So, Sandy Alderson is interested in the Mets’ newly vacant general manager’s job, and the Mets are said to be ready to interview him next week. This, of course, has the rumor mill ramping up that Tony LaRussa, said to be tired of managing in St. Louis, would logically follow said Alderson to the said Mets (should Alderson get the said job, it is said).
Didn’t the Mets already try this once with re-tread Oakland A’s management? (see: Howe, Art). How’d that work out for them?
First of all, Alderson seems to have the tacit endorsement of Bud Selig. I do not consider that an advantage. Second of all, the buzz of winning ball teams this century have been young, innovative general managers. Not to sound ageist, but as Bill Madden of the Daily News wrote this week: “… ask John Schuerholz ask Pat Gillick, ask almost anyone, the GM job has become a young man’s job.”
Alderson had great success as a GM in the 1980s. So did Frank Cashen, and I don’t see the Mets interviewing him to come back. Alderson, who will be 63 years old next month, hasn’t been a GM in 13 years (though he was the San Diego Padres CEO from 2005-2009, when the Friars went 397-414 for a .490 winning percentage, or 0.00186 percent better than the Mets’ winning percentage this year of .488).
Then there’s LaRussa (who has a law degree, don’t you know?), the Cardinals manager who was Alderson’s A’s manager, and whose name is devilishly linked with his former boss among the Mets commentariat. I don’t like LaRussa’s politics (lover of Arizona immigration laws, featured guest-speaker-introducer for Glenn Beck’s America, though God forbid don’t upset him more than you’re upsetting him now), but, hey, whatever. Even Jackie Robinson was a supporter of Nixon and Goldwater. It’s just, LaRussa can’t stop shining the spotlight on himself and his J.D.-conferred brain.
That’s the problem. LaRussa can’t help himself, which is exactly why I don’t want him here. It’s all about him. LaRussa is to the Cardinals/A’s as Joe Girardi is to the Yankees. Even exempting politics (I have no idea of Girardi’s, which is a plus side in the Yankee skipper’s column, though, did you know, he has an engineering degree from Northwestern?), they have an innate need to let you know how much smarter they are than you.
LaRussa, who claims he saw no evil among the steroid-abuser.
LaRussa, who was outmanaged by Jerry Manuel — that now departed, ever-quotable former manager — in a 20-inning game earlier this season. That road win set the Mets on their much beloved 9-1 homestand in late April, which in turn sparked a two-month winning joyride, which of course they could not sustain. But it sure as hell was fun while it lasted.
Alderson is not the right choice for GM for a rebuilding Mets team. LaRussa is even a worse choice as a potential manager. But some in the Mets commenting community are happily abuzz at the prospects. Are Mets fans so desperate for a winning team that they’d sell the lovable soul of this franchise? What are we, the Yankees?
In the midst of occasional blogging here on generational issues, I’ve been sort-of moonlighting with some baseball blogging. Here’s my shameless plug take on Wednesday’s would-be perfect game by Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga:
The actions of Armando Galarraga, of umpire Jim Joyce, of manager Jim Leyland, even of baserunner Jason Donald have provided us with sorely needed examples of grace and class in these insolent times. That’s what they gave us rather than a perfect game. That’s what we need as a society right now. That’s better than perfect.
Or read the full post here:…
The business of baseball is not having a great postseason. Bud Selig, insisting on bleeding every dollar out of the Grand Ole Game, capitulates every year to the networks on these 8:22 p.m. and 8:35 p.m. East Coast start times, then — nature be dammed! — allows a rain delay to go on for 1½ hours before the first pitch is thrown at 10:06 p.m. in Philadelphia on Saturday and forces Monday’s Game 5 onto the field through a monsoon. Just postpone the games already!
I finished watching SNL at 1 p.m. the other night only to flip a channel and find a tie game at 4-4 in the 8th inning — at that point, I was rooting for a nice, long extra-inning affair, maybe into sunrise. The Phillies ruined it for me, winning to end Game 3 at 1:47 a.m.
Selig, of course, is always for finding another way to screw the fan, or support his owners in doing so. Ticket prices are skyrocketing, making games are unavailable for anyone but corporate customers. Remember, this is a man who wanted to contract the Twins seven years ago. Instead, baseball continued forward on nearly a decade of parity, with the Twins playoff-competitive nearly every year and contractible teams like the Marlins winning the Series in 2003. Selig’s own Brewers, meanwhile, distinguished themselves by finally making the playoffs this year for the first time since 1982 (they were bounced out in the first round, but hey, great job by the ghosts of Harvey’s Wallbangers).
Meanwhile, the networks are doing their part to squeeze every drop out of the golden goose. Good luck telling your advertisers how many 50- and 60-year-old men were still awake watching the game at 1:15 Sunday morning when your Cialias ads appeared.
(An aside: after this postseason fiasco, don’t even try to give me shit over Obama’s Wednesday night paid commercial delaying the start of a potential Game 6 of the series by a measly 15 minutes.)