NEW YORK (AP) — Mets general manager Sandy Alderson knows how long Mets fans have been waiting for their team to do more than tear down and rebuild. He’s been the one overseeing most of the creative roster destruction and reconstruction.
Now he says it’s almost time for the Mets to start doing more than drafting and waiting. And waiting.
“I do believe over the next six months or so, we will be in a position make some significant acquisitions, whether it’s through free agency or a trade,” Alderson said Saturday morning. “And I’m certainly looking forward to that possibility.”
So, too, are most Mets fans, though the bunch that filled the front third or so of two sections seats down the third-base line was a bit more sedate than the typical talk-radio caller that stands as the stereotype for a lot of New York sports fans.
One fan did ask Alderson, essentially, how much longer they’d have to wait. The general manager took seven minutes to answer, breaking down his approach to getting the Mets out from under bad contracts and restocking the farm system and his goal of giving Mets fans a healthy relationship with their team again.
“It’s an emotional relationship, let’s face it,” Alderson said. “That’s why you’re all here. It’s an emotional relationship for us, too. So that’s what I’m trying to achieve is, I want to get you to the point, from an emotional standpoint, you’re proud to be a supporter of the Mets.”
This season has been pretty discouraging for Mets fans. Slugging first baseman Ike Davis, who hit 32 home runs last season, has been sent down to Triple-A to work out his struggles at the plate, shortstop Ruben Tejada has been on the disabled list since the end of May, and New York has lost eight of its last 10 games and sits fourth in the NL East at 24-38.
In May, the Mets won four straight against the Yankees. They then spent the next two weekends being swept by the Miami Marlins, who have the worst record in the major leagues.
Alderson acknowledged how deflating that was. He also pointed out that the Mets are starting to turn things around by following his patient approach.
“This is an effort to create a successful, but also a sustainable, organization,” Alderson said. “Believe me, what’s happened over the last month and a half has pained everybody.”
Sitting several seats down from the GM on Saturday morning was Matt Harvey, who has been one of the best young pitchers in the NL this year. Pitching prospect Zack Wheeler, who was acquired by Alderson in one of his first major trades with the Mets, is set to make his big-league debut next Tuesday.
“At some point, the best thing you can do is have a little patience. And unfortunately, I’ve been preaching that for 2½ years and it’s wearing thin. But we’re almost there.”