Mets Issue: “The Master” Sandy Alderson


Theo Epstein and Billy Beane were never coming to Citi Field to run the baseball operations for the Mets. Neither were the Brewers’ David Stearns or Giants’ GM Scott Harris.

A high ranking MLB executive baseball job in Flushing, NY has become difficult to fill. Those names mentioned gave up the prestige, salary, and challenge to guide the Mets, and believe me, whoever eventually lands the job will have a difficult task.

Employed with the money of “Uncle” Steve Cohen, that should be a great pitch in the premiere baseball market of New York. Instead, this search to fill a Mets front office position is racing a deadline. GM meetings commence next week and with a lockout looming between owners and players that would cease business after December 1.

So what is the issue? Why are the Mets, who have the richest owner in baseball, becoming a negative storyline of the offseason? It’s not the owner or the opportunity to guide a baseball franchise in New York when you hear the reasons why prestigious names of Epstein or others have passed up the job.

The answer is Sandy Alderson, “The Master,” (as I appropriately label him) who is guiding this search as the interim of everything in the Mets front office.

The job is enticing, and you hear the name Brian Sabean, a viable candidate and former executive vice president of the San Francisco Giants, also with thirteen of eighteen seasons of winning as their GM.

Alderson will bypass Sabean, according to a source who is close to the former architect of those Giants’ championship teams . Yes, there is an issue here and it has nothing to do with the success of Sabean or the others. Sabean has expressed an interest in the job of guiding the Mets front office.

Alderson, though, has become the albatross. He is, as I say is, “The Master” who is deep into this new baseball approach of analytics and that obviously did not work for the Mets in 2021, a team with a lineup that was expected to win and under performed.

Though 29 of 30 teams rely on analytics, and pump more money into their budgets for personnel and data, there remains the skeptics about how effective numbers work for pitchers and the lineup.

Alderson believes the numbers work, and Billy Beane would have been his perfect fit reuniting the Oakland Athletics connection. His counterpart across town, Yankees GM Brian Cashman, is no stranger to the analytical approach and that hasn’t worked.

Sabean, though, believes in that mix of numbers and scouting reports. He would be a good fit to lead the Mets front office and that would be a logical choice.

But “The Master,” Sandy Alderson, believes Sabean can’t have the role and the source said it has to do with a different approach in analytics of putting a championship roster on the field. And of course, there Bryn Alderson, the son of “The Master,” who holds the designation of assistant GM and under him, Ian Levin.

Other insiders, also with knowledge of the Mets front office search, have confirmed to me Sandy Alderson wants assurance that Bryn will continue to hold an assistant GM role with a new director of baseball ops or GM.

Alderson is seriously trying to lead Cohen into considering Bryn as a successor to his father which would keep this all in the family.

But everyone does agree, the Mets front office situation is a mess as baseball faces that deadline of a work stoppage. Until “Master Sandy” gets his priorities in order, and without a GM or head of operations, that also puts a halt to their search for a manager to replace Luis Rojas.

Yes, right now the issue for the Mets is because of “The Master.” Steve Cohen with all the money and minimal knowledge of handling baseball operations has to take control.

Get your “Master” Alderson out of the picture and make that call to Brian Sabean.

YANKEES HOT STOVE AND MORE: It’s not any better in the Bronx. I have learned from various sources there is no communication with Yankees manager Aaron Boone and GM Brian Cashman. The two are not not on speaking terms, despite what was seen a few weeks ago when Cashman on a Zoom media call made it official that Boone had a new contract in the Bronx.

The call to keep Boone on board came from the top as the manager has an ally with owner Hal Steinbrenner. Cashman, with a year remaining on his contract, could be on thin ice if the Yankees fail to reach their goals in 2022, if, and when the season begins.

The relationship between the GM and manager deteriorated when Boone got numerous calls about a Cashman directive to remove Gerrit Cole from the mound on more than one occasion. Boone also has resented having the lineup put on his desk hours before he gets to the ballpark and has resented the Yankees analytical approach.

It has become a tense working relationship and Steinbrenner has left the two alone to work out their differences. Regardless, things are not good in the Bronx and those differences also revolve around roster decisions that will eventually be made…

Brett Gardner, the longest tenured Yankee is no more for the moment and declined his player option for ‘22 with in the range of $2.3 million. The Yankees declined his club option, so Gardner is a free agent and doesn’t rule out a return for another year if other offers don’t come to the table…

Luis Rojas did not have to wait long for another job. The former Mets manager, interviewed for the vacant Padres’ managerial position, but Bob Melvin was lured from Oakland. Rojas, though, left an impression and will be appointed to Melvin’s coaching staff…

Almost certain players and owners will not reach a new collective bargaining agreement prior to a December 1 deadline. No agreement and business is closed for teams with over 100 free agents on the market. There would be no trades and players would be barred from entering facilities for business and conditioning.

The annual Winter Meetings, scheduled for Orlando in the first week of December, are in jeopardy which is a premier offseason event on the baseball calendar.

Hot Stove could be cold stove. A nasty and continuous dispute over salary structure, with other significant issues in play, could put a delay on spring training in February. Baseball can’t afford delaying the start of the 2022 season because of a labor war with billionaires and millionaires.

And fans won’t tolerate the nonsense after one of the lowest television rated World Series that concluded with a terrific story of the Braves first championship since 1995…

Rich Mancuso: 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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