Tag:Sandy Alderson
Posted on: December 15, 2011 12:20 pm

How to fix international rules? Form a committee

Almost everyone agrees baseball could use a better system for signing international players.

So what system would be better?

Ah, that's much tougher, and that's why the new basic agreement included a provision for a committee to study possible changes. The commissioner's office and the union announced that committee on Thursday, and said that it will meet for the first time sometime before Jan. 15.

An international draft for amateur players, long a goal of commissioner Bud Selig, is the biggest topic on the table. Currently, only players who attend school in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico) and Canada are subject to a draft; all other players are treated as free agents.

That's why players defecting from Cuba (such as Yoenis Cespedes) establish residency in countries such as the Dominican Republic, rather than in the U.S. Cespedes will get much more money as a free agent who can deal with all 30 teams than he would as a drafted player who can deal with just one.

Baseball can't easily add all international players into the current draft system, because the rules for eligibility are so different. Most international players are eligible to sign once they turn 16, while players covered under the draft become eligible when their high school class graduates, and again after a third year at a four-year college.

The committee will be asked to determine whether there's a way to add international players into the current draft, or whether there should be a separate international draft.

The committee is also expected to look at ways to modify the posting system currently used to add players from the Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese professional leagues. That system, currently being used by star Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish, has drawn heavy criticism on all sides.

Also, the committee plans to look at rules for signing Cuban players, and at how baseball develops international players.

General managers Sandy Alderson of the Mets and Andrew Friedman of the Rays will be joined on the committee by Kim Ng of the commissioner's office, and by union representatives Tony Clark, Rick Shapiro and Stan Javier. The committee will be co-chaired by MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred and union executive director Michael Weiner, who worked together to complete the CBA.

Posted on: June 3, 2011 11:12 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 11:20 pm

More Mets woes: Wright out another month

NEW YORK -- At least Sandy Alderson still has a sense of humor.

It's gallows humor, yes. But these are the Mets.

"Maybe we'll have David [Wright] back for [Johan] Santana's first start," the Mets general manager said at the end of another typical Mets Friday night.

Alderson had just announced that Wright, despite no more tests, will now be held out of all baseball activities -- "essentially inactive," he said -- for another three weeks.

That means that Wright, who has already missed 2 1/2 weeks with a stress fracture in his back (which the Mets originally hoped would cost him only two weeks) will now be lucky to be back by the All-Star break. The Mets would like to think that Santana, recovering from shoulder surgery, will join them sometime in late July.

Alderson admitted he was surprised by the setback for Wright, given the lack of any new tests and given that Wright is, as he said, "asymptomatic."

"We had hoped he'd be cleared for baseball activity," Alderson said. "But this is something that needs time to heal."

Even the three-week timetable is no guarantee for Wright, as Alderson said doctors plan another X-ray of his back at that point. Even when Wright is cleared for baseball activity, he'll need time to get ready to play in major-league games, since by then he'll have missed more than a month.

It was more bad news at the end of another bad day for the Mets, who for the third time in four days turned a late-inning lead into a loss, this time 6-3 to the Braves. Making it even worse, Francisco Rodriguez gave up the three ninth-inning runs, giving him 22 games finished (with 33 more to go to trigger a $17.5 million option that the Mets can't afford).

Also Friday, injured first baseman Ike Davis said he has no idea when he'll be able to return.

And shortstop Jose Reyes committed an error on a routine play in the eighth inning, allowing the tying run to score.

Just another day for the Mets.

Posted on: May 27, 2011 6:26 pm
Edited on: May 27, 2011 6:51 pm

If 'coverage is good,' then the Mets are winners

NEW YORK -- The owner ripped his players. Then the owner said he was "bleeding cash."

Oh, and then the owner announced that he'd found someone to buy part of the team, someone who would give him some much-needed cash (but not enough cash to make all that much of a difference). And another player got hurt.

You could say it was a crazy week for the Mets, but when they showed up for work Friday, it felt like just another day, just another week.

And maybe that's exactly what makes the Mets what they are. The craziness has become so common that it doesn't even feel like craziness anymore.

The bad news has been so expected that a bit of good news becomes something to joke about.

"We finally got a good report," general manager Sandy Alderson said about pitcher R.A. Dickey. "We must have changed doctors."

The good report? It was that Dickey only has a partial tear of the plantar fascia in his right foot. It was that Dickey may not miss a start (although maybe he will).

"I was expecting something more dire," Alderson said.

Oh, and in the meantime, David Wright and Ike Davis are still on the disabled list, with no return date certain. And in the meantime, the Mets have been outhomered 9-1 in the nine games since Wright went out.

And fans have basically stopped showing up.

Alderson is learning. Just as Jerry Manuel learned.

It was two years ago that Manuel, then the Mets manager, said of a Gary Sheffield injury: "They're calling it cramps -- surgery on Tuesday."

Alderson is learning that weeks like this just aren't out of the ordinary here.

"Everybody says, 'This is New York -- it's different,'" he said. "I would admit, 'This is New York -- it's different.'"

This isn't Oakland. This isn't San Diego.

At his previous stops, Alderson's week would have been different.

"There would have been a little beach time in there," he said with a grin.

Instead, he's still fielding questions about what owner Fred Wilpon said to The New Yorker.
The players are fielding questions, too. A crowd gathered around Carlos Beltran in the Mets clubhouse Friday, even though Beltran had already answered his own Wilpon questions in Chicago.

"What happened, that's in the past," Beltran told the crowd.

He understands already. This is the Mets. This is New York.

It's always like this.

"I just try to keep my head and think about the game," he said. "Of course, there are distractions. But all we can do is concentrate on what's important."

But what is important for the Mets? Is it surviving this season? Is it trading away their players? Is it surviving the crisis of the day?

"We're in the entertainment business," Alderson said. "Coverage is good."

By that standard, then, this was a good week at Citi Field.

Another good week.

Posted on: April 21, 2011 6:44 pm
Edited on: April 21, 2011 10:39 pm

Welcome to the East Coast train wreck

NEW YORK -- The first question to Terry Collins Thursday referenced "this mess that's going on."

A couple of questions later, someone asked the Mets manager if this was a good time for Jason Bay to make his season debut, because "things really couldn't go worse."

Then general manager Sandy Alderson described watching the Mets as "a nightly crucible."

Welcome to baseball's East Coast train wreck, the team the commissioner didn't take over this week.

I haven't been to Dodger Stadium recently, but it's hard to imagine that team and that organization are surrounded by anything close to the negativity that surrounds this one.

The fans are either depressed, angry or both. The manager shares his disappointment regularly, and accepts the negative premise of the questions thrown his way. The owners are trying to fight off the trustee in the Bernard Madoff case, and trying to hold onto the team.

And the players?

Well, when Bay asked Collins about the team's mood, given a 5-13 record that included 12 losses in the last 14 games, the manager told him, "It's exactly what you'd expect."

No, Terry, it's not. It's far worse, and while a game like Thursday's 9-1 win over the Astros brings out a few momentary smiles, it doesn't change the sad story here.

As New York Post baseball columnist Joel Sherman wrote on his blog Thursday , the Mets have the feel of a team playing out the string after being mathematically eliminated.

"It looks like the wheels are coming off," said one veteran baseball man familiar with the Mets.

"It's not pretty," said another. "And if Collins is already complaining? Oh boy. It's going to be a long year."

Already, it feels like the only drama in Queens will be how fast Alderson starts trading away any veteran of value (Jose Reyes, anyone? Carlos Beltran? David Wright?), and whether the ownership group's financial difficulties get bad enough to force the commissioner's office to intervene.

It won't be like the Dodgers, simply because Mets owner Fred Wilpon isn't hated the way Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is. Even former Mets employees who have nothing good to say about Wilpon's son Jeff say nice things about Fred, and commissioner Bud Selig has long been close to the Mets owner.

That relationship is a big reason Alderson (who worked in the commissioner's office) is now running things at Citi Field.

Given the financial constraints (because of the Wilpon's Madoff problem), and given the lack of young talent (a rival scout agreed with Alderson's assessment that there's little help on the immediate horizon), it's a tough job. Given the negativity that pervades this place, it's near-impossible.

And the negativity comes from more than just a lousy start to this season, as Alderson admitted.

"I think there's a larger context," he said. "I'd be foolish not to recognize that. But we haven't played very well. To the extent that the negativity is focused on the way we've played the last 10 days to two weeks, it's well-earned."

But you wonder how things are going to get better. You wonder if the emotional Collins can present the steady face a manager needs at times when things are going wrong.

Early on, he had a team meeting. Later, he confronted Daniel Murphy about one of the Mets' many baserunning blunders.

He talked Thursday about lightening the mood, and had the Mets take the field Thursday night wearing undershirts that they wore in spring training (on the way to a 17-15 record that looks great by comparison).

But Collins also said he doesn't think the mood should be much better than it is, given the way his team has played.

"It should be a little somber," he said. "We've played bad, and everybody's got a piece of that. It shouldn't be a good clubhouse right now.

"They're not happy, and they shouldn't be happy."

Around the Mets, no one seems happy. Around the Mets, no one ever seems happy.

It's not this bad in L.A., is it?

Posted on: October 22, 2010 3:18 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2010 3:27 pm

Alderson, Byrnes are Mets finalists

The Mets have narrowed their general manager search, announcing today that Sandy Alderson and Josh Byrnes are the two finalists and will have second interviews early next week.

The team said that Byrnes will interview on Monday, with Alderson scheduled for Tuesday. Both are expected to meet with Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, who along with Fred's son Jeff form the Mets ownership triumvirate. Jeff Wilpon conducted the first round of interviews, along with John Ricco, who is staying on as the assistant general manager.

Alderson, who hasn't worked as a general manager since leaving the A's in 1998, has been regarded as the favorite to get the job. Byrnes was the Diamondbacks general manager before he was fired this season.

The Mets also interviewed ex-Royals general manager Allard Baird, White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn, Dodgers assistant Logan White and Blue Jays assistant Dana Brown. They said that Ricco and Jeff Wilpon spoke to those four today to tell them they did not make the final round.

Category: MLB
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