Former A’s GM Heads East

by Eddie Mayrose

The New York Mets made one very big statement this week in their hire of Sandy Alderson as GM. As a baseball lifer, there’s no way Alderson will stand for the meddling of Fred and Jeff Wilpon, neither of whom has ever heard an opinion he didn’t respect. With Alderson on board, there’s no doubt who’ll be calling the shots.

His first move was stellar, appointing J.P. Ricciardi as his assistant.  Formerly the Toronto Blue Jays‘ GM, Ricciardi’s skills as a talent evaluator are among the most respected in the game; skills the Metsies desperately need as they try to rebuild a farm system bereft of top prospects.

Alderson’s next move might be a little dicey, however, as the fan base clamors for the hiring of Wally Backman; a move destined to keep the Mets behind the eight ball.  Backman has no Major League experience, his volatility will quickly wear thin in a big legue clubhouse and, most importantly, he’s given no evidence that he’s tamed the wild lifestyle that got him fired in Arizona after just a few days.  When asked about Backman’s antics in the NY-Penn League, an exec from a rival team shrugged his shoulders and said, “Don’t get me started on the (crap) that guy pulled.”

I’ll agree that the Mets need more fire but I’m not sure that has more to do with the manager than a change in personnel. They just have too many players for whom apathy seems to be a constant state of mind.  Regardless, there is a candidate available that’s both experienced and fiery; one that would initially be an extremely unpopular choice for Met fans to accept but could be the one that leads them out of the wilderness.  Here’s hoping that Alderson places a call to Larry Bowa as soon as possible.

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