Mancuso: Post Alderson Era And Rebuild For Mets

There was never a personal matter here with Sandy Alderson despite yours truly calling for his departure as “the Master” of what became another lost season. All the best and well being towards a full road to recovery but the timing was right for Alderson to take his leave of absence and in all probability his tenure with the Mets, both good and bad, is over.

Health issues of course are more important than the headaches that come with trying to rebuild the Mets.

A move had to be made and now it belongs to a trio of what will be called the interim general managers. Wednesday night at Citi Field the new era towards this rebuilding process made a debut with the same results, a loss and a bullpen implosion continuing to be a culprit for the Mets.

The task now belongs to John Ricco, J.P. Ricciardi, and Omar Minaya, and they have the chore of cleaning house and making decisions for ownership to decide. The major task begins with the non-waiver trade deadline in five weeks. Though sources have said Minaya does not want to assume the GM role and that will be decided as this lost season progresses.

One way or the other, change and the rebuilding process will begin and soon. Sources say the exodus will begin in a few weeks. The trio will consult and word is Omar Minaya, with that baseball knowledge and respect among baseball personnel, will play a major role on where this is going.

Prior to a 5-3 loss last night to the Pittsburgh Pirates, keyed by another bullpen implosion, Ricco said “We’ll have to consider,” when the names of Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard were addressed as possible trade tools that could bring significant value in return.

The Mets, said Ricco, will be active at the deadline as sellers, and that is not the shock of the year and did not need an answer.

Prospects, that’s what the Mets need, to get younger and more athletic. And before you say the Mets and Yankees don’t do business there is respect that Omar Minaya and Brian Cashman have for each other, so don’t rule out  a deGrom or Syndergaard going cross town if it makes sense.

Most of all the rebuilding has to begin with the bullpen, though this loss Wednesday night could be attributed to bad decision making of the manager Mickey Callaway, the man Alderson immediately wanted in the dugout. If this losing continues don’t be shocked at a managerial change.

Again, leave that question for another time. Analyze the decision making of allowing Jeurys Familia to let a game get away and spoil a win for Zack Wheeler and his 7 innings of shutout baseball.

And those names of Wheeler and Familia could bring back prospects, if deGrom and Syndergaard are not on the table and that is contingent on what top prospects the other GM’s in the pennant race business are willing to part with.

Callaway, the pitching conscious manager said, “He (Familia) is the closer.” Though, Familia was used the night before and threw 28 pitches in their walk-off win.  Three consecutive singles and a walk led to another bullpen implosion. His sinker was off, fastball was outside and high, all leading to a Pirates four-run ninth inning.

There were other options, leaving Tim Peterson in for another inning. The right-hander has allowed one run over his last seven innings but to Callaway, Familia is his closer and on this night the Mets let another win get away. That all set up Anthony Swarzak, a disappointing signing by Alderson, to relieve Familia and and give up the game winning hit to David Freese.

You can’t blame Sandy Alderson for this loss, but the new “three-headed” GM were looking on. Surely they were not happy as were the minimal amount of fans that remained to see another bullpen implosion as the Mets sank further at 32-46, lost their 11th straight series, 15 of 17 losses at home, and their bullpen offering a Major League leading 21st loss of the season

after the game, Familia said, “My arm is good, they swing and make contact.”: And he said there will be another day but in a walk-off year of a contract, this new trio at the helm will have adifficult time dealing a closer that can’t get the outs.

As for Wheeler, each outing gets better but six starts this month are without a win, a 3.25 ERA, and there will be a team that could possibly offer something good in return.

So this was not a Sandy Alderson loss. It was one the interim decision makers will take into consideration.  And you can look at the failures and success of Alderson’s tenure, including that pitching staff of 2015 that included Jeurys Familia out of the bullpen that helped the Mets to the World Series.

This loss was the 2018 New York Mets, a season of futility and now the process of being sellers the second straight year.  Wheeler increased that value to get a return that will make an impact for the future.

As for Jeurys familia, his value does diminish each time he fails to finish the job and, for the first time in his career, he did not record an out.  Mickey Callaway will go to his closer again, as he said, “He (Familia) was ready.”

Now the question: Are John Ricco,  J.P. Ricciardi, and Omar Minaya ready to begin this rebuilding process before the all-star break? After the implosion of Wednesday night the process should begin immediately.

And if the Mets lose two of three, or get swept by the Marlins this weekend in Miami, they will own last place in the NL East and continue to have the fewest wins in the league.  

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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