Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 28, 2010
BASEBALL: Alderson Gets The Band Back Together

On the whole, excellent news to see the Mets' hiring of Sandy Alderson, the A's GM from 1983 to 1997, as the new GM. The decision came down to Alderson and recently-sacked Arizona GM Josh Byrnes, but Alderson's experience (also including stints as CEO of the Padres and in the MLB front office) won the day:

[T]he 40-year-old Byrnes impressed with his intelligence and enthusiasm. He would not have made it to the second round of interviews if not for his five years of experience as GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks, but he could not approximate Alderson's stature as a GM. People close to the situation say that Byrnes and White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn - another impressive candidate who lacked the type of experience the Mets were seeking - very much wanted the Mets job.

I carefully followed the mentions of Hahn; while I don't know Rick especially well, I went to law school with him (Alderson is also a HLS grad) and he was in my first fantasy basketball league (as I recall, he didn't win the league, but I believe he finished well above my 9th or 10th place debacle). He's been second in command to Kenny Williams with the White Sox and should get a GM job sooner or later.

I can't argue with the selection of Alderson. Maybe at 63 he's not as much of a long-term investment as Byrnes, who also seems like a sharp guy, but his stature in the game should give him the most important thing a GM in this organization needs, the autonomy to run the team his way without micromanagement from Jeff Wilpon. And now it seems he's trying to put the old Moneyball band back together (other than Billy Beane), reaching out to Paul DePodesta and JP Ricciardi. While it's debatable whether either of those guys' track records as GMs warrant another shot at the top job, they were clearly both valuable parts of the team in Oakland, and Beane has missed what they brought to the table, especially in locating and developing prospects.

With Alderson, for the first time since the days of Frank Cashen I really have faith in the Mets management.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 1:02 PM | Baseball 2010 | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Now to hire a manager. Is Valentine an option?

Posted by: Terry Kelly at October 28, 2010 2:06 PM

putting cynic hat on-so we can expect in 3 -4 years the inevitable why Alderson failed posts.

Posted by: dch at October 28, 2010 4:20 PM

Despite his success with Tony LaRussa, Alderson, like most of the Moneyball guys, believes in a manager who takes his marching orders from the front office. I.e. - not Bobby Valentine.

Posted by: Jerry at October 28, 2010 4:27 PM

Let me get this straight, they hire a retread older guy whose last success was over 10 years ago and who has the best chance of getting Jeff Wilpon to not interfere? This has you feeling confident? They had a chance to bring someone in new and hungry to make a name for themselves and what did they do, they took the less controversial way out. Typical Mets.

Posted by: Steve at October 28, 2010 4:35 PM

This sounds similar to the Phillies strategy in hiring Pat Gillick. He was pretty much there to mentor Reuben Amaro. So far, that seems to be working out.
Who would be his apprentice GM?

Posted by: Mark D at October 29, 2010 12:43 PM

I support the hire. It's obviously a short term thing to raise team confidence and groom a successor. So all of that means that whoever Alderson hires to be that successor is almost as important as the Alderson hire itself.

Posted by: Jeff W at October 29, 2010 5:24 PM

In theory the apprentice GM is John Ricco. However, Sandy could be paving the way for one of his imports. The Successor will be dictated by performance over the few season, IF they turn a corner and build a winner. If not, here we go again...

Jeff, if short term means 5 seasons I agree. He's not a rental, this is setup as his last full time role in MLB.

Posted by: dave at October 30, 2010 2:41 PM

hey Crank in light of the fact that tomorrow is the day we have been looking forward to for 2 years and the electoral armageddon that is about to rain down on the Dems will be of the once in a 100 years variety-how about some election posts?

Posted by: dch at November 1, 2010 10:07 AM
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