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Is Sandy Alderson the right man for the Mets' GM job?

Oct 11, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

Now that it appears as though Sandy Alderson is the front runner for the Mets’ GM job, Andy Martino of the Daily News has some questions for the guy.  He couches them in “hey, Alderson may be the best man for the job, I’m just askin'” language, but you can tell that he’s a bit concerned about these things. Let’s take them one at a time:

Question: After noting that Alderson’s Oakland Athletics teams were at the vanguard of steroidly goodness, he wants Alderson to talk about the degree to which he thinks owners and GMs were responsible for PEDs in baseball.

Answer: I think anyone in baseball over the past 20 years, including other candidates like John Hart, should have an opinion on that, as they were all a part of the problem in one way or another.  If that’s as far as Martino wants to take it, fine, but if the question is aimed specifically at Alderson for his connection to the A’s it seems a bit unfair. Really, it’s a question he probably could have and should have asked of any Mets GM or GM candidate for the past decade.

Question: Is Alderson, at age 62, too old to be a GM?

Answer: I think chronological age is a bit narrow here. In terms of energy for the job and how in-touch he is with the latest developments in the game. Alderson has long been ahead of his contemporaries.  At the same time, Omar Minaya and many others younger than Alderson have shown a distinct lack of energy and open mindedness for the job, wouldn’t you agree?

Question: Given that Alderson would be leaving his job overseeing operations in the Dominican Republic — a job which he said he’d “see through to the end,” — might Alderson leave the Mets before seeing the job through?

Answer: While the DR job may be important in many respects, let’s not fool ourselves here: that’s a time-biding job for most people who would fill it. If Alderson passed up the Mets job to stick with his duties in the Dominican, he’d probably forever be considered a non-candidate for other GM positions.  And commentators would likely label him not ready for prime time.  Beyond all that, there aren’t many general managers who leave their job of their own volition.  When Alderson leaves the Mets, it will be because he got fired or because there are no more worlds left to conquer. That’s usually just how it goes.

Question: Given that Alderson does not have a scouting background, he’d need to bring more talent evaluators with him. Would the Mets spring for such talent?

Answer: This is either not a question for Alderson, or else it’s a backhanded way of saying that Alderson is not qualified for this particular job based on his lack of a scouting background.  Ultimately, however, I think his track record speaks for itself. He has done the job on teams where resources were nowhere near abundant.  There is no reason to think that he couldn’t do it with the Mets. At least, assuming he’s allowed to do it without interfercene from above.

In some ways maybe I’m an Alderson fanboy. But really, if these are the worst criticisms/questions that anyone can raise about his candidacy, I think he’s pretty well suited for the job, don’t you?

  1. The Common Man - Oct 11, 2010 at 1:49 PM

    Has Alderson commented on being interested in the job? Because I could definitely see a smart GM candidate, one who might be in demand elsewhere in a year or two, looking at the New York situation and deciding he’ll pass, thanks. Also, isn’t there some question about whether Alderson might be an appropriate person to fill the commissioner role once Bud Selig a) retires or b) is buried alive in an avalanche of requests that baseball institute replay?

  2. Dan in Katonah - Oct 11, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    I’m concerned that, coming from the Comissioner’s Office, he may perpetuate the Mets’ rigid, often foolish, adherence to the slot guidelines in the draft. If he is not willing to spend big money to build the team through the farm system, then long term he is not the answer to anything.

  3. Simon DelMonte - Oct 11, 2010 at 2:47 PM

    If he wants in, I will gladly take him. I just don’t know if he will trust any assurances from the owners to let him do what he wants, and therefore I am not celebrating this till it’s more than just informed speculation.
    But unless Brian Cashman falls from the sky or gets cloned, Mr. Alderson will do.

  4. APBA Guy - Oct 11, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    I often credit Alderson for building the teams and the system that Billy Beane later took credit for. But fair’s fair, Alderson was the one who talent-spotted Beane. I just wonder how well a strong mind like his can work in the Mets organization, with it’s top-down dysfunction. This looks like Gillick/Angelos redux.

  5. David - Oct 11, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    I don’t mean this as a smartass….but it sounded like Martino wanted answers from Alderson and Mets ownership, not random opinions from other baseball journalists.

  6. Flyinghigh - Oct 11, 2010 at 11:04 PM

    Pat Gillick was 67 when the Phillies hired him as GM after Ed Wade was let go. Age means nothing.

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