OAKLAND, CA – As I sit absolutely baffled as to how Michael Kay landed a prize like local anchorwoman Jodi Applegate, I am reminded of a couple of things. The ’90s gave us Lyle Lovett and Julia Roberts and 2010 brought us Sandy Alderson, my eponymous alter ego. I must admit that my intentions had been to communicate with the world AS Sandy and speak in the 3rd person (“George is gettin’ mad!”) but soon abandoned that because it became too much to keep up. Now it’s just a forum for venting my vitriol at the most overrated baseball Hack since M.Donald Grant and Lorinda DeRoulet got together and created Theo Epstein.
Sandy has promised us Met fans a lot. He assumed the job and immediately declared along with his grandson Paul DePodesta, that this would be “Moneyball with money!” Oh boy. Not so much. Of either. Sandy had a plan and insisted that the Madoff mess would not be the reason he couldn’t execute on his vision for the team. Can’t argue that – it soon become apparent that his own incompetence and buffoonery would take care of his inability to execute on his vision just fine.
Rewind a couple of steps back. The Wilpons built their entire commercial real estate empire on the back of the Madoff Ponzi scheme. It never made sense that this family, so mind-numbingly stupid when it came to everything related to their MLB franchise, would otherwise be savvy and shrewd real estate investors and pillars of the community? Didn’t add up. And I don’t mean to rehash old news here, but this point is very telling. This team had stumbled its way to irrelevance, bad on-field performance, PR faux pas… you name it. For 20 years of Wilpon-owned existence.
But they were brilliant elsewhere. I don’t buy it. The facts seem clear that every cent of the Sterling empire was built and amassed through their crooked complicity with Madoff. They know, and Bud Selig knows it, and yet-he turns a blind eye-much like he did during the sport’s steroid halcyon days. Bud though, wants his buddy Fred and his deceased brother in law and current Sands Point Mayor, Saul Katz, to remain Mets owners for life no matter what. The fans be damned. Logic be damned. Ethics and decency be damned.
So we’re left with a guy – Sandy – who last successfully built a team in the mid-80s. He often regales sycophant sportswriters of his heist of Storm Davis a generation ago. He doesn’t watch the games anymore – leaving that to his grandson Paul and Paul’s friend from Palo Alto High School, JP Ricciardi. He watched as useful, cheap players like Juan Pierre, Ryan Raburn, Lyle Overbay, Juan Rivera signed elsewhere because Sandy was sticking to his youth focused rebuilding plan. And plus those guys would steal ABs from youngsters like Rick Ankiel and Marlon Byrd. Sandy shows no interest whatsoever in even incremental improvements to the Major League team.
He is staking his entire undeserved, fake legacy as a solid baseball man on Zach Wheeler, a promising young arm yet to throw a single pitch in anger. For Sandy’s sake, Wheeler better be a combination of Sandy Koufax and a 1985 Dwight Gooden – or this past-his-prime baseball hack will be shipped back to the DR to clean up those pesky visa problems so many players have down there. Alas, like left-handed pitchers, the Sport will always have room for one more old, washed-up, white hack who used to be a baseball man.
Different Matt, Al Harazin’s gofing buddy, tomorrow.