BOCA RATON, FL – “That was not. I repeat NOT a fainting spell! I’m a goddamned Marine! I’ve got chunks of guys like you in my stool every morning. I was testing you pansy-ass media-types to see who among ya, I’d be comfortable with in a foxhole. Now I have my answer! God, Corps, Country! We live by these words every day!” –(Real) Sandy Alderson
And just like that, the Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson was gone. No, we’re not talking about taking a hill or storming a beach. We’re talking about the new tapioca pudding salesman now working the Citi Field beat. See, Sandy loves nothing more than soft tapioca and Gordon Lightfoot when his thoughts turn to those of payroll flexibility and fiscal restraint, and swearing that he has no idea what this year’s budget will look like each winter.
For 5 years Sandy traded on the fact that he had inherited a mess from the previous team GM Omar Minaya. Add in that he also took over a financial house of cards and he figured his honeymoon period was interminable. Sandy – in his own WASPy eyes – could do no wrong. With a new found ability to add 2 months worth of additional salary to his roster, Alderson made a couple of shrewd acquisitions. Suddenly the Mets found themselves in the World Series. In Sandy’s view, he had been vindicated. No one – not some schleppy pundit, not some idiot without an Ivy League pedigree, was going to question him ever again.
At the season wrap-up press conference, it all became too much for Sandy. He’d been wooing the elder of the Pigeon Sisters the previous evening. Murder, She Wrote marathons, Matlock, and The Good Wife blared on his old Sylvania. Bumper stickers from William McKinley’s inauguration dotted his room at the Assisted Living Facility; Satchmo was teed up on the Victrola. Yep, Sandy was feeling it. Suddenly he felt like an octogenarian again.
When he emerged from his tomb, uh… I mean room, daylight had broken and he hurried to the press conference. This was a heady moment unfolding for Sandy. He hadn’t brought a team to the World Series since Jay Gatsby slipped him a mickey back in East Egg. Finally, the GM could walk the room and people would stop and admire him, just like Grandma Alderson had predicted 3 centuries earlier. The accolades, the kudos, even the occasional “huzzah” would rain down on him in triumph.
But then the questions started. It was brutal. Demeaning. Here Sandy had pulled off the unthinkable by guiding the Mets to the Series and people, reporters, print guys… they, they were questioning him! The humanity! Hadn’t he done enough? Hadn’t he earned his place in the Hall of Fame by driving this franchise to the promised land? When would the expectations stop? “What do you people want from me?!”
And then he awoke and was resting comfortably at Elmhurst Hospital. Screaming for DePo… for Ricciardi to help him. But the old man couldn’t be found. “No GM meetings for you, Mr. Alderson! You’re too tired and weak,” admonished the ER doc. “They’ll just have to make do without you this year.”
A particularly disturbing series of questions from Adam Rubin really set the old guy off, as you’ll see below.
Please feel free to comment below and come back for Angry Ward tomorrow.
P.s… Please join in on wishing Junoir Blaber a Very Happy Birthday!