On Thursday, Capital New York published excerpts from Steve Kettman’s “Baseball Maverick”, which chronicles Sandy Alderson’s first four years attempting to rebuild the New York Mets. In several passages quoted by CNY’s Howard Megdal, Kettman details the club’s financial straits and Alderson’s inability to field a competitive club as a result, but the latter now insists a book for which he granted extraordinary access, has mischaracterized his position. Quoted by Newsday’s Marc Carig, Alderson insists, “some people want to interpret the last four years strictly in terms of what financial resources were available or not available to the Mets…that’s a point of view that some people have. And people will extrapolate from whatever might suggest that as a continuing theme.”
“Never talked about the payroll as an unfortunate limitation to us, haven’t talked about it recently, haven’t talked about it in the past, don’t intend to. It’s not relevant to me. The last four years is a story of putting the franchise back to a competitive situation on the field with good players. I think we’re on the cusp of doing that.”
Alderson is also quoted in the book as expressing disappointment that the Mets could not sign a reliever prior to the 2014 season, although the team upped the payroll over an $85 million threshold.
“Right now people think we’re incomplete, and you know, they may be right,” he says in the book.
“Everybody was like we had to meet this standard,” Alderson said Thursday. “And it became more about the payroll than anything else. Every team has a weakness. We saw the same thing this year where we made some moves early in the offseason and we didn’t make any thereafter. So what happens is the novelty of the acquisitions wears off and at some point people start looking for something else.
“That happened to us this year. It happened to us last year but if you go back and look at our bullpen situation, it rectified itself pretty well once we got into the season. So it’s not always about spending money. And I think that’s the approach that we’ve all taken over the last several years, not just last year or even this year.”
Keep in mind, this bullpen improvement that Alderson cites didn’t stop the Mets from compiling the 3rd most blown saves in the National League. That’s what you get for major league ticket prices from the New York market’s NL entry these days — self-congratulation (and contract extensions!) for finishing 17 games out of first place.