Mancuso: Mets Need Rebuild Without “Master” Sandy

For the Mets and their fans it is difficult to understand what has transpired in three years. Citi Field was loud and obnoxious with that short lived  and unexpected postseason run to the World Series. Remember Daniel Murphy, Matt Harvey, a healthy young core in the pitching rotation, and of course the acquisition of Yoenis Cespedes?

Yes, seems like yesterday and a lot of that success was attributed to Sandy Alderson. The General Manager pushed the right buttons but that was then and this is now. So after the Mets managed to salvage a win over the Yankees Sunday night, thanks to Seth Lugo on the mound, Sandy “The Master” GM made some changes.

In typical Mets fashion, changes made on the roster when the lights went out and everybody went home. Asdrubal Cabrera, a bad hamstring, and Jose Reyes for now has extended time.

“The Master” he is called because those in baseball have always respected the Sandy Alderson knowledge and  success that includes three straight Oakland Athletics AL pennants with rosters he constructed. And there were back-to-back playoff appearances for the San Diego Padres when he was their Chief Executive Officer.

The resume was ideal and despite that brief success of 2015, and a wildcard game a year later,  Sandy Alderson will never again be baseball Executive of the Year, and surpassing his counterpart, Brian Cashman in the Bronx because there is no comparison. 

So after Adrian Gonzalez was released Sunday night, and from a roster this GM constructed, there was this process to get better.

Dominic Smith, returns to the lineup in Atlanta Tuesday night.  Should have been sooner and the kid now has the opportunity. First base belongs to Smith, and should be as that promising Mets prospect we hardly got to know.

But the process for the Mets is to start over. And that process begins with cleaning out the desk of this Mets front office that has failed the past few years, and fans of this team can no longer tolerate the losing, a band-aid roster of aging and over the hill players that included Adrian Gonzalez and now with Jose Bautista.

Most of all there is that limited amount of help that can rescue this sinking ship of the New York Mets, and again there is no comparison to what has occurred across town. Once a top three minor league system in baseball, the product at Citi Field shows that quick decline to the bottom.

The GM in the Bronx, with proper personnel, rebuilt the Yankees. Those in baseball, the rival executives and scouts do view their youth, depth, and athleticism as the top organization. This “Master” with the subtraction of Adrian Gonzalez recalled Dominic Smith, and done after a much needed win Sunday night. .  

It begins at the top. The Wilpon ownership will not sell and it is obvious they are loyal to this GM. The “Master” Sandy has nothing to lose in the last year of his contract and the beginning of a three-city road trip Tuesday night with visits to Atlanta, Arizona, and Colorado, the Mets need to win a majority of those games.

That 11-1 start, long time ago and gone before the Summer winds came rolling in. Sandy Alderson looked like a “Master” then, but need we remember that 12- games is not a season. Teams were just finding themselves at the beginning of a marathon season and the Mets took advantage, did everything right that isn’t being done now.   

This sinking ship is heading  to another lost season of baseball. And there is minimal optimism for this team to quickly turn things around because the Braves, Diamondbacks, and Rockies, are considered three of those elite teams in the National League.

Not a good sign because the Braves and Phillies, two teams that went younger and built from within their minor league system are way ahead of the Mets in the talent pool.

Yes, this is a flaw of the “Master” Sandy Alderson and the future is not good. Prospects, few and far, behind the eight-ball and a rebuilding of their system has become a necessity. Michael Conforto needs to adjust his decline in the big leagues, Amed Rosario is still a work in progress and no longer considered prospects.

But when it comes to the prospects, dig deep into the barrel and the Mets have nothing. “The Master” next month  will be asked to wheel and deal at the non-waiver trade deadline and rebuilding does not come with departing Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard.

And the track record of this GM the past few years, when dealing from a position of strength, well look at the results…..Nothing gained.  No prospects that made an immediate impact and jumped into the lineup that could make a difference. There is no trust with Sandy Alderson to pull a trade or two as a seller.

So different from that other team in the Bronx. Brian Cashman has the track record and proper personnel in place. The “Master” GM of the Mets is always a question and to think it was three years ago when the Mets were the talk of baseball and the team in town.

The Mets can get there again, but it must start at the top with a new regime. A new “Master” that can work with Omar Minaya who knows something about baseball talent. Oh, that team three years ago there was  plenty of the Omar Minaya presence on that roster.

That wasn’t the work of Sandy Alderson, except for a few pieces here and there. And right now, the Mets are more than a few pieces from being the baseball team again in New York,

Comment: [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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