Mets Alderson Emails Update on Player Acquisitions

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 23: Fred Wilpon, General M...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

From Sandy Alderson to the Mets email list:

January 7, 2011

Dear Mets Fans:

Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday.

With Spring Training just six weeks away, I wanted to update you on our preparation for the 2011 season.

Yesterday, we wrapped up two days of meetings in Port St. Lucie where we went over organizational philosophy and how to implement it throughout the major and minor leagues. It was also the first opportunity for Terry Collins and his staff to sit down and discuss the mechanics of Spring Training and determine how they will emphasize fundamentals, mental and physical preparation and hard work. As Terry has said, the driving force will be playing the game the right way, which will lead to more wins.

Over the past two months, we have followed our plan of filling out our roster with reasonably priced players who have significant upside potential. As I have said before, our payroll – which will be among the highest in baseball – gives us limited flexibility, but we do have money to spend. We have acquired players who we think can thrive at Citi Field and complement our existing group of players.

As you likely know, earlier this week we signed pitchers Chris Capuano and Taylor Buchholz. Chris is a former All-Star and 18-game winner who last year came back from his second Tommy John surgery. We are confident he has the ability to re-establish himself as a dependable starter who can excel in our ballpark. Taylor has fully recovered from elbow surgery and has the potential to be a solid arm out of the bullpen.

Every year players come out of nowhere to become success stories. Look no further than R.A. Dickey. He signed a minor-league deal last January, became a fixture in the starting rotation in May, and finished the season with 11 victories and a 2.84 ERA. I believe some of our offseason acquisitions can be this year’s version of R.A.

We are excited about 2011. We have a solid core group of players who we expect will make significant contributions to making the Mets a success. As we have said all along, we will put ourselves in the best position possible to succeed both in the short and long term.

There will be an exciting brand of baseball played at Citi Field this year that matches the passion and intensity that you have for the team.

Thank you for your continued support and I look forward to seeing you at the ballpark.

Sincerely,

Sandy AldersonSandy Alderson
General Manager

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Mets To Announce 2011 Coaches This Week

New York Mets coach Chip Hale talks to Angel Pagan (16) at the end of the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field in New York City on May 27, 2010. UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

http://view.picapp.com//JavaScripts/OTIjs.jsIf you take a look at the Mets website coaches page, it’s pretty empty right now except for Terry Collins and bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello. That should change drastically this week. It has been widely reported that Sandy Alderson and Collins will name the rest of the coaching staff.

Expect Dan Warthen to return as pitching coach and Chip Hale to return at third base. Other than that, it’ll be a new group coaching the Mets next season. Here’s what the staff will likely look like:

Manager: Collins

Bench coach: Ken Oberkfell will be promoted from managing at Triple-A Buffalo

Third base: Hale will return

First base: Mookie Wilson after Moises Alou turned down the job

Pitching coach: Warthen will also return

Mets Introduce Terry Collins

New York Mets manager Terry Collins shakes hands with Mets owner Fred Wilpon (L) after being introduced as the Mets' new manager at a news conference at Citi Field in New York, November 23, 2010. Looking on is Mets' co-owner Jeff Wilpon (R) and Mets' general manager Sandy Alderson (2nd L). REUTERS/Mike Segar  (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

http://view.picapp.com//JavaScripts/OTIjs.jsThe Mets had their press conference for Terry Collins this morning. Dave Howard and Sandy Alderson had very brief introductions followed by some comments by Collins and questions from the media.

You can hear the full press conference here.

The overriding theme of Collins’ comments was that he wants his players to have attention to detail and “play the game the right way”. To me, that’s code for playing disciplined, old school baseball. We’ll see how well that flies with a high-priced, veteran team. It may work for teenagers and guys trying to make the leap from double or triple-A to the big’s, but I have a feeling he’s going to get a different reaction from guys that joined the Mets as high-priced free agents.

It’s also interesting to note that Collins is working on a two year contract with a club option for a third year. Clearly, the Mets learned from their mistakes with Art Howe and Willie Randolph not to get locked into long term deals for managers.

After the press conference Alderson and Collins made the rounds to all the local media outlets. Here are some audio samples for you.

ESPN- Collins with Michael Kay

ESPN- Alderson with Michael Kay

WFAN- Collins with Francesa

WFAN- Alderson with Francesa

Mets To Name Terry Collins Manager

TOKYO - MARCH 08:  China Team Manager Terry Collins attends a practice session before the World Baseball Tokyo Round match between China and South Korea at Tokyo Dome on March 8, 2009 in Tokyo, Japan.  (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)

http://view.picapp.com//JavaScripts/OTIjs.jsPretty much every media outlet is reporting this afternoon that the Mets have hired Terry Collins to manage the Mets. It’s disappointing to me and, I’m sure, to many Mets fans that wanted to see Wally Backman get the job. But I’ll keep an open mind about Collins going forward. I certainly won’t be as fired up and ready to run out and buy tickets as I would have been if Backman was in the dugout.

Collins has already failed twice as a manager in Houston and with the Angels, finishing 10 games over .500 overall. His Angels team was a mutiny in ’99 and Collins resigned before the end of the season crying at the press conference at how he lost the team. Sure, it’s been 11 years since that happened but he sure wouldn’t be the guy that I would want running my team.

Collins also has deep connections with Paul DePodesta when they both worked for the Dodgers. DePodesta wanted to hire Collins in 2005 to manage the Dodgers but Frank McCourt was unhappy with the managerial candidates and fired DePodesta.

This is one of those critical decisions that better be right for Sandy Alderson and company. If not, there could be a mutiny at a much larger scale this time by the fans.