If you are a fan of the New York Mets like I am, you must be steaming right about now. The organization treated the hiring of Sandy Alderson as General Manager like the second coming of Frank Cashen, but the truth be told I think they should have about as much confidence in him as the financial advice once given to them by Bernie Madoff.
Most baseball fans are familiar with the famous routine “Who’s on First?” by comedians Abbott and Costello. It is an hilarious look at baseball in general and is apropos for the Mets in particular. Alderson is messing around with managerial interviews and taking forever; he should take a page from Mayor Bloomberg’s book: he fired Joel Klein and faster than you can say “Chico Escuela” he hired Cathie Black to lead our NYC public schools.
Hey, I have a great idea: Alderson should go out and hire Martha Stewart to run the Mets, and you know they could do worse. They have dissed Met favorite Wally Backman (who did a great job with the Single A Brooklyn Cyclones this year), and they are looking at everyone from Clint Hurdle to Pee Wee Herman to run the show. Come to think of it, I think Ms. Stewart would be an ideal manager. If Ms. Black can come in and run the city schools with no educational experience, surely Ms. Stewart could do the same thing with the Mets.
If we take a look at previous managers in the last twenty years – and that’s not such a great crop to be sure – the one that stands out to me is Willie Randolph. Fellow New Yorker Randolph, who grew up in Brooklyn as a Met fan, not only has the right pedigree but he is baseball smart. Now, Bobby Valentine is baseball smart too, but he also was as bad a combination with the Mets as are Bill Maher and Bill O’Reilly on their first date.
Now, back to the Abbott and Costello routine. There is no question that Alderson is putting around the green and not sinking any balls. He is obviously afraid of making a big mistake – before making an even bigger mistake of messing up the team more than it already is.
My advice is to hire Ms. Stewart and let’s get on with it. She will have the guys knitting in the clubhouse, making a mean soufflé before the game, and having tea parties after the game (don’t forget to extend those pinkies, guys). After Ms. Stewart is firmly ensconced in the field they call Citi (and I still say it should have been called Shea Stadium just the same way the Yankees called their new park by its rightful name), these are the things that need to be attended to before New Year’s Eve:
First Base: Ike Davis. Enough said.
Second Base: Let Luis Castillo and his wobbly legs go. Hire Orlando Hudson like yesterday.
Shortstop: Give Jose Reyes a chance to not lead-off and he will find himself again.
Third Base: David Wright is the Mets’ Derek Jeter. “Always and Forever.” I can hear Martha singing now.
Leftfield: A guy named Carlos Beltran, who looked bad in center last year, will look pretty good out there. Give him a chance to belt 40 dingers, but please, no looking at a called strike three anymore, Carlos.
Centerfield: Angel Pagan, the little train that showed he could. Now he’s a locomotive. Chug-a-chug-a, Angel. This will be his year.
Rightfield: There’s a guy named Jason Werth out there now. Martha should send a hologram of herself to Fred Wilpon saying, “You’re my only hope, Obi-wan, get me Jason Werth.” The force is with him to be sure.
Catcher: Two words: Josh Thole. I bet that he will emerge as the Jerry Grote of this team. Now all he needs is his Tom Seaver.
Starters: Martha, get that hologram fired up again, and this time ask for Cliff Lee (a lefty Tom Seaver). The force is with him too, and this is what the Mets need to do to let the Yankees and their fans know who’s boss in this town again.
Bullpen: Sayonara, Hisanori Takahashi. You did well when we needed you, but you’re headed elsewhere. Oh, and the Mets can drop Oliver Perez into the same dumpster where they put Castillo and forget about him. Also, like it or not, we are stuck with Francisco (I never met a guy I didn’t want to beat up) Rodriguez. Let’s hope he can be K-Rod again and not K-Dud.
Bench: Can we coax Lee Mazzilli and Rusty Staub out of retirement? Oh well, I guess not, but they have to find a few vets to round out the roster and come off the bench when we need a hit. Can anyone say Jeff Francoeur? Oh, Frenchy, we need you more than Sandy did in Grease. Don’t be a Mets dropout and please come home – fast!
So that’s my version of “Who’s on First?” Only in this case we have some real answers here. Now the big question is whether or not Sandy Alderson was brought in to talk a good talk or to walk the walk. Come on, Sandy, Martha is only a phone call away. She’ll drop that butternut squash soup and come running if you call. Do it now!