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When Sandy Alderson took to the podium at Citi Field, the new General Manager of the Mets surveyed the media in attendance and quipped, "Today's gathering represents about 17 years of press coverage in Oakland," in reference to his 15-year tenure as the Athletics' GM. That comment drew laughter from everyone in attendance and set the tone for the press conference. Alderson showed himself to be witty, but also insightful.
"I view the position of the General Manager of the New York Mets as the best job available in baseball," said Alderson in his opening statement, "not only now but for the foreseeable future." He said the Mets are "an iconic franchise in a great city, a city that inspires all of us to dream big," which is one of the reasons why he took the position. He also said New York's "stable, caring ownership" and "committed, very passionate fans" were factors that made the Mets attractive.
Under his leadership, Alderson said, the Mets "will strive for consistency and, above all, excellence." But he is not strictly about business: "Baseball is a game. It's entertainment. We all ought to have fun in the process."
But the main topic today, understandably, was indeed business. "The baseball calendar waits for no one," Alderson said, which is why the team is eager to begin interviewing managerial candidates. He says that process will begin next week and he is "excited" about who might be available. Alderson wants a manager who will "reflect the general philosophy of the organization." He also desires a manager who is "somewhat analytical," but who can be "intuitive" when the situation calls for it.
The Mets also need to make some free-agency decisions soon, and Alderson said he is addressing the situation of left-handed reliever Hisanori Takahashi "at the moment."
Notably, Alderson said "I think a fiery manager is actually quite desirable," noting that the manager is often "a proxy" for fans who want to see their team succeed.
Alderson was bound to face questions about the current roster, and he indeed was asked how he planned to deal with the situations of underachieving, unhappy, overpaid veterans such as Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez. "I'm certainly mindful of public opinion," Alderson said, "but from a personal and organizational standpoint, we have to be circumspect." Later, he added, "We need to be careful about writing off any player or asset we may have."
A key for Alderson is flexibility. "You need to be agile," he said, in listing what he looks for in an organization. But he probably won't enjoy that level of flexibility this season, however much he'd like to. "In the free-agent market, we want to be in the market every year. Will we be in the market this year? Unlikely."
However, Alderson made it clear that he takes 2011 very seriously; he is not biding his time until 2012. "I am by no means thinking past 2011. I'm very optimistic about 2011." Of importance to him this year is "to set up a situation where we're as active and aggressive as possible."
The Mets have their new GM, and he's already trying to change the organizational culture. We'll have to wait just a bit to see if his efforts will translate into more success on the field.
Alderson, the former president and GM of the Oakland Athletics and chief executive officer of the San Diego Padres, will have to leave his current job with Major League Baseball in which he’s leading efforts to reform operations in the Dominican Republic.
Alderson, who turns 63 next month, was Oakland’s general manager from 1983-97, also serving as team president from 1993-95 and 1996-97. He built power-packed teams led by the Bash Brothers of Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco that won three straight pennants from 1988-90 and a World Series title in ‘89.
Well-respected among MLB executives, Alderson was executive vice president for baseball operations in the commissioner’s office from 1998-05. He was the Padres’ CEO from 2005-09.
The team will officially introduce Alderson during a press conference Friday at Citi Field.
The Mets made the choice after bringing back Alderson and former Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes as finalists.
The official hire of Alderson could come as early as Friday, as announcements are discouraged on days of World Series games.
Alderson, 62, brings instant added credibility to the Mets, who have had two straight losing seasons.
Alderson was a longtime GM of the A’s, building the successful teams of the late ‘80s and early ’90s, and more recently served as the Padres’ CEO. He worked in several big jobs at the commissioner’s office, as well.
Alderson appeared to have the backing of commissioner Bud Selig and, more importantly, Mets team owner Fred Wilpon from the start. Though he hasn’t been a GM since 1997, Mets people say he was "well versed’’ on current players.
I guess we are about to find out just how “well versed” Alderson is. Like this move, Mets fans?
The New York Mets Tuesday concluded interviews for their vacant general manager position when they spoke with former Oakland general manager Sandy Alderson for a second time.
The team has also interviewed form Arizona general manager Josh Byrnes twice.
“Fred, Saul and I met with Sandy Alderson today at Citi Field,” Jeff Wilpon said Tuesday in a statement. “We will have no further comment on the process until we are ready to announce our new general manager.”
Alderson, 62, is considered the clear frontrunner after helping construct an A’s team that won four division titles, three pennants and one World Series during 15 seasons as general manager from 1983-97. He later worked for Major League Baseball before heading San Diego’s baseball operations department for four years.
So, Mets’ fans. Alderson or Byrnes? Which one do you want?
Former Oakland GM Sandy Alderson, Red Sox assistant to the GM Allard Baird, White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn, former D-backs GM Josh Byrnes, Dodgers assistant GM Logan White and Blue Jays special assistant to the GM Dana Brown are the finalists.
I'll lead off again with the Met GM speculation as the New York Post is reporting that Sandy Alderson has been asked to interview for a second time with New York. No decision, however, is imminent and the Mets still need to interview a candidate who can qualify under MLB's minority quota rules as the Tigers denied them the chance to speak with Al Avila. The Mets also continue to wait for the possible chance to speak with Texas and Queens native Jon Daniels.
It will be an upset if Alderson does not get this job. He has been the front-runner since the beginning, and nothing seems to have changed that.
“We are continuing our search and expect to hire our new GM in the next few weeks,” said COO Jeff Wilpon.
The Mets already interviewed former Kansas City GM Allard Baird, former Oakland GM Sandy Alderson, Dodgers assistant GM Logan White, former Arizona GM Josh Byrnes
Valentine did lead the Mets to the 2000 World Series, but the possibility of him returning to the team is certain to bring a mixed reaction from the fanbase.
Dodgers assistant GM Logan White will become the fifth man to interview for the Mets’ GM job, SI.com has confirmed.
White, the longtime Dodgers scouting guru who’s overseen the selections of Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Jonathan Broxton, Matt Kemp, James Loney, Russell Martin and others,joins Sandy Alderson, Rick Hahn, Josh Byrnes and Allard Baird as candidates interviewing for the Mets’ GM job.
Baird, 48, spent 6 1/2 seasons last decade as general manager of the Royals. Due to payroll constraints in Kansas City, he became most famous for trading away young stars Johnny Damon, Jermaine Dye and Carlos Beltran, on each occasion receiving little in return.
Because Baird’s background is in scouting, it is perhaps little surprise that Kansas City’s most productive moves under his watch came during various First-Year Player Drafts — most notably when the Royals selected starting pitcher Zack Greinke in 2002 and first baseman Billy Butler in 2004.
After the Royals dismissed him in 2006, Baird hooked on with the Red Sox, quickly rising to his current post of assistant to general manager Theo Epstein.
Baird interviewed on Monday with Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, assistant general manager John Ricco and other front-office executives. After meeting with Hahn, Byrnes and Alderson later this week, the Mets will proceed to the next phase of the interview process, reconnecting with the finalists.
Sounds like the Mets might have a GM in place within a week or so.
Alderson, 62, was the GM of the Oakland Athletics from 1983-1997. He later worked for commissioner Bud Selig’s office and served as CEO of the San Diego Padres. Alderson is currently working for MLB to stabilize various issues in the Dominican Republic.
While one of the other candidates could so impress the Wilpons during the interview process that the owners hire him over Alderson, this does not seem likely. It is clear that Selig is invested in Alderson’s candidacy. Once Alderson told the Daily News last Friday that he was interested in the position and would meet with Jeff Wilpon on Thursday or Friday, he became the logical front-runner for the job.
The Daily News also speculates that Alderson would keep deposed general manager Omar Minaya with the organization as a super scout.
Sandy Alderson, a veteran Major League Baseball executive, is reportedly in talks with the New York Mets about becoming their next general manager. Alderson made a name for himself during his long tenure as the GM of the Oakland Athletics (1983-1997). Former Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes, ex-Royals GM Allard Baird and White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn had been mentions as potential replacements to Omar Minaya, who was fired at the start of the week after a disappointing losing season.
According to a team official, the Mets have scheduled three interviews next week for their vacant GM position: Rick Hahn, White Sox assistant GM; Allard Baird, Boston’s assistant to the GM; and Josh Byrnes, former D-backs GM.
Hahn, a Chicago-area native with degrees from the University of Michigan, Harvard Law School and Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, also boasts two years’ experience as a player agent and has negotiated more than a half-billion dollars’ worth of contracts in 10 seasons with the White Sox.
Baird, 49, is a former GM in Kansas City, perhaps best known for a series of unpopular trades that saw the Royals deal Johnny Damon, Carlos Beltran and Jermaine Dye over the span of three years in the last decade.
For the past four seasons, Baird has ranked among Theo Epstein’s top lieutenants in Boston.
Byrnes, 40, is another Epstein disciple who served as D-backs GM from November 2005 until his dismissal in July. A graduate of Haverford College with a degree in English, Byrnes has developed a reputation as a strong proponent of advanced statistical metrics.
Other potential candidates for the position are Rangers GM Jon Daniels, Dodgers assistant GM Logan White, Rays assistant GM Gerry Hunsicker, former Rangers GM John Hart, and former A’s and Padres GM Sandy Alderson.
Earlier we provided a synopsis of Jeff Wilpon’s conversation with Mike Francesca on WFAN shortly after the New York Mets announced that they had fired general manager Omar Minaya and skipper Jerry Manuel after another disappointing season.
Here’s a transcription of much of the interview (via SRI)
On why it was a tough decision:
“Well because the two men are such outstanding people. Having worked with Omar for six-plus years and having known him before that when he was with the organization, and getting to know Jerry – it’s tough when you have to let good people go. But the results are what they were, and we failed. And their part of it, ownership is part of it, and it’s time now to figure out a different direction for the organization.”
On how it seems like his father is still involved with the decision making processes of the organization:
“Always, that hasn’t changed at all in anything we do together. The organization has an office of the Chairman that we set up. I run the day-to-day Mike, but any major decision, expenditure, et cetera, we make as a collaborative effort. We might disagree in a room, but we come out of the room as one mind, one direction, and we’re all on the same page.”
On the Mets’ roster lacking accountability and toughness:
“Well I think you put your finger on something that we certainly have to look into Mike, and the new general manager is going to be asked about that, and the new manager when we go through that process will be asked about how they handle things. I will tell you one thing that happened the last few weeks of the season that was very encouraging to me is the way some of the guys reacted down in Philly after the take-out slide of the kid Tejada. And especially Carlos Beltran – the way he talked about what was right and wrong, and what he thought happened there, and then the way he went out the next day and showed what I thought was great leadership skills by going out there and taking care of business. It’s not something that you would necessarily put on Carlos immediately, but he does need to be singled out and credited for doing that. And that showed that he wants to be a leader.”
On how the search for the new general manager will be an extensive one:
“I’m not going to leave any stone unturned. Like I said at the press conference, we’re going to look for some very established older guys that have done their job elsewhere and might be able to come in here as a great leader. We’re going to look at some guys who might have been GMs recently and are looking for a second chance and learned something by why they got fired or who they got fired from, and we’ll look at some young guys. But I want to hear a full range of ideas and thoughts about how to change the organization and how to change the culture. And also the fact they won’t be saddled with the fact that they signed X player or Y player with a big contract, and they can look to move it in a different way than was done before.”
On if the new general manager will have complete autonomy over the hiring process of the Mets’ new manager:
“I think we will work with the new general manager to hear his thoughts and work with him on who it is. I mean, if it’s somebody totally against the organization’s culture, and somebody that we think will be the wrong fit, we as an organization have the right to say can you rethink that. But we are not…it’s exactly what we don’t want to do Mike and I said we wouldn’t do because I think the new general manager has to come in here, have a plan, have a direction and then say because of this plan and this direction, I believe this manager will be the best fit for us for where we want to go.”
On what he would say to those fans that think they don’t care about the fan experience of the Mets:
“We totally care about the product, and I think the fans are going to be happy We’re looking at ticket pricing, we’re looking at ticket packages, we’re looking at all the things they’re going to be most concerned with – is it affordable, and is it a value. Okay, that’s the key word to me Mike. Is it a value to come watch the team we put on the field. And we’re going to make sure we work very hard to make sure they have a value to come out to what we think is a great ball park, Citi Field, and be here and be part of the excitement.”
You can listen to the full audio interview on WFAN here.
New York Mets Chief Operating Officer and co-owner Jeff Wilpon spoke to WFAN 660 and YES Network sports-talk host Mike Francesa shortly after Omar Minaya addressed the media. Here is a quick synopsis of what he said:
The new general manager candidate will need to have a new plan, ideas and direction than the previous leadership.
Any suggestion that the Mets franchise is in any financial hardship is false.
There could be cuts, discounts and new packages to ticket prices, mostly targeted at season-ticket holders.
The organization felt the Mets are not a team, but a group of individuals. The new GM and manager will need to find a way to make New York a team again.
He graded the Mets as mediocre during the past couple seasons.
Wilpon believes the Mets fans care most about winning.
Omar Minaya discusses his dismissal as New York Mets general manager.
The New York Mets, in an attempt "to distance themselves from the disappointments of recent seasons," dismissed GM Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel this afternoon, according to a team release. Minaya has two years remaining on his contract, while Manuel had a one-year club option. Here is, in part, how they explained the move:
"We are extremely disappointed in this year's results and the failures of the past four seasons," Jeff Wilpon, the Mets' chief operating officer, said in a statement. "We need to hire a new general manager with a fresh perspective who will transform this club into a winner that we want and our fans deserve."
Minaya told Adam Rubin of ESPN.com the Mets offered Minaya a different front-office position, but he declined it, saying "it's not fair to give me another role." His dismissal ends a disappointing six-year tenure in which he spent lavishly on free agents such as Oliver Perez, Carlos Beltran, and Jason Bay, but did not always get good results on the field. Assistant GM John Ricco will assume interim GM duties.
In his two-plus seasons managing the Mets, Manuel compiled a 204-213 record. He led the Mets to a respectable 55-38 close to the 2008 season after taking over for Willie Randolph, but has finished under .500 in each of the last two years. Thus, the club did not pick up its option on Manuel for this season.
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