Sandy Alderson’s Cancer is Back, Mets GM Takes Leave of Absence
Sad and sobering news from the New York Mets on Tuesday had nothing to do with the team's pitiful performance thus far in 2018.
General Manager Sandy Alderson is again battling cancer and is taking 'a leave of absence' from the team. However, all signs and statements from the 70-year-old Sandy say he will not be back with the Mets, even if he received a clean bill of health.
The press conference aired LIVE on WFAN radio in New York City:
''You're diagnosed with cancer, you're cancer free for a period of time and it comes back - you gotta deal with it. But we've adjusted and as I said, the prognosis is good.''
In his absence, the team's GM responsibilities will be handled by a trio of notable executives, as reported by the Washington Post:
Assistant general manager John Ricco and special assistants J.P. Ricciardi and Omar Minaya will run the team’s baseball operations in Alderson’s absence. Minaya preceded Alderson as Mets general manager, and Ricciardi was GM of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2001-09.
When asked if he will have any role in day-to-day operations - as he did when he first battled the disease after the 2015 season - Alderson highlighted the differences in the two situations, while at the same time virtually saying he hasn't performed well enough to deserve an opportunity to rectify the stumbling franchise.
''One difference between then and now is that took place in the offseason....much easier to manage that with offseason activity,'' Alderson said of his prior surgery and chemotherapy. ''I had the decision making authority basically, at that time. I will not have the decision making authority going forward. I do not expect to be involved in the day-to-day activity'', he said, adding that if team officials wanted to call him for input, he would take their call.
Here are other notable quotes from Tuesday's presser:
''I feel personally responsible for the results that we've had. At the same time, I have confidence in our manager, our coaching staff and our players that this will change.''
When asked if he could/would return if he received a clean bill of health:
''...Not withstanding the good prognosis, my health is an uncertainty going forward. Second, if I were to look at it on the merits, I'm not sure coming back is warranted.''
In other words, based on the results, I wouldn't hire me back and I don't expect the Mets too, either. Alderson said he was disappointed with where the team sits in the standings and for how disappointing the season has been for Mets fans.
He also gently called out under-performing players, specifically the free agent signings he made this past offseason. When asked about his biggest mistake, Alderson quipped, ''Are you talking about eight years, or over the last six months.'' After reporters chuckled at that response, he offered a more serious, critical answer:
''Well look, we signed - I don't know - five or six free agents over the offseason, and really not one of them has performed up to their expectations, or probably ours either.''
Alderson has served as the Mets general manager since 2010. At the time of his announcement the team sat fourth in the NL East standings at 31-45, despite their incredible 10-1 start to the season.