Mancuso: Sandy Alderson Won’t Let Health Get in Way

On a night when the New York Mets got a 2-0 over win the Washington Nationals at Citi Field it put more smiles on the face of GM Sandy Alderson.  The good news came three hours before game time when Alderson addressed the media about surgery he had last week for an undisclosed type of cancer.

It was disclosed a few months ago that Alderson was undergoing treatments for a form of cancer that had not been revealed, and he was still in control of decision making.

And make no mistake about it, Alderson, who appeared much thinner from when he was last seen has a good prognosis. His team needed a win Tuesday night in what was described as the biggest series so far this season. Of course the Mets and Nationals will meet 18 more times, including two more to complete this three-game series and it should be a battle to the end for first place in the NL east with the two teams.

But by far the biggest news, besides David Wright and Lucas Duda sitting down because of soreness to their backs, was the prognosis for Alderson who has always won a battle via the trade market, free agent acquisition or with this rebuilding process that has been accomplished during his tenure as GM in New York.

“The surgery was preplanned,” Alderson said. “It was part of an overall strategy that was devised by my doctors early in December The surgery followed a very successful regime of chemotherapy.”

Two more home runs, a leadoff shot to right in the first inning from Curtis Granderson and another one to right off the bat of Michael Conforto in the sixth inning, off of Nationals ace Max Scherzer, showed the fight the Mets have after returning from a modest 4-7 west coast road trip.

Alderson was not commenting about the Mets failures out west and there was more concern  about his status and getting back into a daily routine. His front office assistants, all with GM capabilities J.P. Ricciardi and John Ricco have been in constant contact with Alderson while he tends to his treatments.

And by all means, there is no discussion of Alderson taking a leave of absence. The Mets are in good hands and when Alderson is tending to his condition, or needs time away from the office, things are covered and that is known because the GM updated the status of infielder Wilmer Flores, catcher Travis d’Arnaud and progress of pitcher Zach Wheeler.

Alderson provided the updates and that is where he feels comfortable because the team that takes the field is his handling of personnel. Flores is on the road to recovery with a mild hamstring and down in Port St. Lucie Florida, while d’Arnaud is home in California and working with his own physical therapist. and an expected return to the team is uncertain.

“He’s on target for July 1,” Alderson said about the right hander Wheeler who is  making a nice and progressive recovery from Tommy John Surgery procedure of March 24, 2015.

He thanked Daniel Murphy for his time as a New York Met and presented him the 2015 National League Championship ring in a private meeting before his unexpected media session.  And for a man who has more important things to be concerned about, no guess as to why, Alderson wanted to talk baseball.

But is was an assurance that he will be okay and in command. And for the Mets, manager Terry Collins and everyone at Citi Field the news was good.

“Now, I’m not running a four minute mile at the moment,” he said. “My mouth is a little dry from time to time but that’s what happens when you have surgery of any type. I expect to be here today. I expect to be here some portion of every day. I’m in daily contact with ownership as well as the baseball operations department and anyone else who needs access to me other than perhaps the media.”

He added, “Everything is going well.” And the way Noah Syndergaard out dueled Max Scherzer with his 11- strikeouts, five hits and no-runs in seven innings, everything went well for the Mets.

So, as Alderson said the speculation about his health was “Put to rest.”  Manager Terry Collins put it into perspective: “We’ve all known someone who has had to fight a fight. I’ve never been around anybody who has fought it better. This guy absolutely never lets his condition stand in the way of anything he does…the way he continues to work with me and the team.”

And with that, Sandy Alderson is on the job. The Mets put a smile on his face and the best road to recovery is a team he has built to keep winning.

Comment Rich Mancuso: [email protected]  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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