Sandy Alderson is supposed to be a bright guy. He graduated not from one but two Ivy League schools — Dartmouth and Harvard. In contrast, former GM Omar Minaya hails from Newtown High School in Elmhurst. Yet Alderson is about to make the exact same mistake as his predecessor.
Going into the 2010 season, the Mets starting rotation was Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, Jonathon Niese and the two huge question marks that were Oliver Perez and John Maine. Everybody knew Perez and Maine were not long for the rotation. Everybody, that was, except Minaya. So Minaya did absolutely nothing to improve the rotation. (He did rescue R.A. Dickey from the scrap heap; more on that in a moment.)
Fast forward a year, and with Santana expected to miss at least the first half of the season, the rotation going into 2011 is Pelfrey, Niese, Dickey and two huge question marks. And what has Alderson done to improve the rotation? Nothing, unless you consider signing Chris Capuano and chasing a couple of broken down starters is something.
Alderson certainly thinks it is something. In fact, in an email to fans he spins it like this:
Every year players come out of nowhere to become success stories. Look no further than R.A. Dickey. He signed a minor-league deal last January, became a fixture in the starting rotation in May, and finished the season with 11 victories and a 2.84 ERA. I believe some of our offseason acquisitions can be this year’s version of R.A.
So Alderson is actually pulling the rare double-Omar — doing nothing to improve the rotation and praying one of his rejects turns into Minaya’s find of Dickey.
I know Alderson is working on a restricted budget and has a vision for the future, but right now the 2011 season is in the future as well. You’re telling me Alderson couldn’t have spent a few more bucks to get an Aaron Harang or a Jon Garland type — a healthy pitcher who would have guaranteed 200 solid, if not spectacular, innings?
So Alderson is a bright guy who attended good schools which apparently never taught the old addage, “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”