2013 Mets: Looking For Some Execution of “The Plan”

I’m waiting for the players association to file a grievance. Sandy Alderson has begun a one-man war against the collective bargaining agreement, refusing to sign any major league free agents. I keep assuming this is in violation of some antitrust statute. It would be so much fun if they did file something wouldn’t it?  Maybe it would land poor Scott Hairston (talk about a guy who needs a new agent) a contract.

In the meantime, I decided to take a look at a list of potential 2014 free agents. My goal was to see if the strategy of doing nothing this year has merit.

I started with the following list from the Bleacher Report. After a few minutes, I stopped. It just seemed pointless. To use an Alderson phrase, there is so little “clarity” about the team right now, the idea of looking out twelve months would be nothing more than mental exercise.

Of course there is the usual problem of not knowing who, if any, of these players will ever hit the market. But more importantly there are so many questions about the Mets. And so when I think about goals for 2013, that is what I am looking for, answers to some questions. Until they are answered it is premature to look too far ahead.

  • Can any of “Omars Guys” really play? Duda, Nieuwenhuis, Tejada, Gee, Davis, Parnell, all come to mind. Yes, they all look like big league talents, but can one or more take a step up? Do we have an impact guy among them?
  • Are Harvey and Wheeler the real deal? I joke about “The Plan” a lot but it sure seems to be about pitching, and more pitching. This is the first wave, they need to show promise at the major league level this year and stay healthy. Harvey is off to a great start.
  • Are we still broke or not? There is so much smoke and mirrors regarding our payroll and our owners financial condition. Everyone, including me, keeps attempting to crack the case. I don’t expect the Wilpons to open their books to any of us to audit, so the hope is we see some moves on the spending front to show the worst is over. The off-season has been unsettling on this issue to date.
  • Is Sandy Alderson committed to this franchise? I think this has become a valid question. I work in Corporate America, and more and more, Alderson sounds like a guy looking for a buyout package. Whatever we might think about his jokes, how can his owners appreciate it? He does work for them.

In a perfect world, of course, all the questions have not only answers, but positive ones. And some, like Omar’s guys, will most likely reach some type of conclusion.

Jimmy:

Mike, sorry to interrupt you. But I’ve got an important newsflash. As most Mets fans know, Sandy Alderson and David Wright had a “brutally honest” conversation in November, 2012, at a secret location near Wright’s home in Norfolk, Virginia. Upon that meeting, according to NY Post reporter Mike Puma, Wright said, “After hearing the conviction, the plan moving forward, I was all in.”

The good news: I have obtained that plan.

Apparently, Alderson and Wright met at an Applebee’s (Sandy’s treat!), where Alderson quickly scribbled out “The Plan” on a used napkin. Fortunately, I have a second-cousin — gap-toothed Karley — who dates, among other food industry veterans, the dishwasher at Applebee’s. He paid the busboy for “The Plan,” which has been passed on to me. Got it?

Applebee’s, Norfolk: Birthplace of “The Plan.”

 

My second-cousin Karley’s on-again, off-again boyfriend, Thomasino, who acquired “The Plan” in exchange for half a pack of damp mentholated cigarettes.

-

So, folks, please — no more skepticism about “The Plan.” Obviously, while lacking in specifics, this was enough to convince David Wright to stay with the Mets. This, and an additional $138 million.

Mike:

Thanks for that, but I must say I was looking for just a little more clarity. As helpful as that was, Jimmy. Even more than that, I’m looking for some execution on the Plan in 2013. The truth is I don’t want to hear about it, I want to start seeing it and feeling it. At Citi Field, too, not just in St. Lucie.

If the questions above are answered correctly, looking forward to 2014 and beyond will be easy. The test begins soon, spring training is almost upon us, and I can’t wait.

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

18 comments

  1. Alan K. says:

    The heart of the matter is that the ownership and management have no credibility, leaving everyone to speculate whether the “the Plan” is being driven by baseball judgments or lack of money. Although an emphasis on pitching is a sound judgment, I tend to read into it as “we’re focusing on pitching because that’s all we really have and we’re going to use that as an excuse not to do anything else.” Are the Mets really building anything here or is it a question of ownership doing what they can to keep their heads above water and Alderson being more of a corporate downsizer than a baseball architect?The fact that they have not signed a single major league free agent and seem to be ready to go to war with an AAA quality outfield speaks volumes.

  2. Dan says:

    I agree with Alan, no credibility at all.

  3. Sandy’s jokes about the outfield — which didn’t upset me, particularly; they were jokes, after all — reminded me of a guy I used to work with, long ago. Fred was clearly on the way out the door, out-dated and overpaid. He took on a very dark sense of humor in his last days, an I-don’t-give-a-crap-who-hears-me attitude. A truth teller from the dungeons of despair. I don’t know if that’s Sandy or not, but it is horrible to even have to wonder for one second whether his heart is in this thing or not. I have to ask myself, “Is this the smuggest, most cynical moment in Mets history?”

    And I just don’t know the answer. Not for sure, anyway.

    Did Alderson ever really want this job?

    I keep coming back with hope, mustering it up despite everything, and then keep feeling like a dupe for hoping so. It doesn’t feel good to be played for a sucker.

    Right now, there’s still time for a few minor moves and maybe a trade for outfielder. I don’t want to freak out before the fact. And it’s not like I ever wanted any part of Delmon Young.

    How crazy is it that our best hope right now is, “Bring back the 2012 Mets — sign Hairston, Young, and Roach!” It’s not where we were supposed to be.

    But, you guys are right, no credibility. None. As Mike said, we’re tired of reading the tea leaves. Do something — or stand fully revealed for what you are.

  4. IB says:

    I have no idea what “credibility” means. But, it seems to me that if D Wright thinks they know what they’re doing in the short and long term, then that’s suits me fine. He plays inside the foul lines and staked his baseball future on what was on that used napkin.

    At the risk of repeating myself, if you can’t keep “coming back with hope” what’s the point of being a fan?

    • Alan K. says:

      As Jimmy has often stated in the past- “hope is not a plan.” In David’s case, he may have stayed for reasons having nothing to with “the Plan.” After all, he has established roots in NY and they showed him the money. All players want to win but every player has different motivations. If Tony Gwynn were solely motivated by winning, he’d never have played his entire career in San Diego.

    • Michael Geus says:

      I consider myself a fan and honestly think the team in 2013 could win the World Series. I’m not betting on it, by a long shot, but you never know. That is the beauty of the game. I will be going to games all year and rooting for the guys on the field.

      But I don’t think it is likely they will be any good, again, and would prefer if the management and ownership of the team clearly demonstrated as dedicated a preference for winning as most fans do. As opposed to milking this great franchise for personal financial gain.

      I think that is fair.

  5. DD says:

    I think Alderson and Co. has done something.

    I cannot remember a time when the Mets had a more exciting collection of pitching talent workng through the system. I would include the 1983-84 farm teams in that, though certainly this present system has no counterpart to Dwight Gooden. A lot of that is Alderson’s crew, the Latin scouting team, and the guys tasked with nurturing the young arms, all getting the job done.

    I have, for whatever reason, much more confidence in this management’s ability to turn pitching potential into major league pitching than I had in the previous management teams of the last 20-odd seasons. Mets fans are a scarred bunch, having been asked to believe in the Grant Roberts of the world, having come to expect each and every pitching newbie to undergo The Laser before arriving in Flushing. With our history it becomes hard to believe that any team could actually develop pitching, that it must be a function of luck. But other teams do, and our team is doing so these days. I don’t think our past necessarily has to be our future as well,at least not on this matter.

    One caution: Alderson always did run things with a Develop Pitching First approach. This Winter has caused me to wonder if it’s time to think Righthanded Corner Outfielders first, silly as that may sound. We’re not the only team coming up short in that commidity. But no, I don’t actually mean that.

    • Alan K. says:

      I’m still trying to fathom why the Mets passed on Courtney Hawkins, a power hitting OF amateur with a high ceiling, to draft Cecchini, who does not have that type of upside offensively. Also confused as to why they did not sign their second round pick Teddy Stankiewicz, who would have signed for slot but the Mets offer fell $80,000 short. I can’t say that I’ve been impressed.

  6. IB says:

    You can read whatever you choose into Wright’s resigning. I choose to see it as a positive step towards rebuilding a winning franchise and I have no doubt in my mind the Mets have a plan.

    • Okay, I’ll bite: What do you think the plan is? And not to be a jerk — how is what we’re doing any different from the Pittsburgh plan? The Astros plan? Overall, I’m sure that Sandy’s thinking is solid in terms of the developmental aspects of building a team (though the lack of hitters, even at the lowest levels, remains a concern). And also to his credit, he’s not signing bad players just for the sake of (temporarily) shutting up the whiners. It still seems like we’re in Kansas City-land, waiting for those terrific prospects to bring us a winner. It can work, sure, but often doesn’t. I’d hoped for something more proactive than, fingers crossed, let’s hope and wait.

  7. IB says:

    Look, I’m not a Wilpon/Alderson apologist but I think it’s unfair to say they are simply milking the franchise for financial gain – and I’m a 3rd generation Marxist. Every thing in Alderson’s approach is geared toward asking the media and the rest of the world to exercise some patience while we try to rebuild from the bottom. I’m willing to give him that and I like what I see.

    • I’m not far away from you, IB. I just want one real outfielder added this season. One real player added to the mix.

    • Michael Geus says:

      Just to be clear, because I was not. That is directed at the Wilpons, not Sandy.

      But as far as them, that is how I see it. Surely understand and respect the difference of opinion

  8. IB says:

    I’m with you all the way on that. Wish I knew who was really available behind the scenes.

  9. IB says:

    Don’t know why my reply button always starts a new string. Sorry

    I agree completely

Leave a Reply

Email
Print