It was my friend Joel Sherman who wrote last October, on the day the Mets introduced Sandy Alderson to their public, "...suddenly it felt as if there were an adult in the room."
Alderson was prepared to deal with Fred Wilpon's apology to Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran regarding Wilpon's comments to The New Yorker. He wasn't as prepared to deal with Wilpon's comments to Sports Illustrated story, which regarded the Mets' bleak financial outlook.
So you could see Alderson's polite exasperation - not at the media's question, but rather at the entirety of the situation, IMO - as he tried to put the matter to rest for the night.
"Look, I haven't read Sports Illustrated, I haven't read Mechanics Illustrated (which doesn't exist), or Men's Health," Alderson said. "I don't know what stories are out there, so until I've read those stories, I can't comment."
The subtext of Alderson's comments was clear, at least to me: "Can you believe how dumb these people are? I can't."
You have to appreciate how much thought and effort went into the decisions for Wilpon, pretty media-shy nowadays, to allow the access he did to The New Yorker and SI. The Wilpons take public relations very, very seriously.
And Alderson, in one sound bite, rightfully dismissed that thought and effort as the equivalent of George's meeting with Kramer, Slippery Pete and Shlomo - regarding the moving of the "Frogger" machine - in this "Seinfeld" episode.
As we discussed yesterday, The New Yorker story in particular produced significant positives, IMO - it aligned more of the snob set against Irving Picard, and some Mets fans clearly enjoyed Wilpon's off-the-cuff remarks.
However, also as we discussed, Wilpon had a mess to clean up, and he failed to do so. A private apology doesn't make up for a public diss. If you read Carlos Beltran's comments, in which he pointed out this wasn't the first time he had to respond to other people's comments about him, then you appreciated how much the damage already had been done.
So Alderson and the Mets move forward now, but for Alderson, I don't think much has changed. Even if Wilpon had enough money to feed and clothe the entire Chinese population, I don't think Alderson would have any interest in giving Reyes a nine-figure contract. It just doesn't match his philosophy.
Alderson will keep acting as a voice of reason in a kingdom ruled by nincompoops. The good news for Mets fans is twofold: A) He can largely run the team without the nincompoops' interference (because he isn't inclinced to spend a lot of money, anyway); and B) Because of his status and accomplishments, he doesn't even have to pretend to respect the nincompoops.
--How about a contest on Friday? Yes, let's do a contest on Friday.