I don’t think anyone could have done a better job than Sandy Alderson did at his inaugural press conference. He came across as formidably intelligent, calm, focused, and diplomatic. Everything he said was characterized by balance: We can’t guarantee a winning team by a particular date, but we’re going to improve probabilities. We’re looking for a manager who has the intellectual requirements for the job and who has the emotional requirements as well. We’re looking for someone who is analytical, who can also be intuitive. I will make decisions but sometimes I will offer recommendations. It is unlikely that we’ll be active in the free agent market this year but it is not inconceivable that we’ll achieve a great deal with what we have. Alderson was so perfectly diplomatic that he hit a home run with his relatively noncommittal answers to two challenging questions Minaya might have made a royal mess of: the one about hiring more Asian players and the one about how his style was different from that of his predecessor. I was also very impressed by the acuity of his observations about the importance of homegrown players to the fans. Alderson has actually noticed that the fans like to follow players in the minors, see them emerge and become successful with our team. How wonderful it will be to have a general manager who acknowledges that the psychological experience of fans is worth thinking about and paying attention to.
By the end of the news conference, I had the impression that the Mets franchise was now in the hands of someone who would never waste our time with a mis-statement, or even a momentary lack of verbal clarity. I had the impression that the franchise was now in the hands of someone who is forthright and authoritative. I don’t know if we’re going to win a lot of games any time soon. But I am convinced that our probabilities will improve, and that the next few years are going to have a different character than the last decade.