“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” – Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr (1848)
ARKVILLE, NY – The above quote is attributed to JB A-Karr, the French novelist & satirist and translated as “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” What’s it got to do with today’s topics? Plenty. So let’s get to: Sandy Alderson Failing Up, Albert Poo-Holes, Conforto Conundrum.
Sandy Alderson Failing Up
Big Al Sternberg left us way too early. He was a big part of what Meet The Matts is meant to be; thought provoking sports commentary, sprinkled with wit and humour (Canadian spelling for our northern neighbors forced to watch teams from Tampa & Dallas in the Stanley Cup Finals). Al was not afraid of offending or relentlessly calling out those he felt were shirking their responsibilities or, even worse, phonies. One person in particular that was in his cross-hairs was Richard Lynn “Sandy” Alderson. Hell, his Twitter handle was FakeSandyAlderson (@AldersonFake) and while he left us in 2016, his tweets re Sandy remain. In fact, they are some of the last things we have from Al, as he was trying to type until his last coherent moments. One thing is for sure though, he is livid in Baseball Heaven right now – (fact-check whether anger-based emotions are even possible in Heaven), as Alderson is back in charge of the Mets. And I am with him. Sandy Alderson is a perfect example of someone failing up. He sucked as a GM in New York after being credited with things he didn’t actually do in Oakland. Here’s a theory on why Steve Cohen is naming him: Alderson is a safe, old-guard name that the MLB owners like. Those that don’t like Cohen but were on the fence re approving him may now be swayed by this old, familiar and non-threatening face. Lord, I wish Al was here for this. And Trump. “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
Something that caught my eye this week was Albert “Poo-Holes” Pujols passing Willie Howard Mays Jr. for fifth place on the All-Time Home Run list. In the same game, the part-time Poo-holes his two jacks, besting the Say Hey Kid with his 661st and then pushing on with his 662nd later. Albert also has 3235 hits and is behind only Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth on the RBI list, passing Big Ben Whitney’s “A-Roid.” Great numbers. Numbers that should have us waving Rally Monkeys at José Alberto Pujols Alcántara, feting the 40-yearold at every turn. Yet, because of #COVID-19, we can’t. The question, though, is should we? Surely the shroud of PEDs hovers over Poo-Holes and while I can’t speak for you, my instinct says he’s guilty and therefore deserves nothing. It’s unfortunate if he did it all clean – sans HGH or whatever, but for those of us of certain age group, the cheaters put doubt about all extraordinary performances under the microscope of suspicion. He ain’t Willie Mays to me… “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
To be fair, the above-bashed Alderson did draft Michael Conforto, he of the hot Olympic swimmer mom. He and his cronies nearly destroyed him, though, asking him to pull the ball more for homers. Consequently, that saw his average suffer significantly and had Keith Hernandez’s head spinning and nearly exploding in the booth. This year, and we have to take any and all performances with a grain of salt in a 60-game sprint of a season, Conforto seemingly put it all together and was near the top in all categories. He embraced his old style of going with the pitch the other way but also kept the dimension of pulling balls in his comfort zone. The results speak for themselves. HOWEVER, as per JBAK’s quote above, the last image we’re left with in 2020 of Fortsie (tm) is him getting hurt. Hamstring. Shelved for the remainder of the season. As a Mets fan, you now cannot help but think that this will be a lingering injury for the rest of his career. Worse still, it will cause him to injure something else while compensating. Remember, this is a guy that tore his shoulder out of its socket swinging at a pitch, leaving Ron Darling dumbfounded in the booth. “I have never seen anything like that in my life, Gary.” Further, Conforto has been on the
DL IL a ton in his career. With his ability to test the free agent market after 2021, does Steve Cohen & Co offer this guy a long-term deal? Therein lies the Conforto Conundrum. “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
That’s all for today, please leave your comments/proverbs below and come back tomorrow for our Constant Conundrum, Cheesy Bruin. And apologies for the technical mishap that published the wrong version of this post earlier. Arkville’s internet isn’t the best.