Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Is This A Hiring Or The Zapruder Film?

  • The dissection of the decision to make a decision:

It's coming out under the guise of "sources say" and "breaking news", but the Mets have obviously leaked their decision to hire Sandy Alderson as their new general manager.

Until it's official, I'm not going to delve into the positives and negatives of the hiring; nor am I going to speculate on the managerial candidates. Supposedly the announcement will be made around Friday----click on this story to get the details.

What I will say now is that I find the way this is being analyzed to be quite strange. Running the gamut from being a Bud Selig/Fred Wilpon conspiracy; to the idea that there never really was any other candidate apart from Alderson who had a shot; to the report that Rangers GM Jon Daniels had asked the Mets to wait until the World Series was over so he could talk to them, this is going to be treated like the Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination before the fact.

Do the machinations really matter if nothing untoward was going on?

Was Alderson going to get the job unless one of two things happened? Those two things being: 1) Alderson blowing the interview beyond repair; or 2) Josh Byrnes or one of the other candidates knocking the Mets out.


Does it matter?

Not really.

All candidates had their positives and negatives. Alderson with his experience and resume; Josh Byrnes with his youth and well-rounded skills; and Rick Hahn having worked with the James Bond Villain with the White Sox, Ken Williams. Even the other names mentioned----Allard Baird and Dana Brown----had their own reasons to be considered.

To perform an autopsy now as to the genesis of the Alderson hiring is to have something to write about the Mets until the announcement----a background as it were; and to preserve documentation if things go amazingly right...or horribly wrong.

It's the basis for a post-mortem prior to the man being hired.

What's the difference?

  • It's about money, but...

Cliff Lee's wife Kristin was upset about the treatment she received at the hands of Yankee fans during the ALCS----ESPN Story----as she was harassed with cusses, beer and spit. The pitcher and his agent both dismissed the incident as a non-issue and not influencing his interest in pitching for the Yankees one way or the other.

Obviously Yankee fans aren't going to be throwing things at the family of one of their own unless Lee came over and pulled a Carl Pavano. That said, it couldn't have helped. I would have to think that Cliff Lee----as a man----didn't look kindly on his wife being treated that way; nor are he and his agent going to eliminate the team with the most money to offer before the season's even over. Above all, Lee wants to get paid and the Yankees have the resources to give him upwards of $150 million. I would tend to believe that his wife would be assuaged by a massive paycheck for her husband's services.

The prevailing belief that Lee is automatically going to the Yankees isn't as much of a done deal as is being implied and this couldn't have done much to bolster the case for him to come to New York. It won't matter unless the offers from the Yankees and other teams like the Rangers are similar, then the venue will be important.

Spitting, cussing and throwing beer aren't actions I'd soon forget.

  • Viewer Mail 10.27.2010:

Jane Heller at Confessions of a She-Fan writes RE the Yankees:

All the beat writers, not just Harper of the Daily News, feel Eiland was fired because of his personal issue, and there has been a lot of speculation about what it is. I don't think he was fired because of the pitchers' performances. I agree about overreaction of fans and media to the Yankees' losing the ALCS. However, on the "old" thing...were the Yankees old when they were sweeping the Twins? I don't think so.

I have no idea what Dave Eiland's personal matter was; I've been informed of some of the speculation; I'm wondering why Cashman didn't replace him permanently when he left in the summer----he was certainly within his rights to do so.

The age of the club is different.

You're right that it didn't matter while they were dismantling the Twins, but when a team is of the veteran ilk as the Yankees are and they lose before reaching the summit, it's not easy to crank it up again the next year (a year older and more expensive) and get back to the precipice to go for it again.

The window on this group is closing.

With Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter on the decline; Andy Pettitte debating on retirement; giant spokes in the wheel of the starting rotation highly expensive and getting older in their own right; they're going to have to think about these things. Cliff Lee----if they sign him----isn't 28; he's 32; you're talking about $150 million for a pitcher aged 33-39. Risky.

Are there replacements on the horizon? Let's say Jesus Montero can handle the catching duties with some veteran mentoring from Posada (a question given Posada's combative attitude); what about Jeter? What about Mariano Rivera?

The plan to incorporate Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy into the rotation to form a young core hasn't worked. Hughes is going to continue to develop and be a perennial All Star. No one seems to know what's going to happen with Chamberlain and I wouldn't be surprised to see his name prominently mentioned in trade talks with the only reason they don't move him being his value is so drastically diminished.

One would think that Ivan Nova will get a legitimate chance to win a rotation spot next year after his impressive debut; but that doesn't significantly lower the overall age and cost of the team.

They have to begin planning ahead and the Jeter/Rivera negotiations; the questions about Joe Girardi; a new pitching coach; and rampant complaining about their "2010 failure" aren't going to make things any easier.

Max Stevens writes RE the Yankees:

Good post on the Yankees today, Prince. It will be interesting to see the degree to which they overreact this winter. The reason they're stuck with Burnett is that they overreacted after failing to make the playoffs in '08. But their financially dominant position is such that they could conceivably cast Burnett off if he doesn't perform well next season. It doesn't seem to me like it would be a problem for them to eat the remainder of the money he'd be owed. It's lunch money for the Yankees.

Burnett's ability, his poor year and remaining $50 million on his contract make him immovable unless they took back Barry Zito----and they're not doing that. Burnett will be a Yankee next year barring anything unforeseen. I said years ago with Burnett that he was going to have a year in which he won 18-20 games----and he did....with the Blue Jays....the year before he went free agent.

He's going to be the fourth or fifth starter next year if the Yankees have their way and get Cliff Lee and perhaps another veteran starter. A back-of-the-rotation starter with the stuff of A.J. Burnett is more palatable than him being a front of the line guy you have to rely on.

While the Yankees do have the money to cover up mistakes, the payroll isn't as limitless as it once was. The days of "the Yankees want, therefore they get" are dwindling in theory and practice. Cashman had to get permission to expand the payroll to sign Chan Ho Park (great idea); and with the Jeter/Rivera negotiations upcoming and raises for Hughes/Chamberlain, they're going to have to decide what to address----age concerns or pitching.

The bills are coming due.

Jeff (Acting Boss) at Red State Blue State writes RE Zombies!!!!

*Posting up for stat zombie annihilation*

Jeff's referring to the shoutout I got on Baseball Think Factory----link.

Don't waste your energy. If they don't come at me here, they're of no concern. I have more important things for you to do.

Gabriel (Acting Underboss) writes RE the World Series:

When I see the Rangers, I see a more complete team than the Giants. To me, the Rangers' offense is perfectly capable of overcoming the Giants' pitching. I say Rangers in five. Hopefully they'll go to seven and we'll have a very memorable World Series.

I stick to the Giants "greater than the sum of their parts" cohesion, the better bullpen and manager. A long, wrestling match of a series would blunt the worldwide upset at the lack of participation of the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies and other big market teams.

(No it wouldn't, but too bad.)

I was a guest with Sal on the SportsFan Buzz on Monday talking about the World Series, the Mets, the Yankees and all sorts of other things. Click here to listen directly or here to download it from Sal's site on I-Tunes.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Ah, the drama!!! Whether it's Mets, Yanks, Rangers, Knicks, whatevs... it's the New York way.