Mar 14, 2016

N.L. Champion Mets General Manager: Sandy Alderson (2010-2016)

Richard Lynn "Sandy" Alderson was born November 22, 1947 in Seattle, Washington. Alderson is the son of an Air Force pilot who flew missions in World War II, Korea & Vietnam. Sandy Alderson attended Dartmouth College, then served with the US Marines during the Vietnam War. He returned & worked to received his Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law in 1976. 

Alderson practiced law in San Francisco, California through 1981 when he joined one of his law partners in baseball. That friends father in law bought the Oakland Athletics baseball team.

Alderson worked in the Athletics general counsel for two years. In 1983 he was named the club's General Manager, a position he would serve through 1997. In Oakland he would win  four AL West titles, three AL pennants & one World Series Championship. These were the glorious years of the A's Bash Brothers & company; Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, Dennis Eckersley, Dave Stewart, Manager Tony Larussa & an All Star Cast.


When Athletics owner Walter Hass died in 1995, Alderson was ordered to lower payroll by the new regime. He began using saber metric principles & started mentoring future A's GM; Billy Beane. The term Money Ball was used to describe Alderson & Beane's style of building a team, under Beane's watch he has earned four post season appearances.

From 1998-2005 Alderson served as the Executive VP of Major League Baseball. He then moved on to serve as CEO of the San Diego Padres for three years (2006-2009) putting together a solid team there as well. It was there he developed a new relationship mentoring Paul Depodesta under him.

Alderson's next job was then working again for MLB, cleaning up corruption within baseball in the Dominican Republic.

In October of 2010, he was named the New York Mets General Manager replacing Omar Minaya. He signed a four year deal with an option for 2015. Alderson put together a fine staff of upper management in New York; Paul DePodesta as VP of Player Development & J.P. Ricciardi as special assistant to the GM. Terry Collins was named  the teams Manager & also given a four year deal.


The Mets were in shambles at the time. The ownership had lost lots of money in the Bernie Madoff scandal. The team had signed many high price free agents who were beyond their prime. The team was losing & the fan base were angry.

The turn around was not easy, it took patience & time. Something New York does not have but Alderson does. The Mets did not have  a winning season during Alderson's first four years but did build a fine team of young players.

At first he reduced the payroll from $140 million to under $90 million. Alderson traded some veteran players to get some fine young players like Carlos Beltran for Zack Wheeler & R.A. Dickey for Noah Syndergaard & Travis d'Arnaud. He also helped develop young pitchers like Matt Harvey, who took the league by storm & started the 2013 All Star Game held at Citi Field. Harvey was to be the new face of the future as the organization was turning for the better. T

hen came the development of 2014 NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom, one of 2015's best closers Jeurys Familia & the young Steven Matz. Then there was the signing of the 40 year old Bartolo Colon, many people criticized the deal but Colon went on to win 14 games two years in a row.

The Mets finished second in 2014 but just under .500. Going into 2015 there was a lot of promise but pressure as well. It was do or die for this Mets management regime & it all came together. As the starting pitching staff was doing well, questions & concerns came up about innings limits. Alderson & the Mets handled it well.

In the bullpen Familia excelled n the closer role, but the Mets needed offense & middle relief. At the end of July, Alderson was working on a deal that sent Wilmer Flores to Milwaukee for former Met; Carlos Gomez.

The rumor went public & now on a famous night where Flores displayed his emotions on the field, Mets history was changed. Alderson announced no deal had been made...the team once again received criticisms for all kinds of things, but Sandy was patient & went to work as usual. 

On the trade deadline Alderson pulled off some incredible moved that made the Mets go from possible contenders to sure champions, NL champions that is. First he acquired veterans Kelly Johnson & Juan Uribe for infield depth as well as their bats. The club added veterans Tyler Clippard & Addison Reed in the bullpen.

The outfield saw improvement from the young Michael Conforto & Curtis Granderson who Alderson signed the previous year was having a great season. Then the  final piece was one of the best Mets deals in this era or in any era of Mets history. Alderson acquired Yoenis Cespedes & he displayed one of the best months of August any Mets ever saw.

The Mets went on to win the NL East & make their first playoff appearance in nine years. The fan base was rejuvenated & New York became a Mets town again. The Mets went on to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS & sweep the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS. The Mets were in the World Series for the first time since 2000. Unfortunately the dream fell short & they lost to the Kansas City Royals in five games.

In the off season, Alderson went to work again, he traded long time Met pitcher; Jonathan Niese to Pittsburgh for second baseman Neil Walker. This meant letting popular Met Daniel Murphy who just had the best post season in history go to free agency.

The Mets then signed shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera & outfielder Alejandro De Aza. For the bullpen Alderson signed veteran Antonio Bastardo, a fine left hander as well as Jerry Blevins. Bartolo Colon got a new contract as well.

Even though the Mets were the reigning NL Champions, they were still being criticized for not having enough offense. Well Alderson pulled off another Yoenis Cespedes miracle at the end of January. The team had said all along they were not willing to commit to a long term big money deal but readjusted a contract that made Cespedes the highest paid player for 2015 with an option to leave the next year. Alderson at his best.

On a personal note Alderson received the news he was diagnosed with cancer  few days after the Mets clinched the NL Easten Division. The Mets did not make the official announcement until December. During a press conference announcing the contract extension of Manager Terry Collins, Alderson passed out & collapsed. He also had to mis the Winter Meetings having to have a medical procedure.

Quotes: ''It was a little surreal, having not been to the World Series in 25 years, having never been diagnosed with cancer. It was a little bit odd, but the great thing about the postseason is it was a distraction at that time and distractions are always nice.''

Quotes: ''I feel very well, ''I have therapy every couple of weeks, and the side effects have not been significant. Really, since the winter meetings, I've been working full time, and I probably could have been at the winter meetings had I not had some sessions scheduled. I feel great. I'm ready to go. I will disappear from here a couple of times during spring training, just to go back to New York for some additional treatment. Otherwise I should be here and 100 percent and ready to go.''

Family: Alderson & his wife Linda have two children Bryn & Cate who also both attended Dartmouth.

The NY Post asked him- Are you recognized in Manhattan when you walk around?Some. The problem with being a D-level celebrity is that you’re never quite sure who recognizes you, so you gotta be careful all the time, even though 99 percent of the time nobody gives a damn (chuckle).

No comments: