Last Friday, Sandy Alderson was announced as the General Manager of the New York Mets, signing a contract lasting through the 2014 season. During his press conference, Alderson addressed the New York media for the first time, answering numerous questions regarding the state of the organization. His words offered Mets fans something they haven’t felt in a while: a sense of direction. After four consecutive disastrous seasons, a new voice takes the hot seat, ultimately tasked with reforming the front office and culture of the team. As his first course of action, Alderson appointed J.P. Ricciardi the role of Special Assistant. The duo have plenty of experience within baseball operations, but do they have what it takes to steer them away from the so-called “iceberg” that has plagued the Mets organization in recent memory?

NY Daily News

The General Manager:

A Brief History:

Sandy Alderson has a great deal of experience with baseball operations, dating back to 1981 when he landed a job with the Oakland Athletics as general counsel. Just two years later, he was appointed the GM, where he served til 1997. During his fourteen year tenure, the Athletics won four division titles, three pennants, and the 1989 World Series. He chose to leave the organization for a position in the MLB commissioner’s office, serving as Executive Vice President for baseball operations from 1998-2005. Soon after, Alderson became CEO of the San Diego Padres, but resigned in March 2009. His most recent job was working for Bud Selig, addressing the issues of corruption of baseball in the Dominican Republic.

His Vision In My Words:

  • Seems to maintain a strong focus on investing wisely, which has been somewhat of a downfall for the front office in the past five years
  • Realizes there is a shortage of funds to play with for the 2011 season, but promises to consider all possibilities and get involved where necessary
  • Wants a manager that will have an approach similar to that of his players (basically, one that won’t clash with his team)
  • Believes a manager should show passion and fire
  • Open to any suggestions that would result in improving his ballclub
  • Understands the importance of a deep minor league system

Generally, Alderson’s vision is far more different than that of Minaya. Whether or not he adheres to these principles is anyone’s guess. Regardless, I am very confident in his role as GM.

Special Assistant to the General Manager:

A Brief History:

J.P. Ricciardi is no stranger to Sandy Alderson. In fact, the two worked together in the same regard within the Oakland Athletics organization. In 1996, Ricciardi became Special Assistant to Sandy Alderson–the GM at the time–but was later reassigned as Director of Player Personnel when Billy Beane took command. In 2001, the Toronto Blue Jays hired Ricciardi as GM, where he served until he was fired at the conclusion of the 2009 season.

His Role In My Words:

  • Consult with Sandy Alderson on all business operations
  • Use his past scouting experience as an advantage in player development and acquisitions

I actually feel that Ricciardi will be more influential than his role entails. Both he and Alderson have a considerable amount of GM experience, and that can only benefit the front office.

My Overall Conclusions:

I expect many positive changes to occur for the organization during the 2011 season. Not specifically regarding the major league team, but also the front office and minor league system. With the lack of funds, I believe Alderson will explore some innovative processes, regarding the team’s finances. I also feel he will select the best fit manager for the squad, which I expect will occur by the end of November.

Speak up! How do you feel about Sandy Alderson and J.P. Ricciardi? What do you think is their most difficult task?