Not the same as the old boss…

Sandy has arrived. As advertised.

His presser was straight-forward, honest — yet, cagey where he had to be — and everything you’d expect. He certainly talks a good one. The new dream has begun. I can think of nothing but good. But I’m also afraid that there’s a missing ingredient, here: patience.

Now the fun starts. Mike Francesa — the self-styled “Sports Pope of New York,” gag — has already proclaimed that Ollie Perez and Luis Castillo “can’t be on the roster in 2011” or else CitiField will be empty. “Unless he wins right away, that place is gonna be a ghost town.” Of course, opinions are like hemmorhoids: every asshole gets one eventually. It’s when the opinionator takes his own as gospel is where the trouble starts.

I’m reminded of none less than Frank Cashen, when he took over a moribund outfit 30 years ago. He said, “It’s gonna happen. May not happen right away, but it’s gonna happen.” He waded in and kowtowed to no one else’s schedule but his own.

Know what?

Shea Stadium was a ghost town in 1980. It got a little more populated in ’81 (the returns of Kingman and Staub had something to do with that). It got even better in ’82 (George Foster, warts & all, comes on the scene). Built a little higher in ’83 (Tom Seaver comes home, Keith Hernandez comes on board, Kingman is jettisoned). Reaching a crescendo of 90 wins, contention down to the last 2 weeks of the year and an attendance of 1.8 million (phenomenal, in 1984 terms). It stayed that way until the Mets got crappy again.

30 years on, it seems a blink. But there were mistakes (George Bamberger, stupid White Sox!) and it wasn’t perfect and it seemed a lifetime then.

The new guy looks familiar and I’m sure he — and the Wilpons — would trade a “down” attendance year for sustained gate success for the next 10, 15, 20, 30.

Nice tie, Sandy!

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High School Latin

I went to Bergen Catholic, an all-boys (GAAAH!) high school in New Jersey. Freshman year, I took Latin as kind of a goof — plus it was 1 of 2 electives, the other being Unified Chemistry & Physics. Given a choice between science and language, which do you think I would choose?

Anyway, I’m reminded of my frosh/soph courses because just about every account of Sandy Alderson’s hiring contains the word “gravitas.”

Interesting word, that. It conveys a certain quality, but I’m sure I’m not alone in my confusion as to what that quality actually, y’know, is. Does it mean that the man is morose? Is he serious at all times? Is he Digger O’Dell? Is he Sidney Greenstreet?

It seems an elusive thing, but the MSM wonks all seem to agree that Sandy Alderson’s got it. I think they’re using it like “clout,” or “juice.”

Aaaaah! Another tricky word.

Leave us not forget, faithful readers, that Sandy was the man who presided over the Athletics of the ’80s. The A’s of Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco — The Bash Brothers then, the poster-boys for the scourge of steroids now. There’s going to be a large hue & cry over the fact that Alderson was, in fact, in charge of the team that defined the steroid era. It’s already started, and Sandy hasn’t even been officially named yet.

Perhaps some of the wonks are seeking that gravitas themselves.

You have to wonder…

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26th of October, Corona Park (Sandy)

Well, well, well, well, well…I’ve been away for a while. I miss anything?

I kid…I kid…

Let’s see, where to begin. How about the beginning of September?

First things first: my mother-in-law. She came out of rehab and with just a couple of minor adjustments, she’s walking around normally — if cane-aided. Really fantastic progress. Hip number 2 gets done tomorrow and we can only hope it goes as well as the first one.

Our week at the Shore was marked by sunshine, brilliant blue skies and waaaaaaaaay too many black flies on the beach. We did get to have a couple of phenomenal meals and at least it didn’t rain…

We kissed summer goodbye on the 11th with our neighborhood’s annual block party. Fun, beer, music, great friends & neighbors — a true summer song. I look forward to it every year…

A new tradition was started in our house as well. Sarah & I hosted what I modestly called the 1st Annual Woodstone Road Guitar Summit. I had all kinds of friends come with the intention to jam, and jam hard. We played for about 5 hours. That was a most wonderful day.

Met-wise, September played itself out as you would expect. Some wins, more losses and come October 3, a second straight sub-.500 finish. This time, Jeffy Wilpon told us things were “unacceptable.” Soundas familiar, right? Only this time, he backed it by cashiering Genius Jerry and Omar Deadmanwalking simultaneously the day after the season ended. Call it the “Noontime Massacre.”

With the JerrOmar creature slain once and for all, the search began immediately for replacements. From the gitgo, “everyone” (by which I mean radio talking heads and MSM wonks) said the way to go would be to hire Sandy Alderson — the architect of the great Oakland teams of the late-’80’s, the chief steward of the San Diego success cycle in the middle of this decade and currently at work in the MLB office weeding out the shysters, grifters and grafters attached to so many prospects from the Dominican — as GM.

If only for appearances’ sake, Jeffy announced a field of 32 candidates, which was miraculously whittled down to 6 within a week. Surprisingly, of the 6, there was only 2 truly cringe-worthy contenders. Logan White, Rick Hahn, Josh Byrnes, Allard Baird, Dana Brown and Alderson all sat down with Jeffy & interim/GM-in-waiting John Ricco to present their vision for the future of the Mets. It was obvious from the beginning that Brown was only included to fulfill the execrable MLB minority-quota deal. Ever the optomist, I was envisioning Baird getting the nod, seeing as he’d be cheap and malleable: another Jeffy plaything. Baird was the idiot-boy who, when handling the tiller of the KC Royals, steered them right onto a reef. Of course he would be the Wilponian choice.

But once again, I allowed myself to be surprised: the field went from 6 to 2 in the blink of an eye. This past Friday it was announced that Byrnes and Alderson were the 2 finalists. Byrnes had his return interview yesterday, Alderson’s was today.

Call me an “Alderson Guy.”

He’s got a track record. He’s got respect. He’s got brains. He says the right things about how he wants to go about rebuilding a ballclub. He’l emphasize the farm system and the scouting department, while — if he’s not exactly the father of sabermetrics in MLB front offices, he’s at least an uncle — bringing a statistical bent to the hallways. He’s a Dartmouth Law graduate and an ex-Marine who saw time in Viet Nam: in other words, he knows what he’s talking about and won’t hesitate to tell Jeffy where to go if he has to.

He’s also got an interesting phenomenon in his favor. In New York, there’s a recent history of executives who have had success in other cities, who are now working for the league office (whatever league that might be), taking over the reins of a struggling outfit.

George Young with the Giants in 1979
Frank Cashen with the Mets in 1980
Mike Keenan with the Rangers in 1994
Donnie Walsh with the Knicks in 2007

Alderson would bring it full circle.

It’s an exciting time.

The Son Of Alder shall be heard, his voice bringing the tumult!

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I’m still here.

There’s much to say and no time to say it, it seems.

I’m here, I’m swamped, I’ll catch up shortly. I’ve missed you all, faithful readers…

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Film at 11:00

I’m on the beach.

The Mets stink.

That is all.

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Ya can’t have everything.

So that’s what a win looks like. Unfortunately, it cost the Mets the services of Johan The Magnificent for the rest of the season.

And so it goes…

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You Heard It Here Last…

Jeff Francoeur has been traded to the Texas Rangers.

And there was much rejoicing…

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