A sense of humor isn't a prerequisite to be general manager of the Mets, but it certainly helps, and Sandy Alderson took his stand-up act to Twitter late Thursday afternoon in an effort to combat some of the "absurdity" circulating about the team's money issues.
"The genesis of this came earlier in the day when it was suggested that I was driving to Florida because the Mets couldn't afford a plane ticket," said Alderson, who created the account @MetsGM. "There were people on the Internet who actually believed that. So I just thought we'd point out the absurdity of all this by poking fun at the whole thing."
Latest Mets stories
Alderson's ploy worked.
At 3:28 p.m., the GM's first entry appeared, saying "Getting ready for Spring Training-Driving to FL but haven't left yet. Big fundraiser tonight for gas money. Also exploring PAC contribution."
Instantly, media and fans alike on Twitter were wondering if this indeed was Alderson, even though the team's own account, @Mets, introduced him as legitimate. In roughly 55 minutes, Alderson had collected more than 3,000 followers. In just under two hours, he was closing fast on 5,000. By Thursday night, the number had exceeded 8,000.
In his second tweet, Alderson explained why he was taking the car to spring training rather than hopping a flight to Florida. "We're driving to St. Lucie because our dog [Buddy] doesn't like to fly. His complaint: Where I sit, no lights and no stews."
So with 140 characters or less, Alderson was able to get his message across -- and punch through some of the hysteria with a joke of his own. Speaking of absurdity, someone had even established a fake account for Buddy.
"I think everything we do is viewed through the prism of our financial situation," Alderson said, "and as a result, the most mundane things get embellished in a way that's almost laughable."
Alderson doesn't plan on spending too much time on Twitter but will check in occasionally. He's still learning the ropes at this point. "I'll probably keep doing it for a while," he said. "At least until I run out of material."
Minor-leaguers suspended. The Commissioner's Office announced Thursday that Mets minor-leaguers Charles Doyle, a catcher for Class A St. Lucie, and Scott Moviel, a righthander for Double-A Binghamton, each has received a 50-game suspension for second violations for a "drug of abuse."