Sandy Alderson knew he was stepping into a difficult situation when he took over as New York Mets' general manager during the offseason. It's doubtful, though, he had any idea the organization was as much of a mess as it has proven to be. With owner Fred Wilpon admitting the team is "bleeding cash" and could lose $70 million this season, ripping his player in public, and still under the cloud of a $1 billion lawsuit in connection with the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme building a competitive baseball team is not easy.
That, though, is what Alderson is tasked with trying to do. He joined Mike Francesa on WFAN in New York Wednesday to discuss the situation. Sports Radio Interviews has the full transcript, excerpts of which are below.
How would you describe these last couple days after the story surfaced with Fred Wilpon’s comments?
"Well, interesting would probably been an understatement, but challenging would probably be accurate. Nothing is ever dull in New York, so not unexpected."
The other alarming part of the article was the information about a possible reduction of salary in the future for the Mets? Have you heard any indicator of this? Did this have to do with attendance factoring in? Fred has not made a specific quote about payroll that I have seen? What kind of payroll will you have next year?
"Well I think I’ve said in the past where we are this year is probably a little high, so I’m on record as saying ‘Look if we’re at $140-$145 [million] there about depending upon performance bonuses and things,I have said from time-to-time that’s probably a little high.’ On the other hand I was a little surprised by the reference of payroll in the Sports Illustrated article. I guess we have to keep our article straight here. That’s not a number that has been discussed with me. I’d be a little surprised with that number. Obviously who knows what happens with respect to this season with [Bernie] Madoff, the minority investor deal that may close or may not close, but I think from my standpoint I think it’s lower then it certainly had been discussed with me."
You are still going on the premise that it will be lower, but not marketably lower in terms of next year’s payroll?
"My operating premise is that let’s say were at $140 or $145 [million] now. This [Sports Illustrated] article mentioned $100 [million]. I’d expect to be somewhere in between based on the conversations that I have had. The other thing that one should keep in mind is there have been discussion with a potential minority investor and obviously budgets have been prepared with that in mind and so as I said the $100 million number has never really come up and I would expect it would be somewhere north of that and south of $145 [million]."
Alderson certainly has his hands full. Personally, I am glad I am not in his shoes.