With the hiring of J.P. Ricciardi as a special assistant to the newly hired GM Sandy Alderson, the Mets now have not one but two general managers with extensive big league experience at the position. The message of these hiring is clear: no more will the Mets be a proving ground for an Omar Minaya to figure out what makes a winning GM.
These experienced new hires represent a higher level of accountability. Alderson and Ricciardi have their own philosophies, their own ideas about how a team should be run, and will mold a team that conforms to their personalities, as opposed to Mianya’s approach, where he molded his actions around the uncontrolled collective personality of his players. The Mets need toughness and leadership and discipline, because the loosey goosey approach with the players has just not yielded good results.
David Wright for one is I’m sure eager for this upgrade in leadership. David’s like the honors student who can’t stand out with a pushover substitute teacher leading his class; he will excel following the tone set by the new GM’s.
Minaya, to me, assembled the team in the offseason and then spent the season as little more than an apologist, standing stubbornly behind his strategy, and engaging in many forms of spin control when the wheels came off over the course of the season, as a form of self-preservation.
Alderson and Ricciardi on the other hand will not be as motivated by the fear of failure. They will have courage in their convictions and will stay the course even if its not instantly successful.
And the best part of these hires? Having this much experience at GM opens the door for the hiring of a “player’s manager.” Wally Backman fits perfectly into the team now. With not one but two disciplinarians at the helm, Backman can be free to motivate, to invent, to create, to initiate a change to a scrappy, hustling, “gamer” personality, and not have to worry so much about how to respond to player beating up their father in laws at the ballpark….or whatever new adventures 2011 will hold.
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Written by Mark Reichman