Sandy Alderson No Frank Cashen, Not Even Steve Phillips

After watching Sandy Alderson in action after his third off season of inactivity, I have come to the conclusion that he is no Frank Cashen. Hell, he’s not even Steve Phillips.

sandy alderson

Hey Sandy Alderson, maybe you’d like to try making Mets fans smile as well.

A general manager taking over a troubled team has to be bold, and Alderson is anything but bold. The only bold moves he has made thus far is letting Jose Reyes go for nothing and trading R.A. Dickey. The Carlos Beltran trade, while certainly good, was not bold because he was just dumping a player at the end of his contract who had value to a contender. Any idiot could have made that trade.

Frank Cashen was slow out of the blocks as well. He took over in January 1980 after Doubleday and Wilpon bought the Mets, which was a franchise in severe trouble. By the time the new front office was in place, most teams had made their major moves, so Cashen really had nothing with which to work. His second off season was kind of quiet as well, but Cashen got into the swing of things in the middle of 1981, making a bold trade for Ellis Valentine.

But it was the off season prior to 1982 when Cashen really got going (two years on the job — the same as Sandy Alderson now). He traded for George Foster and dealt Lee Mazzilli, the team’s most popular player, for Ron Darling and Walt Terrell. Mets fans were outraged, even more angry than when Reyes flew the coop.

Prior to 1983 Cashen reacquired Tom Seaver and during the season traded for Keith Hernandez. The rest is history.

Phillips took over under different circumstances. When he was given the job in July 1997 the Mets were seven games over .500, finally emerging from the fog of six straight losing seasons. This was the famous “skills set” speech that Fred Wilpon gave in explaining the untimely and undeserved firing of Joe McIlvaine.

But Phillips went to work right away. Less than a month later he made a six-player deal with the Cubs, trading Lance Johnson, who led the league in hits the prior year, starting pitcher Mark Clark, who led the team in wins in 1996 and Manny Alexander for Turk Wendell, Brian McRae and Mel Rojas — a bold move to trade two of your team leaders.

Prior to 1998 he acquired Al Leiter, and during the season he made the franchise-changing Mike Piazza deal. And the rest is history.

Again, Phillips took over a team on the upswing, but still, he acted boldly to make the team better. This is something that the timid Sandy Alderson has not done.

The Mets needed a bold, creative general manager after firing Omar Minaya following the 2010 season. Instead of going for one of the younger guys, the Wilpons, at the apparent behest of Bud Selig, took the safe route and chose Sandy Alderson. So far, the Mets are not any better for it.


6 comments on “Sandy Alderson No Frank Cashen, Not Even Steve Phillips
  1. “Bold”??? You’ll have to include your definition of the term. The way you’ve written it here – Bold means “Stupid”.

    Ellis Valentine??!! Are you aware that – that was one of the worst trades in Mets history?!
    AND the Lance Johnson trade brought over “MEL ROJAS!!” Rojas made Armando Benitez look like Sandy Koufax!
    Yes Cashen brought back Tom Seaver but he forgot to protect him – and off to the White Sox he went. ALSO, I don’t remember any outcry when Mazzili was traded. He sucked. Terrell and Darling paid quick returns.

    In my opinion, acting “boldly” helped get us in this mess – Jason Bay and Johan, etc.. (Johan has not come close to being worth the money they’ve paid him.) Who was/is out there that Alderson can get? At what cost? Bring back Angel Pagan? Cody Ross? Shane Victorino? Nick Swisher? It all starts with the farm system. The Mets system has been a urinal for years. Build that up and everything else will fall into place. It takes time to undo years of abuse. Just ask Congress.

  2. Yes, John, many of those trades didn’t work out. But the point of my post was that those GMs acted boldly and took risks to make the team better. Sandy Alderson seems to have forgotten the old adage “there is no reward without risk.”

    I remember being excited about the Ellis Valentine deal. He was a budding superstar until he got hit in the face with a ball. Who knew he could never come back from that?

    I also remember lots of anger after Mazzilli was traded. There was no Internet back then, obviously, but my friends and I were angry, and I remember newspaper articles trashing the Mets for trading their most popular player.

  3. Ya lost your credibility with this statement “Any idiot could have made that trade.” Not true as he got one of the top pitching prospects in the country in return. He receives a draft pick for Reyes and quirte frankly Jose was not the type of player he wants on this team. Dickey, he kind of had no choice. I don’t care what pitch he throws, it’s hard to predict a 38 year old will be able to complete three more years. Right now, it looks like he got great return for him. It also takes more than three years to restock a barren farm system. I see what Alderson is doing. He’s built a nice starting staff, and is building strength up the middle. Those types of teams win a lot of games. We need a strong defensive centerfielder who can hit .250-.275 and we’ll be in pretty good shape,. I also think he’s playing poker with the D Backs for Upton.

    Considering the mess he was left with, I’d say he’s done pretty good.

  4. From Wiki “in 1983 was named the team’s (Oakland A’s)general manager, a position he held through 1997. Under Alderson, the Athletics’ minor league system was rebuilt, which bore fruit later that decade as José Canseco (1986), Mark McGwire (1987), and Walt Weiss (1988) were chosen as American League Rookies of the Year. The Athletics won four division titles, three pennants and the 1989 World Series during Alderson’s tenure.

    Patience my friend, patience

  5. I probably should have patience but I don’t. If he were doing anything to strengthen the major league club, I would be patient. But so far he has shown me little in which to be confident.

    As I’ve written extensively, it is the lying that really bothers me. If he’s not going to do anything, just say it. Stop lying about the payroll and acquiring players. Just level with the fans; it is very insulting and speaks volumes about his character.

  6. That Ellis Valentine deal cost us The Terminator. I remember the say that deal was done. The announcement came on the scoreboard and the camera panned over to Joe Torre who suddenly looked like he was about to lose his dinner. I cursed Cashen then and I curse him today. If we are talking about bad GMs, though, we should not neglect to mention the all-too-forgettable Al Harazin, who traded David Cone away without even considering bringing him back as a free agent. I curse Al for that one, too.

    That said, Cashen did pull some good deals for the Mets.

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