New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson speaks to reportersat Citi Field on Aug. 1, 2016. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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Keidel: It's Time For The Baseball World To Be Generous To Alderson

Jason Keidel
June 27, 2018 - 3:38 pm
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Some things are just too sobering for sports.

Sandy Alderson told the world he was stepping down as Mets GM to resume his fight against cancer. Voices cracked. Eyes bubbled. And we were once again reminded that sports can take a back-row seat to life.

Asked if he were going to return to his seat in the executive suite, Anderson said, "If I were to look at it on the merits, I'm not sure coming back is warranted." It's hard to say if he meant the merits of the Mets' season, or of his role in it.

But just as the old, hardened Marine understands the rigors before him, he also understands that baseball is a business, and the Mets must march onward, and try to savage this disastrous season. Even in the face of this news, and in the face of their talent-deprived roster and overwhelmed manager. 

And just like everything before his tearful exit, the Mets are moonwalking even farther from contention, and logic. They have reportedly replaced Alderson with three people, a silly trinity of baseball men, when one will do. 

John Ricco, J.P. Ricciardi, and Omar Minaya are the triumvirate now making official baseball moves for the Mets. When one will do. And that would be the latter, Mr. Minaya. He who already had this job, and he who was replaced by Alderson in 2010. He who discovered Matt Harvey. He who discovered Jacob deGrom. He who has lived in this media vortex and has a jeweler's eye for baseball talent. Omar isn't perfect, but he's good. And good is good enough for the Mets right now.

MORE: Mets Preparing To Conduct Search For New General Manager

Alderson's tenure with the Mets, like most things with the Mets, is conflicted, a volume of good moves bookmarked by some woeful moves. The Mets went 582-628 under Alderson's stewardship, which includes that enchanted run to the 2015 World Series, and three blown saves from their third championship. He traded Carlos Beltran for Zack Wheeler. He traded R.A. Dickey for Noah Syndergaard and Travis d'Arnaud. He grabbed Yoenis Cespedes, who led the Mets on that magical summer march. He also gave David Wright $138 million, nary a dollar put to good use on the diamond. 

But any beef we have with Alderson the GM is swept away by prayers or positive thoughts. This sort of thing is jarring for any club, especially one as fragile as the Mets, who 32-45 overall, and 5-18 in June. But they did bag a rare victory last night; a walk-off win the team dedicated to their fallen boss. The Mets were in abject free-fall before news of Alderson's ailment. They can rally around him or continue to crater, use this awful news as a battle cry, or finish this sad, slapstick season in last place. 

Maybe Minaya will provide a jolt. Maybe Minaya can pour this roster into his blender, mix it up with some promising young talent - if there's any to be found in their desolate farm system - and pour a feisty product back onto the field. Maybe Minaya, and a trip back to the future, is what the Mets need. We all agreed that something needed to be done to rescue the lifeless Mets, who entered last night's game with one fewer win than the Marlins, a team intentionally gutted by brand-new president Derek Jeter, who jammed the reboot button on the entire franchise. 

The Mets were actually tying to contend. When asked where his club stood among the MLB totem pole, Alderson said somewhere in the middle, in that abstract space between buyers and sellers. He was being generous, just as it's time for us to be generous toward Sandy Alderson, who seems very much a good man, a smart man, and a tough man.  

Maybe Alderson, like the Mets, was trending downward yesterday. But status is often a state of mind. And it's hard to think of a better mind than the Harvard man and Marine who gave Gotham one last salute before he kicks cancer's ass. Maybe the Mets, the media, and the masses will march onward, but that doesn't mean we can't thank Alderson for his service.

Follow Jason on Twitter at @JasonKeidel