Reese Kaplan -- You've Got To Be In It To Win It


There’s an old joke that comes to mind when you consider the way with which Sandy Alderson goes about trying to improve the team:

John, who was in financial difficulty, walked into a church and started to pray. ''Listen God,'' John said. ''I know I haven't been perfect but I really need to win the lottery. I don't have a lot of money. Please help me out.''

 He left the church, a week went by, and he hadn't won the lottery, so he walked into a synagogue. ''Come on, God,'' he said. ''I really need this money. My mom needs surgery and I have bills to pay. Please let me win the lottery.''

He left the synagogue, a week went by, and he didn't win the lottery. So, he went to a mosque and started to pray again. ''You're starting to disappoint me, God,'' he said. ''I've prayed and prayed. If you just let me win the lottery, I'll be a better person. I don't have to win the jackpot, just enough to get me out of debt. I'll give some to charity, even. Just let me win the lottery.'' John thought this did it, so he got up and walked outside. 

The clouds opened up and a booming voice said, ''John, would you meet me halfway and at least buy a fucking lottery ticket?''

Wishing and hoping is not a strategy.  Having a clear plan is.  Modifying the plan when it’s not working is.  Taking action is.  Recognizing weaknesses and addressing them is. 

So far as the players dropped like flies the Mets have acquired castoffs Adrian Gonzalez, Jose Bautista, Chris Beck, Buddy Baumann and Scott Copeland.  These “powerful” additions came after the off-season acquisitions of such luminaries as Jose Lobaton and Jose Reyes.  The big bucks acquisitions were a return of Jay Bruce (who apparently no one else wanted), Todd Frazier and his .224 batting average, and a rather expensive middle reliever named Anthony Swarzak with two positive seasons in an eight year career to the tune of $14 million over two years.  Quantity is rarely a substitute for quality.  While it’s always easy to play Monday morning quarterback, the fact is that none of these moves was met with champagne and caviar celebrations – more like White Castles and generic cola among the few who were happy.  Personally I was screaming for additions like Seunghwan Oh who signed with the Blue Jays and is having an off-year by his standards at 3.34 ERA.  They're paying a mere $1.75 million for his services.

There are no easy fixes given the weak farm system and the lack of intestinal fortitude it would take to do a proper rebuild from the ground up.  For 8 years now Alderson has had two seasons of relative success.  That’s a .250 batting average – below replacement player level.  If he at least tried to improve the club instead of the continual over-the-hill and scrap heap band-aids, then perhaps fans would show the patience necessary to see it’s a marathon and not a sprint.  However, like the man John in the joke, would you at least buy a fucking ticket?


Thomas Brennan said...

They got rid of Terry Collins just when his lifetime allotment of bad decisions and bad luck had been used up - what a mistake!

The Mets got "Vargassed" last night by another expensive, old incompetent player.

Try younger guys. Any younger guys.

It's a young man's game.

Mike Freire said...

For unknown reasons (money?), I don't think winning is the goal. At least that is what it looks like from the outside.

Mack Ade said...

Mike -

you are starting to figure this out

Reese Kaplan said...

Oh is over 40. Its not so much a question of age as it is about evaluating talent properly. How much did Frazier being an ex Yankee factor into his signing? Swarzak, too.

Thomas Brennan said...

Is there a Buddie Boom Boom Baumann fan club I can join somewhere?

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