Saturday, October 9, 2010

I have questions about this Alderson fella...

Anytime someone is described as the perfect fit I grow skeptical.  Everybody who has had the opportunity to weigh in has said Sandy Alderson is exactly what the Wilpon's need, in fact it almost seems like Bud Selig is pulling a Pete Rozelle/ George Young maneuver. Heck even the reports from Alderson himself make it sound like this is almost a done deal...

alderson sounds excited about mets gm chance. "the baseball side ... is the fun side." source Jon Heyman twitter
I'm skeptical of a guy in his 60's who's biggest success was in the 80's with a small market team, who's last position with a baseball team ( Padres) ended prematurely and now works for the commissioners office.  Remember when Art Howe lit up he room and everybody was excited that we stole someone from that great winning organization in Oakland, how'd that work out.

Sandy Alderson is a living legend but how do I know the game hasn't passed him by, after being a guy who bought whole heartily into "In Omar We Trust" I'm skeptical of this man being "The Answer" and I need some convincing...

Alderson was a lawyer for the A's with no baseball background, how much of the credit does he actually deserve for those Oakland teams and how much was his underlings ?
"Sandy's the architect of the way baseball's played today," says former Oakland Athletics owner Walter Haas Jr. "He showed everybody the game could be done differently."
Bearing degrees from Dartmouth and Harvard Law, Alderson actually simplified the game with the basic "Principle of OPS": Get on base, often, and get driven in by somebody else who's very good at driving in runs with extra-base hits. Often. On-base percentage plus slugging average. OPS. Simple. source San Diego Union-Tribune

There is no question that A's GM Billy Beane has been one of the most creative and successful general managers, but he is the first to admit that one of the reasons the A's have performed so well with so little revenue is that their organizational philosophy has been in place for more than 15 years.

"It's a tremendous credit to (former A's GM) Sandy (Alderson), because he set this up in the '80s. He developed a well-defined offensive philosophy. Our development people have been in place. We lost Grady Fuson as scouting director, but we had Eric Kubota, who'd worked with Grady for nearly a decade, to step in. (Manager) Art Howe works very well in this system, because he understands it." source Peter Gammons
Sandy Alderson entered this industry almost exactly when Baseball America did, in October 1981. Of all the players we have covered, all the tools we have described, few have impressed us as much as Alderson's brain. source Baseball America
Ok, so he is truely the guy who started the money ball concept based on Bill James, but what was it he accomplished in Oakland ?

Most of Oakland's moves in the mid-to-late 1980s were made with OBP in mind. The A's drafted pure slugger Mark McGwire over two speedier and more complete players, Shane Mack and Oddibe McDowell; they dumped free-swinging shortstop Alfredo Griffin for pitcher Bob Welch; they acquired Reggie Jackson, Dave Henderson, Rickey Henderson and Ken Phelps, all of whom fit the walk-and-homer profile. The result? Four division titles and three pennants from 1988 through '92. source ESPN
He then served as Oakland's General Manager from 1983-97, and as the club's President from 1993-95 and 1997 through his departure in 1998. The A's won four American League West Championships during his tenure (1988, '89, '90, '92), participated in three consecutive World Series (1988-90) and captured the World Series Championship in 1989. In addition, the A's farm system produced four Rookies of the Year during Alderson's stay in Oakland. source San Diego Padres

Wasn't he a flop in San Diego ?
This Padres franchise is loaded up with some great prospects in the farm system and credit is all due to Sandy Alderson’s leadership. Let’s not forget what Sandy Alderson did for this organization when it was in shambles in terms of minor league talent. I am glad to see a couple of former Padres minor league talent make it with other teams. source Snodgrass muff

In Alderson's first two seasons with the Padres, the team reached the postseason in back-to-back years for the first time in franchise history, winning the National League West title in both 2005 and 2006. The Padres also surpassed the 2.6-million mark in attendance for the third straight season in 2006, and continued to make strides in their community and military outreach programs. Alderson was influential in bringing the semi-finals and championship game of the inaugural World Baseball Classic to San Diego in March of 2006. source San Diego Padres

A former scouting director with the Athletics and Rangers, Fuson heard from three other major league clubs that rank the 30 farm systems. In those rankings, the Padres' system was fourth and sixth, and one other organization rated San Diego first in hitting prospects. source San Diego Union-Tribune
Does Alderson really change the culture of an organization ?

“My approach to leadership has always been to come in and make the organization in place better rather than different,” he said. “And my inclination has never been to implement change by changing personnel.

“It probably goes back to the Marine Corps. If you're a platoon commander, you don't get to pick and choose. These are your guys. This is who we have. Let's figure out how to get the job done.”

By retaining nearly all the staff he inherited, and augmenting it with outsiders more closely attuned to his baseball philosophy, Alderson risked more turmoil and turf wars than might have occurred had he replaced Kevin Towers and Co. with his own hand-picked hires. source San Diego Union-Tribune

Even more than the players he gathered, Alderson hired a staggering number of young executives and weaned them on logic over emotion. Walt Jocketty, Ron Schueler, J.P. Ricciardi and, most notably, Billy Beane learned under him and spread his philosophies to several other organizations and a new generation of young minds. source Baseball America

Can he handle NY, which is a lot different then Oakland, San Diego and the Commisioner's office ?
"He's been in the right place at the right time and taken advantage of it," Selig says.

"We changed the game more than any decade in the history of the sport and Sandy was in the middle of all of that."Alderson stepped on some toes in the process, however. In 1999, his hard-line negotiating tactics led to a resounding defeat of the umpires association.  Alderson says: "It was one of those situations where you weren't going to convince people with words. You had to convince them with actions." "He's not politically correct, necessarily," Haas Jr. says. "He doesn't go out of his way not to be, but he's not going to throw BS at somebody to seek favor."

"He doesn't fear tough decisions," Beane says. "That makes people less secure a little uncomfortable dealing with him. (But) he neither invited confrontation nor was afraid of it."

His no-nonsense approach in restoring the strike zone to its rulebook dimensions also rankled some in baseball.
Alderson admits his tact at times has gotten him into trouble. "But that's life," he says unapologetically. source USA Today

If you haven't figured it out by now all these questions were rhetorical, Sandy Aldserson would be the perfect fit for this team and each time I hear a quote about him coming here I get excited.  He would change the culture of the Mets from the Wilpon's all the way to the last roster spot in one of the baseball academies. Not only is he a hard-nosed type that wouldn't allow NY or the Wilpon's to effect him but he has worked in NY through the commisioners office where he took on an entire union with an unpopular stance and he has ties to the area ( Daughter and family live here).  He proved he still had it in San Diego were they are still reaping the rewards and his quotes show he still has the desire for the position.  Semper Fi Sandy I hope your joining us sooner then later...