As you may have read elsewhere, The New York Mets are in the process of trying to create a new front office.
Even if you are the biggest supporter of Mets team president, Sandy Alderson (which I am not), one has to acknowledge that his first term under new owner Steve Cohen was pretty terrible. Like Mike Tyson once famously said, “Everybody’s got a plan until they get punched in the face,” and that’s pretty much what happened in 2021. There’s little need to regurgitate all of the reasons, as it seems to me that certain members of the media, fan base and the baseball establishment seem determined to throw unrelenting body blows to the Mets.
What’s the endgame?
“I wouldn’t pay attention to it,” a former baseball executive told me recently, calling the rumors swirling around Alderson as nothing but “a cold war.” When I asked why he used that term, he said there are more than a few people who didn’t want Cohen to buy the Mets, and this is the only way they can “slow his roll.”
It wasn’t too long ago that Sandy Alderson was a beloved figure around here, battling cancer as he was forced out by unqualified family member and former COO Jeff Wilpon, who kicked the former Marine out the door by “outing” Alderson as the reason for the club not spending more on free agents.
Now he’s being called a misogynist and a nepotist, while his boss’ Twitter habits are being held up as an affrontery to all that’s good in the game of baseball.
What a load of hot garbage.
Face it, folks, while Alderson has created a decent chunk of his own reality here, I also see a concerted effort to paint him a black cloud preventing the Mets from hiring a new President of Baseball Operations.
Alderson’s hiring of Jared Porter and Zach Scott was disastrous. Unless someone proves that Alderson knew about Porter’s lewd behavior and still hired him, I chalk that up to horrible luck. Scott’s DUI was a horrible optic, but unless Alderson handed him his keys, it’s not on Sandy either. The Mickey Callaway scandal was worse, but Jeff Wilpon was steering that ship, and no Mets manager has been hired by the GM since Frank Cashen hired Buddy Harrelson. It still doesn’t absolve Sandy, especially after it came to light that the Mets may have known about Callaway’s reputation in Cleveland.
None of the above give any credence to Alderson being the reason that prospective candidates won’t come to the Mets.
Now, a few media members are focusing on Mets Assistant GM Bryn Alderson, Sandy’s son, as part of the problem, casting aspersions on his promotion from Scouting Director as “curious.” Other rumors, from “rival executives” are stating that the two Aldersons working in the same front office is creating fear from prospective PBO and GM candidates.
Well, it was Billy Beane who hired the younger Alderson to work as a summer intern for the A’s back when Bryn was pitching for Dartmouth. It was also Beane who gave Bryn his first full-time job in baseball, and who helped him grow from a scout to a front office executive with a real future.
“He’s got the same sort of passion and intensity that Sandy had. Sandy loves the game and loves the challenges,” Beane told the Marin Independent Journal in 2006. “I’m trying to help prepare Bryn for whatever he wants to do, which is sort of like what his father did for me. I’m trying to expose him to a lot of things and let him take the natural flow.”
I talk to a lot of people in the game on a regular basis, and I’ve never heard a bad word about Bryn, who carries the reputation of being a hard-working talent evaluator who works very well with others.
Sandy Alderson wasn’t a baseball guy when he joined the A’s organization in 1981. He was a lawyer and first worked as Oakland’s general counsel before becoming the GM in 1983. He made his share of enemies along the way, as he was never part of the old boys club. He didn’t improve his ability to join that close-knit group when he left the A’s in 1998 to work as a top baseball cop in then-Commissioner Bud Selig’s office. There are plenty of folks in baseball who don’t like Sandy and would like to see him fail.
There are plenty of MLB owners who are petrified that Cohen’s billions will upset the apple cart, especially with a new CBA looming.
There are more than a few members of the press who hated the way Alderson dismissed many of the articles that surfaced with the scandals.
I think Sandy Alderson is a good man who’s made his share of mistakes. There’s nothing in his career that would suggest he’d jeopardize the success of the Mets by limiting potential candidates because of his son, be he qualified to be a future GM or not. Frankly, with his resume, Bryn would have little trouble getting a job elsewhere.
If you believe that Alderson should step down or be let go because of the 2021 season and his part in its failure, I’ll have the conversation.
But if you trust the anonymous (and gutless) “rival baseball executives” and the agenda of certain media members, be my guest. I’ll be patient and trust the process.