bat available and he is willing to trade a pitcher plus other good players off the current team. That trade would be in preperation of 2015.
    The 2014 team is in worse position than previous teams so getting an improvement is not for this year.
    Should he sell for prospects? A Colon, an Abreu, or a Chris Young. Sure. A controlled player? Absolutely not! Four years of rebuilding the minors is enough.
    If the controlled players are not winning at the major league level, or answering the call as the author states, then it is time to reshuffle the players this winter, along with a new manager and staff, and maybe not renew the GM’ s contract.
    There is enough talent on this team to be better than they are but the Mets keep producing 74 win seasons. Unacceptable.

  4. blaiseda
    July 22, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Every time I think this team is going to step up and learn how to be winners, they disappoint. At this point, I don’t think the problem is talent. They have enough talent to be a .500 team and enjoyable to watch. I keep getting back to a lack of a winning culture.

    • Name
      July 22, 2014 at 11:39 am

      “Lack of winning culture”. I never understood that. You win because you do something better than someone else, not because your mindset is “Im a winner”. That’s called confidence (and sometimes arrogance). But no matter how much confidence you have, if you’re not as strong physically and/or as smart mentally as your opponent, you’re not going to win.

  5. July 22, 2014 at 11:18 am


  6. Chris F
    July 22, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Look, year after year we see one lesson: this Jeckyll and Hyde transformation occurs without warning and over rapid time frames. This team is the definition of inconsistency. We can sweep the Yankees and then get swept by the Marlins. This is the Mets. Our normal is bad lows and amazin’ highs. Unfortunately, inconsistency does not make for a good team, which I have been saying for years now. I mean can we really be swept into the belief that an 8-2 run makes us contenders, while only a few days later and a 1-3 stretch condemns us? Are we really this flighty as fans that a few game W or L stretches here and there dictate the season? How about we look at the record in total?

    The long and short of it is that playoff teams find a way to rise to the occasion — the Mets historically have cratered late July. We had the chance to change that, but like clockwork failed to against a hapless Padres team. The Mets are not in contention for 2014. I laugh thinking about our 1-3 set of starters for a playoff series against, well, anyone in the NL, and forget the AL entirely.

    Back to Alderson. His actions, and lack thereof, have made it clear where he thinks the team is, and its the same every year. This is still a “sell” team. I cant argue with that given what weve seen. I heard a crazy Mets fan on the radio this morning propose a TdA+Syndergaard trade for David Price…as if that would somehow take us to the playoffs…with the same people traded for RA!!! Yikes!! What is sad is that 4 years later, and I still cant accurately judge when Alderson will envision the team as competitive, or take the steps necessary to make it happen. It is fantastically unrealistic to believe we will “prospect” our way to October. Looking around, there is no course for that to really happen. Furthermore, it is tough to see when the youth brigade will all magically appear in Flushing, bright blue hats in hand along with silver bats and golden gloves. What does a 2015 roster look like, and how many holes?

    P Harvey (unknown and on reduced innings)
    P Niese (quite likely on long DL with shoulder problems)
    P Gee (ok…)
    P wheeler (lets hope they put GPS units inside baseballs so he can find home plate)
    P Syndergaard (ok, rook, do not fail us, seriously, do. not. fail. us.)
    P Hefner
    P Montero

    C TdA
    1B Duda
    2B Murph
    SS Tejada
    3B Wright

    LF Campbell? MdD?
    CF Lagares
    RF Granny

    Umm, I simply dont see much change here. Should we go to ’16? ’17? The point is that the farm is not ready to produce top players in a way that makes this team relevant. Without a major infusion of serious MLB talent, and damn soon, the team cant win, and Wright and Granny will need replacing as well.

    • Name
      July 22, 2014 at 1:27 pm

      TDA, Tejada, Granny, Chris Young all got off to terrible starts this year.
      Duda and Wright were merely OK at the beginning of the year.

      If those 5 have a normal stable first 2 months next year, it should make a huge difference in offensive numbers and thus our record

      Same thing with the bullpen as next year we hopefully next year the only 30+ year old will be Bobby Parnell. They’ve been great so far this year with a 3.18 ERA, but just think about how many games Valverde, Rice, and Lannan lost or blew the lead for us this year.

    • pablo
      July 23, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      It really is sad, but I’m hopeful that by 2016 the pitching staff will be strong with Harvey and DeGrom leading the way. It’s too far off to predict what will happen.

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