Ten questions they could have asked Sandy Alderson on SNY

Alderson SNYFriday night Sandy Alderson made an appearance in the SNY booth and chatted with the broadcasters. Alderson is a master of talking a lot without really saying anything and has never been above bending the truth to serve his immediate purposes. Then factor in that the broadcasters aren’t really allowed 100% freedom in asking questions and you end up with a half an inning talking about the blocking the plate issue and Alderson pretending that he was being grilled the entire time.

It’s great that Alderson makes himself available for these “interviews” but we’re always left wanting more. It’s obvious that he’s smart and articulate. It’s just too bad that all parties aren’t more interested in having an open and honest dialogue. As someone who doesn’t derive a paycheck from Sterling Equities, here would be some of my questions for our GM.

1. There’s rampant speculation that Terry Collins is nothing but a puppet for your theories and beliefs. If we have an issue with something that’s traditionally in the realm of the manager, should we be angry with Collins or you?

2. Josh Edgin has never had trouble retiring RHB in either the minors or majors. Why is he being forced into a sub-optimal role?

3. Why were minor league coaches able to help Travis d’Arnaud this year and Ike Davis last year when coaches in Queens were unable?

4. Rafael Montero has a better ERA and WHIP in Las Vegas than Noah Syndergaard yet all we hear is that Syndergaard is a future rotation member and Montero is heading to the bullpen. Will Montero get an honest shot as a starter in the majors going forward?

5. How big of a priority is it for the Mets to get a Triple-A affiliate back in the Eastern time zone and what can you do better to assure a long-term relationship with the top farm club?

6. The first two years of the new rules for the MLB Draft, you went underslot at the top of the draft, signing your top picks to cheap deals. Was this year the start of a new direction and if so, why?

7. When do you get a budget from ownership and how often does it change during the year?

8. Given the recent success of Jose Abreu and Yasiel Puig, will the Mets be more aggressive with Cuban defectors and will you be involved in the bidding for Rusney Castillo and/or Yasmani Tomas?

9. You’ve made great trades picking up prospects for veterans. Are you ready, willing and able to deal prospects for a vet?

10. Given how many blogs there are out there that write about the Mets 365 days a year, why don’t you do more to build relationships with this constituency?


No doubt some of you are thinking he would just avoid answering these questions – or answer in a less than truthful manner – much like the actual ones he gets from the broadcasters. And you’re probably right. But let’s start addressing the problem by fixing the issues that are under non-Alderson control. Let’s start asking the questions that really matter.

Maybe you would have different questions than me and that’s fine. But would you really ask Alderson about the home plate collision rule if you had a chance to ask the Mets GM a question? Is that what the powers that be think that the fans want to hear?

Because it’s not.

13 comments for “Ten questions they could have asked Sandy Alderson on SNY

  1. NormE
    August 2, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Brian, great questions that will never be answered because Sandy is a true corporate guy. In addition to #7 I would ask how much input/interference he gets from li’l jeffy.
    #5 is a very sly dig at you know who. Well done!

  2. Chris F
    August 2, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Well done Brian. That’s a nice meaningful set of things we all would like to know about. Here are my Aldersonian replies.

    1. There is a seamless connection between the GMs office and the dugout. We speak about all aspects of the game regularly. TC is doing a marvelous job.

    2. We’ve worked hard at getting the pen in order and it’s been great to see how well Torres has been, and the emergence of Black, to Familia, to Mejia has really settled down the big concerns. Add to that Parnell will be coming back next year and is working hard.

    3. Sometimes a change of scenery and a trip down to get away from the cameras and endless media coverage provides the right atmosphere. Hudge did great work with everyone, and our message and approach is consistent through the system. Clearly travis had a personal mental block and were excited to see his production.

    4. Montero looked great and was on track to be in Queens, but Spring Training didn’t go like we thought nor did his outing when he was up. Syndergaard has really developed in his last few starts, and with other teams scouts coming to look over our #1 prospect we certainly envision him getting up here sometime.

    5. Las Vegas has been great to get our hitters locked in, and while it can be tough on pitchers, they face something closer to mlb hitters. We’re obviously constrained by available openings closer to NY, but keep our eyes on the matter. Las Vegas has actually been quite good for the team as you can see how well the transitions up have gone.

    6. We were locked in on Michael early on, and could not believe he lasted until our draft pick. We are doing a lot of scouting and make the most appropriate offers that exist for each individual. You know his agent is Scott Boras, so we felt lucky to get him for slot (chuckle under breath).

    7. I have ample resources to carry out the plan that we have enacted. Personnel decisions are mine, and it has been a top priority to get the farm in order for sustained success, which we’ve done. I have heard we’ve been ranked in the top 5, which we are proud of. In terms of resource allocations, there is no timing structure per se. We are acquiring pieces as they become appropriate. Last year we really wanted to get Granderson here, and I was able to do that.

    8. Of course international signings are very important, and Cespedes, Puig, and Abreu are examples. We continue to scout and be aware of possible player from Cuba, and really all over Latin America. We’ve made some excellent signings, like Dilson Herrera who we got in the trade for Ike, so we are well aware of those possibilities.

    9. I’m not sure if you heard about the rumors about CarGo and Tulo. Of course we are now seeing the benefits of a strong farm system and that other clubs like a number of our players at different levels. We are very committed to sustained success through the development end of the system, but recognize the importance of accomplished veterans. We just are always aware of large long duration contracts like the kinds we have worked out from under.

    10. The organization has a strong appreciation for the best fans in the world. Of course our team station, SNY, supports Metsblog, which provides the biggest direct outlet to the blogging and fan community. We recently also added “the 7 line” line of merchandise to citi field in recognition of the important contribution by fans at the ground level.

    Wow, thanks for the opportunity for such a grilling, it’s almost like a Mike Puma phone call! If I knew the questions would be that hard I only would have stayed for a single half inning, but not when Zack is on the mound, because that would be 20 or more pitches (chuckling wryly).

    • Steve S.
      August 2, 2014 at 11:54 am

      Love your answers, “Sandy”! They reflect your terrific experiences at Harvard, the Marines, Oakland (where you tutored little Billy on your knee), the Pads, the Caribbean, and the Commish’s Office! And thanks for making it so clear about leaving a clear “lane” to the plate for runners coming in from 3rd base!

    • Metsense
      August 2, 2014 at 11:59 am

      Is Sandy Alderson Chris F’s puppet? That was sensational.

    • August 2, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      Well done!

      I particularly liked 1, 3, 6, 8 and 10

    • August 3, 2014 at 10:21 am

      The next Charlie Kaufman movie, “Being Sandy Alderson.” Great audition, you get the part.

  3. Metsense
    August 2, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Answer #1: “Jerry, I mean Terry, is not a puppet. I also want to clarify that I never called Dan Warthen , Knucklehead Smiff.”

  4. Steevy
    August 2, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Who needs Alderson?Ask Chris,he’s got the act down pat. :)

  5. August 2, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Great questions. I wish you can interview him. He would only stonewall you.

  6. Peter Hyatt
    August 2, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    There’s a contract out on Brian signed by Sandy.

    Brian’s generous in his description of Alderson’s relationship with the truth.

    Deception is almost expected when he speaks but he, himself appears to be a puppet for ownership.

    If true, there is nothing he can do but limit embarrassment for himself and Collins.

  7. James Newman
    August 2, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    I also wonder (with regards to question 3) if there is any chance of Wally Backman becoming the next manager. I don’t know why, he seems to have some sort of magic with failing MLB players and turns them into productive members in AAA. Granted the level of competition is not the same, but it seems that Backman has a knack for making slumping players productive.

  8. Atlantic
    August 3, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Many of these questions are based on undefended assumptions. For instance, if Josh Edgin’s role expands–whose role in the bullpen would be diminished? Familia’s? Black’s? In both cases–why? For another instance, why assume that coaching, rather than easier competition, accounts for d’Arnaud’s and Davis’s experience in the minors. (Wally Backman certainly didn’t claim that they worked any magic with d’Arnaud.)

    SNY’s announcers didn’t grill Alderson. Did you really expect them to? Aggressive questioning is hardly what is to be expected from in-game interviews with players, managers, or GMs. More importantly, aggressive questioning has to justify itself. The questioned aggressively asked can’t be too easily dismissed.

    • August 3, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      Edgin doesn’t have to close or pitch the eighth. What they need to do with him is not take him out of the game because a RHB comes to the plate.

      It’s not just what TDA and Ike did in the minors — it’s what they did in the majors when they returned. The level of competition doesn’t explain how TDA has a .787 OPS in the majors after his return.

      No, I certainly didn’t expect the announcers to grill them. You can still ask questions that have more relevance to Mets fans than to spend a half inning talking about the home plate replay rule. For example, “Will Rafael Montero get a chance to be a starting pitcher with the Mets?” is hardly a question that should make anyone quake in their boots.

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