We don?t expect the Mets to win the World Series in 2011, but we do expect them to restore a sense of pride in Queens.
The Mets are expected to hire you, a Harvard graduate, Friday morning, and there is plenty of work to be done.
I?m sure you are aware of the hardships the franchise has endured over the past four years.
Ever since Carlos Beltran?s knees buckled on Adam Wainwright?s curveball to end Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS, the team hasn?t been the same. We can?t be sure that Beltran?s chronic knee problems started at this moment, but it?s a safe assumption.
Mets fans know there is a long road ahead for the organization, but there is hope.
Rumors are already swirling regarding who you will bring in for your new staff. Paul DePodesta is one of the names being whispered, along with J.P. Ricciardi, a Worcester, Mass. native. Both have distinguished themselves as prominent front office executives and would be great hires for the organization.
The three of you do have one common denominator: Billy Beane.
Beane was your successor as general manager in Oakland in 1998. He subsequently hired Depodesta as assistant general manager. Ricciardi was already working under you when Beane inherited the team; he was then promoted to director of player personnel.
If these men are hired, you will have cleared the first of many hurdles. The next immediate one will be finding a manager.
Beane has a tendency of hiring low-key managers (Art Howe, Ken Macha and Bob Geren), because that way he can still have total control over his team. According to numerous reports, it sounds like you will be looking to follow a similar trend.
The Mets already tried this with Howe; it didn?t work. The city totally tuned the Mets out until they brought in the Omar Minaya-led group that you are being hired to replace.
New York needs a manager with a personality and a resume as impressive as yours.
Bring back Bobby Valentine, give Wally Backman a chance, or at least call Joe Torre to see if he?s going to be in Queens this winter.
Once you establish who will lead the Mets, you will have to decide who can still lead this team on the field. That will prove to be your biggest challenge this winter.
Sandy, we believe in you.
We have to.