In a perfect world—sans Bernie Madoff—would the Mets have done everything they could to keep Jose Reyes? Would they have kept Reyes?
We’re not in a perfect world and there is a Bernie Madoff and the Mets don’t have the money to spend on Reyes while trying to fill all the other holes they have and put a product on the field that isn’t going to lose 105 games.
We can go down the woulda-shoulda-coulda road for weeks, months, years. If there wasn’t Madoff, would Sandy Alderson even be the GM of the club? Would they be taking the tack of stat based, ruthless and cold-blooded reality-based analysis? Would they have kept Omar Minaya? Or would they have hired someone who was an aggressive, veteran-centric, money is no object GM?
There are no answers.
The ranting and raving about the Wilpons is conveniently ignoring that they’re in the middle of a lawsuit for which they proclaim their innocence. Comparing them to the McCourts of Los Angeles by way of Boston is a colossal waste of time because the situations are entirely different by every possible metric apart from public rancor.
Opinions are everywhere as to what the Wilpons knew and didn’t know. I don’t see how they couldn’t have been warned about Madoff or had someone see something strange in the consistency of his moneymaking skill.
But they’re saying they did nothing wrong. They want to keep the Mets.
And we don’t know what would happen if they did sell such a massive asset as the Mets; if they have that cash on hand, it might be snatched away immediately if they lose their case. They can’t be forced to sell the team if they haven’t been convicted of anything and they’re still fulfilling the bare minimum of organizational needs. That holds true whether fans are happy about it or not.
Here’s some ruthless reality in an objective, cold-blooded fashion: You can’t use financial acuity as a basis to credit Billy Beane or Andrew Friedman for being a “genius” or “forward thinker” then rip them for not spending money they don’t have to spend on one player for a team that isn’t going to be any good with or without that player.
However they arrived where they are, the Mets are in this position now. They can’t afford Reyes and they had to let him leave. That’s the way it is.
What’s being missed through all the self-serving vitriol; obnoxious and omnipotent attempts on the part of the media and fans to get the Wilpons to sell the team; the threats and tantrums and I told you sos is that with fan/media apathy comes freedom.
The morphing of Beane’s strategies from doing what needed to be done to seeking public acceptance are directly correlated to his image as an infallible genius; this was created by the twisted narrative in Moneyball. It’s coming to a merciless end as the movie was rife with ghastly inaccuracies and dramatic license to bolster a series of lies and make it more easily understandable to a layman; now the book is being viewed with renewed scrutiny as to what was true and wasn’t.
Would Friedman and the people running the Rays be able to dispatch and deal away their known players like Matt Garza if there was an intense interest in what they’re doing? If there were afternoon radio shows and tabloid rabble-rounsers, plagiarists and liars documenting what they were doing with a slant on selling papers and books at the expense of the underlying facts that may differ from what they’re presenting?
It’s easy to say yes, but the truth is that the it’s an imperceptible alteration from doing what needs to be done for the good of the organization and what might be good for the organization but will be avidly swallowed by the media.
We don’t know.
You can’t have it both ways.
You can’t clamor for an adult in the room the likes of Alderson to avoid spending long-term and deranged sums of money on Johan Santana and Jason Bay to placate the fans and win hot stove championships and then complain when he doesn’t spend more money that he doesn’t have to maintain a positive image with the masses.
This is where the Mets are. They don’t have any money and couldn’t afford Reyes. He’s gone.
Accept the basic tenets that the media at large either knows nothing or is following orders on what to write—or both.
Accept that the fans are responding to the stoking of their emotions with attacking the Mets and the Wilpons and that it’s ignoring the bigger picture of building a team; of legality; of finances.
Maybe the Mets will be better in the long run.
How they get there is irrelevant.
Because this is where they are now.