Legends On Deck

This 2017 Mets Season is on Sandy Alderson

As a New York Mets fan, it is stunning on how the 2017 season is beginning to unravel. Injuries to a multitude of players, drama with an ace of the staff, a lack of offseason maneuvering, and underwhelming statistics from a plethora of players have led to a 16-19 start through May 14, 2017.

A lot of fans have been calling for the head of Terry Collins. Honestly, through his bullpen mismanagement early on this season, I can see the frustration. But this is NOT on the skipper. Collins is a player’s manager and a true motivator. After all the drama from last season with injuries, TC found a way to get this team to overcome and win one of the 2016 Wild Card spots. He deserves so much more credit than he’s receiving from the media and fans.

This falls at the feet of Sandy Alderson.

Save the 2015 trade deadline deal for Yoenis Cespedes which led to the World Series run, the Mets general manager has allowed for some boneheaded moves in the transaction front. Refusing to give up Dilson Herrera for a catcher in Jonathan Lucroy, but then biting the bullet for Jay Bruce at the last minute during the 2016 trade deadline and further creating more of a loaded outfield situation. Reaching a deal in the offseason with Lucas Duda for $7.25 million, avoiding arbitration, but giving a lot of cash to a streaky hitter that missed 100 games last season and has already missed significant time this season. Knowing Jeurys Familia would be suspended for a certain amount of games of an offseason incident, not going out and looking for additional bullpen help. These are just a few examples.

Even though I might be frustrated with some transactions that have been made, it has been the secretive yet arrogant culture that Alderson has created with the franchise. While Terry Collins comes off truthful and passionate in each and every one of his interviews and press conferences, Alderson comes off incredibly guarded and, in some instances, smug. The one line about Noah Syndergaard’s bicep issue at the time from the Mets GM set me off.

“I can’t strap him down and throw him in the tube.”

YES. YOU. CAN. When you have a player that has as much time and effort given into the success of the franchise, you force him to get checked out if there are any issues. If he refuses, you play the game with him. There is no NO with issues with that stuff. And because of that, Syndergaard stubbornly played hurt and now has a torn lat muscle. THAT is on you.

Speaking of injuries, Alderson has allowed this culture for the fan base not to know who is hurt and how badly. Allowing a true team player like Asdrubal Cabrera to play hurt and not instantly putting him on the disabled list right away, especially with his leg issues the past two seasons and his current thumb ligament tear, is mismanagement. Calling arm fatigue for Seth Lugo and then announcing he has a partially torn UCL is INSANE. Only giving Cespedes a few days to rest a hamstring issue, putting him back on the field 3 days later, and then pulling up lame on a double, causing a DL stint is absolutely insane. As many people want to put this on head trainer Ray Ramirez, there has to be an edict from upper management to put pressure on players to play. Sandy Alderson is the face of upper management. That goes on him.

Look, I know Alderson was or is currently battling a form of cancer that has been kept private by the Mets organization, and that is nothing to play with at all. But if his focus is elsewhere due to his health, which it should be, there should be no shame to step back. I 100% give props to Alderson for his battle on a personal level. Professionally however, it’s a different story.

This 2017 New York Mets team is falling apart at the seams on a daily basis. As much as the Mets fan base wants to blame Collins, it’s way much more than that. It falls on Sandy Alderson. If this team doesn’t turn this thing around, it might be time to blow the team up and try a new philosophy. At this exact moment, Alderson is failing at a rapid rate.

Jon Harder

Editor at Legends On Deck
Jon was born in Queens and now resides in New Jersey. He is a die-hard Mets fan and believes HoJo should be in the Mets Hall of Fame. Not only is Jon a contributing writer on Legends On Deck, but he also is the founder of @HardwayHQ, host of the #TheHardwayPodcast and somewhat plays Air Hockey on http://HardwayHQ.com. You can follow Jon on Twitter @TheJonHarder