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Sandy Alderson’s chance to rule the Mets without Wilpons’ intervention



This was a spring training a few years ago. Mets is changing media rules for no apparent reason, restricting access to clubs.

It had Jeff Wilpon’s fingerprints on it. At the time, I was a senior reporter at the camp and was asked to see if I could make a turnaround. I thought Sandy Alderson would provide a fair hearing and possibly help, so I presented the case to the then GM Mets. The answer I received was that Alderson agreed with the argument and thought that the new policy was ill-conceived and meaningless.

Over the years, however, he had learned that when he dealt with the Wilpons, there were only so many bullets in the pistol. So I was well informed that as long as Alderson could agree, he would not lose a bullet to a reporter̵

7;s access when time, energy, and persuasive points might be needed to convince Wilpon at any time of the day or night who to raise , downgrade, acquire or trade – or simply utter one of the owners of something ill-conceived that affected baseball operations.

If you’re wondering why Alderson would return – if Steve Cohen was approved as the owner, that is – when he survived cancer, who turns 73 in November, think about this story. His friends in the game will tell you more. Much more. By the end of his eight-year term, Alderson was not tired of age or cancer, these allies will tell you, as much as the endless interference from above, the strange demands, the inability of his bosses to see beyond the next press conference. He was exhausted to know which battles to fight when they were all important to varying degrees.

He would always wonder what could be done with this franchise in a big market if he was left to run it with supervision from above, and not one of those two-ton Acme cartoon anvils that rise above to hold money. , delay decision-making or act on a whim.

Rewriting is now possible. In a statement Thursday, Cohen said that if the owners ratify it in a vote that is likely to take place between Halloween and Thanksgiving, he will nominate Alderson as team president to oversee business and baseball operations.

Cohen’s angle is transparent. He is a flawed candidate. There are owners against him at a time when he will need 23 votes to be approved. There are concerns about his history of insider dealing, gender discrimination and what his $ 15 billion might mean to blow up the payroll. For Cohen Alderson, he is partly a cleansing agent, partly a political whip that aligns voices.

Alderson was the CEO of Bash Brother A, so he has ties to an organization known for using steroids. But that has never tarnished his reputation. A Marine who served in Vietnam, Alderson spent four decades working for MLB teams and in the commissioner’s office, leaving everyone with an image of integrity and loyalty.

An ally of Alderson said: “Sandy will be Cohen’s regulator. He is the man who will make the owners more comfortable that Cohen will follow the rules. “

Sandy Alderson meets with the president
Sandy Alderson and Fred WilponCharles Wenzelberg / New York Post

That doesn’t mean Cohen doesn’t know and respect Alderson. He has been a limited owner of Mets since 2012, so during much of the management of Alderson GM (2011-2018). They speak a common language when it comes to business, technology and long-term strategy.

Cohen recently hired baseball players to lead the baseball department. But George Steinbrenner promised, “We’re planning on missing property when it comes to running the Yankees.” So you never know. Cohen is a powerful, albeit personal person. He will come up with ideas for managing the team he has rooted all his life and dreams of owning. His hedge fund history is a strong oversight for his executives with a product or other idea.

If Alderson had autonomy in baseball, it would be because Cohen loves the Mets, but the hedge fund is in his DNA, and he won’t be distracted much to keep it thriving. In that case, what would Alderson do? Cohen’s statement included, “Sandy is a accomplished and respected baseball player who shares my philosophy of building an organization and a team in the right way.” It certainly felt like a shot at Brody Van Wagen.

Because it would help Cohen deal with the other owners if they think his “right path” is more internal than signing every George Springer and JT Realmuto. And the weather was good for Alderson’s representative in this kingdom. His regime drafted two future rookies of the year (Michael Fulmer and Pete Alonso). His initial choice for the first round was Brandon Nimo, and the final six were Dominic Smith, Michael Conforto, Anthony Kay, Justin Dunn, David Peterson and Jared Kellenick – either Success Stories or part of the hitherto unfortunate deals made under Wang Wengen. . Andres Gimenez, Luis Guillorme, Jeff McNeil and Seth Lugo were also signed during Alderson’s rule.

So it would be upsetting if Van Wagen was detained because: 1) Van Wagen was considered in line with Jeff Wilpon, and Cohen didn’t like Jeff Wilpon, and 2) Alderson didn’t appreciate how his final game collapsed with the Mets and remained public. he is silent because that is his nature – plus his son, Brin, still works for Van Wagenen as a professional spy.

If Van Wagennen left, what would Alderson do? The general manager will be considered a junior partner. Alderson has a collaborative style, but it will be the last vote. That way, those who expect to give a property recommendation like Theo Epstein or David Stearns will not come. Alderson has strong ties to one of his former top lieutenants, Paul Depodesta, but it is said that DePodesta is comfortable as the chief operating officer of the Cleveland Browns.

Two of Alderson’s most trusted assistants with the Mets, JP Ricciardi (now a special adviser to the Giants) and John Ricco (who stayed with the Mets but in the role of non-baseball under Van Wagen), may gain notoriety, albeit probably not like GM. Don’t ignore Alderson’s open mind. He went on his last managerial search, not even knowing Mickey Callaway, and put him in a tab. This turned out to be a mistake, but it showed that Alderson has a wild card side.

His strong point, however, is that he appeals most to what Cohen wants and needs now, while Cohen gives the former Marines in Alderson a chance to complete a mission he says is incomplete.


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