With Oakland in town, many beat writers are breathlessly touting the Mets as the next A’s — how they operate the same and have similar front office personnel. If Billy Beane were here he would have every right to slap these writers silly.
Yes, Beane was allegedly “mentored” by Sandy Alderson. Alderson did hire him and promote him to assistant general manager while Alderson was the GM. Perhaps Alderson did explain to Beane the concept that some players discarded by others do indeed have value. And maybe, just maybe, Alderson was the first to implement sabermetrics.
But Alderson could not teach Beane how to really evaluate players and determine which ones were undervalued. As a former player and a true baseball man, Beane already knew that. It is a skill that the lawyer Alderson just does not possess. And he has proven it time and time again by consistently picking the wrong players for the Mets.
Teams with low budgets, like the Mets and the A’s, must get these personnel decisions right. One wrong decision, especially a big money deal, could sink a team. It is why Oakland has been successful and the Mets have not. It is all well and good to focus on the numbers, but a general manager also has to watch a player to see if he can perform. Alderson has no idea what he is doing in that respect.
Sandy Alderson is obviously a bright man and he is probably pretty good at running the business side of a baseball team. But he should leave the talent evaluation to the baseball people. He had that in Billy Beane in Oakland. But here in New York Alderson is doing it himself and he has been an utter failure.
So stop comparing the Mets and the A’s. Because there really is no comparison.