Why Sandy Alderson is a Failure
In this post I will attempt to explain why I think Sandy Alderson has been and always will be a failure as Mets general manager. And that includes the possibility, becoming more remote every day, that the Mets will emerge as contenders over the next couple of years or even win a World Series in this decade. The reason is simple — the past three years, and possibly this year and next year, did not have to be so bad.
It is undeniable that Alderson took over a franchise in severe distress. The farm system was barren, the major league roster was saddled with huge contracts and underperforming players and the owners were broke.
That last factor is likely the sole reason Sandy Alderson was hired in the first place. The Wilpons had very little money to spend, and Alderson had the alleged reputation of being able to find undervalued players at discount prices. It was a perfect marriage.
Except Alderson did not perform his marital duties. Time and time again, Alderson picked the wrong players. We all know the names; no need to list the dozens of them here. But let’s list Scott Hairston, Tim Byrdak, Jason Isringhausen, LaTroy Hawkins and Marlon Byrd. That is the very short list of Alderson scrap-heap finds that actually worked out. And even then, none of them was spectacular. It is a poor track record.
The fact is that Sandy Alderson is a poor judge of talent. It is a classic example of a man who does not know his limitations. Alderson is a bright man and a fine baseball executive, but he should not be making player personnel decisions. He had Billy Beane in Oakland to do that, and Beane is why those teams succeeded, not because of Sandy Alderson.
If Alderson had picked the right players, these past few seasons would not have been so awful. And that falls directly onto his shoulders. Do not blame the Wilpons for not spending money, although obviously things would be different if Fred Wilpon never met Bernie Madoff. Blame Alderson for unwisely spending the little money that was available.
Alderson does deserve credit for restocking the farm system. He also made a few shrewd trades which are still to early to evaluate, but two or three good trades over three years is not enough to make a person an effective GM.
The media have always given Alderson the benefit of the doubt. But that is slowly coming to an end. Everybody is starting to realize that there is one person to blame for the Mets mess, and his name is Sandy Alderson.
10 thoughts on “Why Sandy Alderson is a Failure”
i don’t like the argument that he had no farm system either. matt harvey, lagares, reyes, wright, beltran, parnell; none of these guys are his. Who has he drafted to improve the farm system? montero and degrom were not his either, and syndergaard and wheeler were acquired using pieces he had (which he deserves some credit for). However, most of the bright spots while he’s been here have been scrap heap additions (as you mentioned) or from the minaya regime. Not to mention how every major mets blog online had an article today ripping him and dave hudgens for their terrible hitting approach that they force on everyone. the man has no clue about baseball, more about business and cost controlling, but it’s hard to do that if you don’t understand the industry you’re in.
i’ve blamed the wilpons for most of what’s happened, and i still believe it’s mostly their fault, but as you said: it didn’t have to be this bad
Who the hell is Dave Hudgens, anyway? I never heard of him as a player, how how is it he is allegedly teaching major league players how to hit? How about getting someone in there who actually was a HITTER in the BIG LEAGUES!
Davey Boy hit a whooping .147 in his 7 game MLB career
I have been a Mets fan since their inception. Polo Grounds to Shea to Citi-Field. I’ve lived through Marvolous Marv to the Miracle of 69 to You Gotta Believe and Grant’s Tomb, etc..
The one constant with this organization is that there has never been a vision. There is no long standing blue print philosphy for success. It has seemed that they just drift along. Let’s sign Bobby Bonilla, let’s sign Mo Vaughn… We need a thirdbaseman let’s trade for Jim Fregosi. Oh, Yogi is a NY City icon lets make him manager and pass over Whitey Herzog…
My point is that there needs to be consistency and a plan. You can’t just hope a Tom Seaver is going to fall into your lap every few years. I think Alderson has a vision. I think he has a plan. He is trying to build from below and it will take time. I also believe that Major League Baseball stepped in and said (due to the Madoff mess, etc..) that Alderson is your guy OR ELSE….
I am still an Alderson defender because he has a plan, however if his Granderson signing turns out to be a 4 year bust (as it may appear), than that is the type of signing that can get you fired. Again to his defense, management may have stepped in and said “we need to make a move” because they were getting creamed in the press every day.
I really think 2015 will be the year. His job will be on the line.
Met Fan 4 Ever-Just because you are not a great MLB player doesn’t mean you can’t coach. That statement is pretty poor. Was WIllie that great of a coach? Sparky Anderson didn’t make it to the pro’s and he is one of the best Managers in history. Tommy Lasorda played barely 3 years in MLB and look what he did. Tony La Russa had a career .199 batting average in like 124 AB’s. He wasn’t too bad himself.
I’ll agree in parts as it’s a mixed bag. On the positive, the farm system has not been in this kind of shape since the 80’s; Sandy deserves much of that credit. The negatives, however are getting under everyone’s skin; although I think most of it can be traced back to the Wilpons. How can a GM basically disregard a bullpen for 5 years? Owners with No Money. How did one of the top 3 offensive players that this organization ever developed leave without even an offer? Owners with No Money. Why haven’t they ben more of a player on the international signing stage? Owners with No Money. Why are all these wunderkinds being held back till mid season and (possibly) after the point of no return? Owners with No Money. Why doesn’t any AAA affiliates want a sniff of us? Owners without a Clue. Why has it been allowed that the fan base has deteriorated over the last 25 years so severely that they are not even #1 any longer in the county in which they play? Owners without a Clue. Who would have the audacity to write an open letter to what’s left of the fan base, basically admonishing them for not turning out by the millions to watch this 4A team play? Owners without a Clue.
Hey Metfan122164 – Great point about Reyes. Nice post. I agree with you. Time for the Wilpons to sell. Jeffy will then have to go out and get a job.
While I agree that Sandy has delivered less than expected, I continue to try to be patient with the absolute inexcusable mess Omar left this franchise in. This combined with the Wilpon/Madoff created a perfect storm. Omar depleted the farm system at all levels for washed up, forgotten players, no one else wanted and in comes Sandy with no money to replace via free agents. I agree he has done a poor job getting low level signings, especially in the bullpen. Seems he’s doing the throw it against the wall technique. If the new surplus in pitching creates someone getting traded for a position player, Sandy better make sure that player delivers. That would be a make it or break it move for him in this town.
espo33 – you make a point but it is not valid in this discussion. You are talking about MANAGERS, who, by nature, should be cerebral. They need to be able to see opportunities to employ different strategies in different situations. A guy can be a lifetime minor leaguer or a bench dude and be a great manager because they have spent their careers watching the game and they have the smarts to begin with.
A COACH, on the other hand, should have some PHYSICAL skills in order to be able to demonstrate why their way works and the player’s technique does not. Sure, a guy does not have to have been a great hitter to see a hitch in a swing or too much time at the plate fiddling around before settling in to hit, but if one is going to actually tell someone how to hit, not just correct an error or build on past successes of the player, than that person needs to have been able to do it themselves. Doesn’t mean a great hitter would be a great coach, but if you couldn’t hit for crap yourself, how can you teach?
Yeah, look at Sandy now.