Mets Big Market Moneyball – Feed the Beast

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29:  Sandy Alderson poses f...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Moneyball has infiltrated the Metropolitans. Although the club had long ago hired a sabermetrics analyst, many of the original innovators are now behind a desk at Citi Field. For those living under a rock, Michael Lewis’ book “Moneyball” was to baseball traditionalists what “TheDavinci Code” was to fundamental Christians. The figures in the book including Sandy Alderson, Paul DePodesta, and J.P. Ricciardi along with Billy Beane and others devalued purist stats such as RBIs and stolen bases. They found through analysis that scouts, execs, and so on favored an old flawed relic of a system. They instead chose to use on base percentage and slugging as their ways to identify their coveted players. This also allowed small market Oakland to acquire lower priced players and continue to compete. The front office in Queens will now seem more like a mensa meeting than a baseball one. Trade in your ball and glove for and abacus and graphing calculator. The honeymoon with Alderson is currently in progress but I’d like to play devil’s advocate a moment. Here is an intrigue to ponder.

How will it go over when Alderson doesn’t feed “The Beast”?

This beast I’m referring to is the angry mob of disappointed Mets fans. Mets fans, who after a losing effort, will be hanging out of windows screaming for the highest paid free agent available. The fans who wore Manny Ramirez wigs and paraded outside of SNY a few years back. What if the front office logic leads them to less known, less heralded free agents/trades? How will Alderson explain his desire to sign a player with less of the “sexy stats” and more of his coveted ones? Will impatient fans grow tired of DePodesta’s number crunching and whine excruciatingly about not signing the latest big money stud. Winning will solve all, but how much and how quick will it need to be for the mob to stop crowding Mike Francesa’s phone lines with their red eyed banter. I can’t see this being a problem on draft boards. The MLB draft gets no where near the coverage of the NFL draft. Alderson can skip over a raw talent machine from high school for a polished college kid without much feedback from the masses. Continue reading “Mets Big Market Moneyball – Feed the Beast”

Mets Hire J.P. Ricciardi

Image by phillenium1979 via Flickr

Sandy Alderson is getting the band back together again. I like it! Hopefully, he’ll be able to pry Paul DePodesta away from the Padres too. I think it’s a great hire bringing in Ricciardi with eight years of experience as the Blue Jays GM. It’s a great move and I’m really starting to get excited about the wealth of experience the Mets are assembling in the front office.

Here’s the press release from the Mets:

FLUSHING, N.Y., November 2, 2010 – The New York Mets today announced that J.P. (John Paul) Ricciardi has been named Special Assistant to General Manager Sandy Alderson. From November 14, 2001 through 2009, he was the Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations and General Manager for the Toronto Blue Jays. Ricciardi spent last season as a baseball analyst for ESPN.

“J.P. brings a wealth of knowledge and a breadth of experience to the organization,” said Alderson. “I worked with him for over a decade in Oakland and I know first hand he’s a superb talent evaluator. He’ll be a tremendous resource in a variety of areas.”

In his new role, Ricciardi will assist Alderson in all aspects of the baseball department.

The 51-year-old worked for the Oakland Athletics for 16 years (1986-2001), including 12 years (1986-1997) when Alderson was the team’s General Manager.

“I couldn’t be more excited about being reunited with Sandy,” said Ricciardi. “We enjoyed tremendous success together in Oakland and it’s my goal to help duplicate that here with the Mets. As a former Met farm hand, it’s a double homecoming for me.”

Ricciardi played two seasons in the Mets minor league system after signing as a non-drafted free agent. In 1980, he was a teammate of current Oakland GM Billy Beane in the New York-Penn League with Little Falls and in 1981 he played for Shelby (A) of the South Atlantic League.