The Mets conducted a strong hunt for their next general manager.
I have a quibble with allowing assistant GM John Ricco to have such an important role in picking his boss. Nevertheless, the Mets succeeded on the big-picture issues.
They brought in strong candidates. They saw the desperate need to go outside the organization for a fresh perspective. People briefed on the interviews say that important notes were struck. For example, Jeff Wilpon acknowledged what is -- at minimum -- his reputation as a meddler and micromanager. He did not harp on it and, instead, tried to explain in detail to the candidates what he believes are his daily responsibilities.
Ownership conceded the organization is dealing with a credibility deficit, too many bad contracts and a wobbly infrastructure. Thus the owners told the candidates the Mets are not looking for a quick fix, but rather a long-term strategy that a new general manager can implement, articulate to the public and stay discipline with in order to deliver a consistent winner, which would restore credibility.
And credibility won the day as the Mets yesterday told Sandy Alderson he is going to be the next general manager. The Mets were impressed by the other finalist, Josh Byrnes. But Alderson was the front-runner and unless an underdog such as Byrnes could state an overwhelming reason for his hire then the organization was going to favor the elder statesman, whose gravitas provides the Mets an instant jolt of that credibility they desired.
No one in baseball is going to believe Wilpon is going to push around Alderson, an ex-Marine with a reputation for integrity and a steel spine. I championed Alderson's candidacy in a Sept. 19 column because I felt the Mets needed his principles, stature and unflinching character to reverse their reputation as an undisciplined, uncreative front office. So, obviously, I think the Mets did a good job here.