New Mets General Sandy Alderson has made his first move, and it’s a good one — he hired J.P. Ricciardi as a Special Assistant. Ricciardi is a former GM himself, of the Blue Jays, and he is at the forefront of the Moneyball/sabermetrics crowd. I am not a huge fan of sabermetrics, but they certainly have a place in the game — as long as they go along with the traditional scouting/player evaluation.
Here is the statement from the Mets:
The New York Mets today announced that J.P. (John Paul) Ricciardi has been named Special Assistant to General Manager Sandy Alderson. From November 14, 2001 through 2009, he was the Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations and General Manager for the Toronto Blue Jays. Ricciardi spent last season as a baseball analyst for ESPN.
“J.P. brings a wealth of knowledge and a breadth of experience to the organization,” said Alderson. “I worked with him for over a decade in Oakland and I know first hand he’s a superb talent evaluator. He’ll be a tremendous resource in a variety of areas.”
In his new role, Ricciardi will assist Alderson in all aspects of the baseball department.
The 51-year-old worked for the Oakland Athletics for 16 years (1986-2001), including 12 years (1986-1997) when Alderson was the team’s General Manager.
“I couldn’t be more excited about being reunited with Sandy,” said Ricciardi. “We enjoyed tremendous success together in Oakland and it’s my goal to help duplicate that here with the Mets. As a former Met farm hand, it’s a double homecoming for me.”
Ricciardi played two seasons in the Mets minor league system after signing as a non-drafted free agent. In 1980, he was a teammate of current Oakland GM Billy Beane in the New York-Penn League with Little Falls and in 1981 he played for Shelby (A) of the South Atlantic League.
Reports indicate the Brewers will name Ron Roenicke as their next manager — another job for which Bobby Valentine was allegedly the frontrunner, but didn’t get. Speculation is that Valentine wants too much money and major input into player personnel decisions. I’ve said it before, but I hope and pray the Mets give him whatever he wants and name him manager.
I hesitated to put him into my “next manager” poll because he probably won’t get the job, and he would probably win the poll (although Wally Backman and Lee Mazzilli are getting very strong support). But then I decided that if that’s who Mets fans want, they should have the chance to vote for him. I doubt Alderson reads this site, but Valentine has won similar polls on bigger sites and perhaps Alderson has seen those. There’s no rule that says a GM has to give the fans what they want, but in this case, they are right. So let’s send a message to Alderson and the Mets — We Want Valentine!!