Sandy Alderson and the Wilpon’s: Co-Captains of a Leaking Boat

justin_turner-300x300Howard Megdal had an excellent article at Capital New York the other day, the topic being the relentless smearing of Mets players by their own management, in particular shortstop Ruben Tejada. Howard’s post included the following quotes from former Mets player Justin Turner.

“I think the issue is that nobody takes responsibility for what they say.”

“You’ve seen that with Tejada over the last few weeks. It’s all ‘a source said that they’re not happy with him.’ It’s like, you know what? If you’re gonna come out and gonna attack a guy’s character, and his work ethic, be man enough to put your name on it. Don’t say, ‘This is off the record,’ and then off the record means they’re gonna write it anyway.”

We have discussed the handling of Tejada here, as it is an ongoing mess. And one thing about Ruben, at least Alderson went on record a few times last year. But now, again, it’s the whispering campaign, one that seems relentless. Let me roll through some of the players who have been smeared anonymously in the last few years by “Mets front office sources” as they headed to the door:

  • Carlos Beltran
  • Johan Santana
  • R.A. Dickey
  • Marlon Byrd
  • Justin Turner

This crap really bothers me and I want to first lay it at the feet of the guy in charge, Sandy Alderson. There are three possibilities here.

  1. His bosses are doing the talking
  2. He himself is doing the talking
  3. Somebody who works for him is doing the talking

If it is somebody that works for him, he can fire the person and end it immediately. And if it is someone who works for him and he can’t figure it out, it shows a lack of control over his own organization. This would show that Alderson does not have the respect of the people working underneath him.

And if it is him, well, then shame on him. And you have to wonder, who else could it be? I mean, if it wasn’t Sandy, why wouldn’t he just come out the next day in the press and say that this conduct is unacceptable. At the very least, his public inaction is a wink and a nod to whoever is leaking the information. The comments are public; the lack of public response from Alderson tells us much.

Of course I have left one out. What if it is his bosses? But that seems so unrealistic, I mean Fred Wilpon or Jeff Wilpon doing something as creepy as talking behind the players backs? They are such great guys.

I guess anything is possible.

Mets Manager Terry Collins


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  1. In some ways, the unprofessionalism, the amateurishness, the mean-spiritedness, is the biggest disappointment (and surprise) of the Sandy Alderson years. I thought he would, at the very least, class up the joint — like a pair of lace curtains.

    • One more thing: When the Mets released Turner, I never expected that they would downgrade from his established performance. Now the latest talk — again, talk — is that Seratelli, like d’Arnaud, can’t catch up to the fastball. (We had to suspect that he couldn’t handle SS full-time, since KC had already moved him to the outfield.) If he doesn’t stick — and I still think he can play, maybe — and if they are unwilling to use Wilmer Flores in a super-sub role — then Turner’s job could go to . . . Omar Quintanilla? Could that even be conceivable?

      • Eric says:

        Great point, James. I would feel a whole lot better (well a little better) if they had brought in some veteran utility infielder(s) to replace Turner. While I won’t miss the pie routine, I thought letting him go was going to lead to an upgrade. Silly me…

  2. wkkortas says:

    While I’m hesitant to draw broad parallels between baseball and other large corporate organziations, and also being equally cognizant that the information revolution means there are very few secrets…why would the Mets make it a point to trash their assets and let that mofo-ing of said assets be an acceptable course of busines. Take Tejada–Lord knows he was awful in every sense of the word last year, but it wasn’t that long ago he was viewed as a viable MLB shortstop, at least as a placeholder. It’s obvious the Mets don’t want him but a)they’re stuck with him for the time being and b)do they think they’re increasing his value by taking a crap on him every chance they get?

    Look, New York is a tough market to play in as it is, and there are some guys who probably wonder if they’re built for it. If a free agent isn’t sure if they’re built for that kind of spotlight, do they think having a front office that piles on their own players somehow makes playing for the Mets more desirable?

  3. Eraff says:

    They are trying to keep Matt Harvey under a Dome of Silence…. Juxtaposed against their tendency to pigeon poop their own guys on an almost daily basis. There are a thousand and one “Sources” quotes…. the most anger provoking and cowardly are the ones that are launched AFTER players leave.

    My Gut Reaction?…. I hate doing business with shitty people!!! If these guys ran any other business I would be an ex-patron….forever.

  4. Michael Geus says:

    I said it the other day, Sandy Alderson reminds me of M. Donald Grant. A corporate lawyer by trade, Sandy has no regard for the common folk, be it fans or players. He accepted a job with the Mets to oversee an era of ruthless cost cutting, while making sure to first negotiate extravagant contracts for himself and his friends. He is in it for the money, one last score for him and his cronies. He is not against the team winning, but it is not what drives him. Whatever his legacy was before he joined the Mets, it is diminishing now. He doesn’t care, he is getting paid. That is how Sandy was raised, represent the client, in this case the Wilpons, right or wrong. And make sure you get paid.

    He fits perfectly with his bosses, who either made their money in Corporate Real Estate or, well, you know. Nobody involved understands the general consumer, normal hardworking people. Or cares about them. They consider “those people” to be beneath them, and an annoyance.

    Now, add to that the fact that the principle owner, the GM, the Manager, and the head of public relations are all senior citizens and you get the full picture. Because that is a factor too, the organization is trying to deal daily with a modern media society and everyone involved can’t operate a smartphone.

    It all adds up to nasty people who aren’t media savvy enough to hide it from plain view.

  5. Raff says:

    This crappy behavior is in their blood now- It’s throughout the organization. It’s like the “code-red” in a few good men. A mostly unspoken part of current Met Culture. When Buck nailed Valdespin with a Right-Cross Pie to the face- That was the most disgusting example. I agree- it’s at Sandy’s feet., but I also wonder about whether the Wilpons can’t risk firing him for not addressing it properly. Maybe allowing it to continue is the ONLY actual power that Sandy has. A nasty little game within the game for all these creeps. Normally, I’m no fan of conspiracy theories or corporate intrigue- But there’s really no logical explanation for the self-destructive behavior they continue to exhibit..

  6. IB says:

    Brings me down memory lane to those miserable Dallas Green years – who had the brilliant idea that the best way to motivate a player was to trash him in the local rags. That worked just great 20 years ago.

    Re. SS. I was thinking last night how nice it would be to have Rey Ordonez back out there with his no bat but great glove and arm. Had I known then what I know now I might have had more appreciation for the kid.

  7. Eraff says:

    Dallas Green may have been wrong…..But was Never a “Source”.

  8. I agree with you. If they want to send a message to a player they should put their name on their comments. It shows cowardice.

  9. IB says:

    Eraff – Good point

    • Green was an old school scout, a tough organizational man, but as manager for the Mets who often acted like a bully. The player who immediately comes to mind is Jeremy Burnitz, who had to go to the Brewers before he could thrive.

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