Seems to me…

…the Mets are finally getting it.

Let’s face facts: our orange & blue heroes probably won’t be contending in 2011.

There. I said it.

With the roster as presently constituted, coupled with the competition in the suddenly intimidating NL East – let’s be real: 2006 was a looooong time ago – the road to October ’11 looks quite long, indeed. It will take some major overachieving on the part of the boys from Queens, as well as a fairly substantial meltdown by the Phillies. We can only sit idly by and envy Cy One, Cy Two, Cy Three, Cy Four and Cy Five being trotted out on a daily basis down good ol’ I-95. And this doesn’t even take into account the very likely scenario that Atlanta will repeat their consistent – if unspectacular – 2010 performance, or a breakout by a team-on-the-come down in DC. It COULD just seem all too daunting to this fan. It doesn’t.

I will gladly sacrifice 2011 on the altar of retrenchment, rebooting and resurrecting. “For what profiteth a man who gains 2011 and loses the entire 20-teens?” The loudest shouts on conventional sports talk radio and many in the MSM have been ridiculing the Mets’ action – such as it is – as being woefully inadequate for this season. Sure, we could have signed Cliff Lee to a larger contract than the Phils gave him, but to what end? Would Lee have put the Mets into the hunt instantly? Would selling the entire farm to KC – assuming they actually, y’know, WANTED any of the Mets’ bushers – for Zach Greinke assured a playoff spot? Would finally landing the O-Dog (Orlando Hudson) for second hassock put us over the top? We’ll never know, of course, by my money says, “No way.” Maybe all three events might have, but we all knew from Jump Street that THAT was never going to happen. There were far too many problems/holes/question marks for one simple signing to handle. Past regimes would not have recognized this fact. Prior administrations had grand reputations for throwing cash at the most glaring issue, then crossing fingers and praying Novenas for the other supposedly “minor” questions that lingered – issues that would inevitable jump up & bite us in the butt before very long.

Kudos to Messers Alderson, Ricciardi & DePodesta for not listening. Bravo for recognizing that what is…well…is. Thank you for not insulting our intelligence by hiding behind a shower of gold. The pickups of Chris Capuano and Taylor Buchholz are exactly the kind of moves the Moneyball Boys SHOULD be making: Two pitchers with great reputations returning from injuries/surgeries, therefore, inexpensive for now, but who could yield some pretty large dividends down the road. Think R.A. Dickey.

Now, if we can just pack Ollie Perez off somewhere – somewhere we don’t have to pay him – and sink his $12 million into the draft…

A man can dream can’t he?

24 comments on “Alderson & Co. Listen To The Right Voices: Their Own

  • PG13

    So spending 5 million total this off-season is a good thing? Let’s see 2nd base still a hole, catcher hole, #1 starter hole, #2 starter hole, no back up SS hole, and who is in the pen again???? Ohh and don’t forget the fact that this front office is weary as to handing out longer than 3 or 4 year deals when they do spend in the future. Maybe when Wright and Reyes are gone the Mets will get rid of this 1980’s front office bunch.

    Yeah great job keep up the good work boys.

    • Charlie Hangley

      You’re kind of making my point FOR me, there, PG…

    • durrrrr

      “Maybe when Wright and Reyes are gone the Mets will get rid of this 1980′s front office bunch.”

      Seriously, I mean, sheesh, what good came out of the 1980s for the Mets? Those bums didn’t do anything noteworthy. It was a lost decade. A dark time in their history for sure.

      Let’s look at the facts here. Alderson’s guys haven’t won a single game since he took over the front office. Not one. Where’s the outrage?!? This is New York! He should have a banner flying by now!! Fire Sandy!! Rabble, rabble, rabble!!!

      • Kevin T. Buckley

        I agree wholeheartedly with those writing in who believe the Mets will be better than expected in 1911, AND, that Alderson & Company are ALREADY doing a good job.
        I haven’t seen it mentioned before, but 13 Mets position players- not pitchers, mind you- came to the plate 1777 times out of the Mets team total of 5465 ABs. Collectively, these 13 players hit .218 with an abysmal OBA and only 30 HRs.

        However, they consumed an astounding 28.5% of the Mets total ABs!
        The 13 players were Gary Matthews (.190 0 HR), Mike Jacobs (.208 1 HR), Frank Catalanotto (.160 O HR), Henry Blanco (.215 2 HR), Rod Barajas .225 12 HR), Fernando Tatis (.185 2 HR), Alex Cora (.207 O HR), Luis Castillo (.235 O HR), Reuben Tejada (.213 O HR), Jeff Francour (.237 11 HR), Joaquin Arias (.200 O HR), Mike Hessman (.127 1 HR), and Jesus Feliciano (.231 O HR).

        11 of these 13 players are gone and Tejada is ticketed to the Minors for further development. Castillo? No way he wins either the 2B job or even a spot on the bench.

        Even with the somewhat expected disappointments of Perez and Maine, among other pitchers, the Mets Team ERA of 3.70 ranked 6th in the NL. So, it certainly wasn’t the pitching which accounted for the disappointing 2010 record of 79-83. It was in the areas of 1 run losses and the total inability to stage comebacks when behind after 7 innings that the Mets failed in 2010. The failure there wasn’t primarily attributable to Beltran’s absence, Bay’s poor year or David Wright’s higher strikeout total; it was the almost 1/3 of all AB’s that were wasted primarily because of poor player evaluation, trades and a weak Farm System.

        The 2011 Mets don’t really need to spend millions on superstars. Yes, they need to add SP’ing and bolster the Bullpen (which is coming along nicely). But they primarily need to improve their bench, their catching (which they have already done with Thole (.299 v. RHP) and Paulino (.358 v. LHP) both in 2010 and 2nd Base (where increased competition and cutting Castillo can only help).

        Philly and Atlanta are looking stronger in 2011, certainly, but the Mets can easily be 15 or more games better if they score more runs by simply not wasting so many AB’s.

        • Kevin T. Buckley

          Oops. Of course I meant the 2011 Mets. I’m reading “Fall of Giants” by Ken Follett right now. It’s based on the early 1900’s and WWI. Maybe that’s what made me write “1911 Mets.” 🙂

        • good4alefty

          Excellent job with this! Mets pitching did very well last year. SP help is needed but let’s get some offense going and 2011 will be more enjoyable than 2010.

  • NormE

    I’m with you all the way, Charlie. The media critics are just filling air-time. Alderson and company will make mistakes, but the approach is
    correct. Let’s see what happens down the road.

  • metfansince65

    I agree with your assessment of the moves being made by Alderson and his minions. They are taking the correct approach, opposite of the knee-jerk reactions made by Omar Minaya. However, I still think the Mets can be competitive this year. True, if the Phillies stay healthy, they look unbeatable. However, things happen and do not forget, we live in an age where it is no longer a requirement to win the division to get to the post season. The assumption that the Nationals will suddenly dive into contention is just as much a guess as the Mets being expected to not even show up. As I said in a recent post of my own, the talent on this current Mets squad is not the 1980 Mets. There are some serious players here. This season, what will be different is what goes on behind the scenes. The sense of entitlement will be exorcised from the clubhouse. At the very least, it will be interesting to see how this group responds to a new regime that appears to be focused on winning.

    • stick

      well, the phillies do have some guys that have become injury concerns. ANd they do have just about the oldest team in MLB now. So it really should not be unreasonable to expect them to not be healthy.

  • Gene Sicard

    Well Mr. Hangley … I guess you’re not a Full season ticket holder like I’ve been since 1987. It’s wonderful to have a boxfull of worthless paper (Tix) at the end of August and September. You can’t give em’ away, even my kids don’t want to go to meaningless games. If you are going to be in the major leagues your really should be playing to win. With the 10% rebuilding discount the Mets gave season ticket holders this year does is not in any way commensurate with full cost of supporting this franchise. Maybe one of these years I’ll get smart and finally put this money towards that new boat I’ve always wanted. It will certainly make my wife happier!

    • stick

      you can send them to me. I will be more than happy to use them for you.

    • Charlie Hangley

      No, Mr. Sicard, I’m not. However, I have been a planholder (off & on) since 1991, so I have had a somewhat similar experience in swallowing useless paper. I just think that they’re doing it right, and “right” does not always equal “popular.”

      I’d say “Enjoy the boat,” but a. I don’t wish to appear snarky and b. you’ll pobably end up keeping your tix anyway: you’re a Met fan; it’s what we do.

  • Just Some Guy

    Gene, the Mets can’t simply throw every player out and re-draft the league. This isn’t fantasy baseball. The front office is playing with the hand they’ve been dealt, and they must play that hand to the best of their ability while balancing the need to build a competitive team moving forward. You can’t possibly expect them to suddenly up the payroll to $200 million, either.

    The Mets have taken your approach to “playing to win” the last few years and look what’s happened. Your tickets were STILL useless come August and September. Wouldn’t you rather have lost for the right reasons (building a team with a solid foundation so they can complete year in and year out) rather than for the reasons they have been losing (overpaying and overvaluing talent while overlooking potential bargains). If they had been losing for the right reason, you might be approaching this season with some kind of enthusiasm. You would not have an Oliver Perez on the roster. Or Frankie Rodriguez. Or Luis Castillo (at least not at the money he was paid). Frankly, you might not have Santana either. And I love the guy, but how useful has that box of tickets been in September since he came aboard? I’m not questioning his worth, it’s just that there’s more to a team than signing big names to even bigger contracts; ask the San Francisco Giants.

    And if the Mets did Yankify their budget and threw $20+ million at Crawford and Lee and still lost (keeping in mind that Lee took less money to go to Philly vs. Yanks/Rangers, so he wasn’t coming here anywhere), then what? That’s how Omar approached the market, and all it got us was a lot of guys with immoveable contracts. In two years, you’ve got Cliff Lee in traction for his back making $20 million and Carl Crawford commanding $20 million a year for speed that will decline steadily until his contract ends when he’s 36 years old. I’ve seen this movie before and I know how it ends — with Beltran’s balky knee, Castillo’s ever-diminishing range, and Ollie’s ability to make it look like ESPN’s K-Zone is surrounded by some supernatural force field.

    The thing is, if the team stays healthy (a big “if” the past few years), they have enough talent to make the season interesting at the very least. We get to watch the progression of Ike, Thole, and Niese, among others. All while hoping Santana gets back to 100% by season’s end, keeping an eye on what guys like Mejia, Puello, Flores, Havens, etc. might offer in the coming years as the payroll gets to a manageable place and allows the team to wisely sign free agents in the future. if that means your tickets will be useless in September, at least you know it’s with the intention of ensuring that those tickets become more and more useful every year.

  • Mike

    The reason why the front office’s strategy is the correct one is that this team is not one move away from a playoff spot, or even two or three moves away. The previous regime’s habit of going all in on 80-win teams that were not one move away from the playoffs is precisely the reason why we’re in this situation, with too much money committed to players who will not produce commensurate with their salaries. Even if Alderson et al. went all in – say, by signing Cliff Lee, Orlando Hudson, and Carl Crawford and trading for Zack Greinke, assuming all this was even possible – that’s not enough to get the Mets on equal footing with the Phils, or really even in the same ballpark. In this division, it might not even get them into the wildcard hunt. Then what? Their top prospects are gone, and they’re paying Lee and Crawford $40 million a year between the two of them for the next six years. Much better to clear some payroll so you have financial flexibility, give your prospects time to develop, give Santana a chance to get healthy again, and let Father Time do his worst to an aging Phillies team. Then, hopefully with a core of low-cost, home-grown players like Mejia, Davis, Harvey, and Havens (and maybe Flores?), complemented by veterans like Santana, Wright, (hopefully) Reyes, and Pagan, you can go all in on the free agent/trade market and compete against a Phillies squad that will practically need walkers to get to first base. Until then, why waste money and talent trying to turn an 80-win team into an 88-win team when those resources, if conserved, could turn an 86-win team into a 94-win team two or three years from now?

    We’ve been watching Omar play checkers for the last six years. Now we finally have a front office that knows how to play chess and understands that you have to think a few moves ahead and occasionally sacrifice a piece or two in the short run in order to win in the long run. If a few season ticket holders can’t handle that, then they can vote with their feet. But I strongly suspect that they’ll be back by 2013 or so.

    • Mike Koehler

      “Even if Alderson et al. went all in – say, by signing Cliff Lee, Orlando Hudson, and Carl Crawford and trading for Zack Greinke, assuming all this was even possible – that’s not enough to get the Mets on equal footing with the Phils, or really even in the same ballpark. In this division, it might not even get them into the wildcard hunt.”

      IMHO, you could not be more wrong and I wish everyone would stop devaluing this team. Is it playoff-caliber as is, not really. Is it a guaranteed basement-finisher? Absolutely not.

      The infield is pretty solid with Ike Davis, Jose Reyes, David Wright and even Josh Thole/Ronny Paulino. The outfield could be awesome, or it could be trouble, depending on which Carlos Beltran and Jason Bay show up. Expect solid play out of Angel Pagan. Bullpens are always a crapshoot and say what you want about K-Rod’s anger issues, he can still close a game. The starting rotation is the major question mark, but the team probably has three middle of the rotation starters in R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese and Mike Pelfrey that will be ready on Opening Day.

      If you add Cliff Lee and Zach Greinke to that team, along with Johan Santana sometime mid-season, you’d be forced to trade a major component of the rotation. Regarding Orlando Hudson and Carl Crawford, the Mets would improve their offense, defense and health. That would be a powerhouse team, but as you said, I don’t think they had the resources to pull that off, nor would I want to sacrifice that much of the future.

      • Mike

        Ok, maybe that *would* be something more than an 88-win team if everyone stayed healthy, but it still wouldn’t be in the Phillies’ league. That starting foursome seriously has the makings of the sort of rotation Baltimore had in the early 70s (the last with four 20-game winners, if memory serves). Besides, it’s a powerhouse team only if Beltran and Reyes can stay on the field and produce as they usually do, Bay remembers how to hit home runs, Davis doesn’t have a sophomore slump, Dickey proves he wasn’t just a flash in the pan, Greinke doesn’t have a meltdown from the pressure of playing in NYC, and Sanatana returns from surgery as the Santana of old. That’s a lot of ifs for a team that would cost $200 million at least. You go all in when you see your window closing in the next few years, as the Phillies did with Cliff Lee. You don’t spend $200 million on something that is much less than a sure thing, even assuming the Mets could get all those players, which I seriously doubt. Just my $0.02.

  • Scott Gilroy

    I am with you on this one Charlie. I don’t expect the team to contend, but i don’t want to see the team playing with that attitude.
    They still have enough talent to finish .500 and with a few lucky bounces, they could win 84-85 games. I they decide to clean house and deal Beltran and Reyes for something usefull, i say do it. Lets build a consistent winner here.

  • Just_MLB

    I wonder if the mets ticket prices will coincide with all of this.

    • Stu Baron

      They do, as long as you buy in the secondary market – StubHub et al…I went to several games last year and sat in the Delta Club (best seats in the house) for half price.

  • C Dubb

    If you don’t like what Sandy is doing, then you must have favored the Omar approach? In which case…does Citi Field have a special section for you?

  • […] 360: Alderson & Co. Listen To The Right Voices: Their Own – So far I’m not really upset with the moves that have been and haven’t been made […]

  • […] 360: Alderson & Co. Listen To The Right Voices: Their Own – So far I’m not really upset with the moves that have been and haven’t been made […]

  • Dan Stack

    I agree, this band-aid on a broken leg approach got us in the hole we are trying to dig out of.

  • Josuedjr

    Hi from DR, I’ve been a mets fan since I can read and I a little bit concerned about our movements in this offseason. I don’t want to my tema to expense all the money in one player but a good pitching staff is what this team needs to make playoff at least.

    We’ve a great offense team with players that should be on their year in 2011 but we need to improve our starting rotation and bullpen, just look SF giants they win world series only with pitching. But we also have to remember The Miracles Mets of 69, no one believe that they could be in playoff and see, they won their first Mets Title!

    So let’s keep faith in high volume!

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