Sandy Alderson the Opaque
Following every utterance that emerges from the mind of Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson is somewhat like waking up disoriented after a night of drinking heavily at a party in a stranger’s house. Whose cat is that sitting on my chest? If this is the living room couch, then why is there a toilet in here? Are those my feet, or someone else’s? And on and on until you locate your pants and jacket, finally find the exit (I’m on the third floor?) and make my way back downstairs. My car nowhere in sight, I simply start walking in the general direction where I believe I left home several hours (days?) earlier.
“This is something that happens once every 30 years, … It’s an unusual situation. Would it be better if we were one of the other four teams in the division at the end of the year? I don’t think so. I’d rather be a footnote to history than not in history at all.”
The context really doesn’t matter. Alderson-speak is sort of like that word-game you may have tried back when you were in the 4th grade where you scatter a bunch of words on the floor, then try to rearrange them into a coherent sentence. ”The angry dog sharpened the sponge.” Or “The boy flew the hot soap home.”
A couple of days ago, the Mets were supposedly very interested in pitcher Bronson Arroyo. I, for one, think it would be a decent move for the Mets to make. They could use a durable veteran arm and an unflappable personality like Arroyo on their team. Then we learned that the Mets “May or may not meet the pitcher.” Well, that about covers all the possibilities, doesn’t it? Granted, it was a Mets “high-ranking official” who made that opaque proclamation, but Alderson-speak is ubiquitous in Mets-Land these days.
“What I mean by that is setting up a situation where we could be aggressive every year. We want to be in the market every year. Will we be in the market aggressively this year? Unlikely.”
I was a hall monitor for one awful semester at a high school in a small town in rural Maine. One morning, a teenage girl came waltzing down the hall without a pass. I asked her where she was supposed to be. She responded, “My jacket is all wet.” To which I, in turn, responded, “But where are you supposed to be right now?” She looked at me for a second or two, clearly perturbed that I was deigning to question her right to wander the halls at will (I hated doing this job, mind you.) She blurted out, “God, why do adults have to be so annoying?” A rhetorical question, to be sure, but one that ended up earning her an after-school detention.
“If the world ended when it was supposed to on Saturday, we wouldn’t have to worry about all these issues.”
When I was a young boy, my dad would take me for walks in Mountain Grove Cemetery, where P.T. Barnum is buried. There were two ponds in the cemetery. I liked walking all the way to the back where the second pond was because it always had large frogs in it sitting on lily pads. As we walked by the head stones over the graves, and past the musty mausoleums which contained the remains of Bridgeport’s once more prominent citizens, my dad would say to me, “Billy, this is where it all ends. Life is cheap. Man is just another species of insect.”
“It may not yet be manifest to the average fan, the average person, but I think we are more active than we were last year.”
I’ve lost 20 pounds since last year. Or, I’ve been working on doing so. You may not have noticed how much I’ve been working out, especially during those times when we’ve been together. You can’t always tell just by looking, but it’s been a lot of work, the effort of trying.
“I do think there will be a combination of more proactivity internally as well as a willingness in some instances to wait and see not whether the market changes, but what’s available to us later.”
- Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. – Donald Rumsfeld, 12 February 2002
“Beyond alarming. We have a crisis.”
Sandy, I couldn’t have said it better myself.