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.