Thursday, October 21, 2010

Regardless of Next Mets GM, Winning is Paramount

Matthew Cerrone over at wrote a post today on why he thinks the Mets need Sandy Alderson. Alderson might be the right guy for the job. Logan and Hahn could also be good options in my opinion, but one thing in the post that stood out to me was a closing statement that read:

"...winning is not necessarily the most important short-term goal. Instead, working to create an environment for winning is more necessary..."

Now is probably my most visited site and favorite sports blog, but in this instance they're wrong.

Winning in sports, unlike other areas of life, solves almost every problem. The Mets have had their fair share of off the field issues. No question. But we are honing in on those issues because we can't talk about how good the team is. Losing has blinded us from baseball matters and forced us to focus on anything else. A winning team can solve the Mets issues. Environment has little to do with it.

It won't excuse the players misconduct. K-Rod should still be punished. Players with legal issues have to be dealt with. But do we honestly think the 1986 Mets had "an environment for winning?" From everything I've read and heard the 1986 clubhouse was a lair of misfits with issues around every corner. From Keith smoking cigarettes in between innings, to Doc & Darryl doing who knows what off the field, to Ray Knight throwing punches, the '86 team was not a wining environment. Need a modern day example? Look at this year's Jets team, the '98 Bulls, or pretty much any Cowboy Super Bowl team. A wining environment would be a laughable description for any of those. They were just plain winners because they did what was needed on the field/court.

In today's day and age of political correctness, heightened sensitivity and coddling of our children, we have come to believe that the right "environment" will breed success in the workplace or home or school.


When it comes to baseball, winning trumps everything. You can't stand your ace pitcher? Who cares if he win 19 games. Don't like your right fielder? He's batting .300 with 30+ homers and you'll love him.

Winning seasons can right the most off course teams. A winning environment is only half right. Drop the second half and you've got yourself a proposition.


bryan said...

Who can forget an enibriated Rafael Santanna urinating himself on the flight back from Houston after Gaem 6 86 that's winning baseball!

Great post!

dave said...

LOL. i totally forgot about that story! Oh silly Raf.

Matthew said...

I agree: winning cures all, and it's the most important thing.

The problem is, that's easier said than done.

My point was, in order to reach that goal, in order to win, you must first create an environment in which people can succeed, act intelligently, and make good decisions that lead to winning.

Just saying, "win," as if it can be willed or ordered like a sandwich off a menu is too idealistic.

If it was that easy, the Mets would be winning. In fact, every team would be a success. But, they're not.


Because Citi Field is a mess and people are scrambling and not thinking right. That first needs to change so that smart people can start making smarter choices.

dave said...

Matt - i understand your point and calling the aura around Citi Field a mess is almost an understatement.

my point is less focus on "environment" and more focus on the right talent. put a winning product on the field and the rest will follow.

it would be pollyanna-ish for me to think that it's simple to achieve but i don't think it has to do with creating a better persona or environment around the team.

i think we can all agree we want to see fewer Oliver Perez signings and more Roy Halladay-esque moves which have slipped thru our fingers of late.

to your point on environment, i wonder if a new GM will even be able to impact it. might be an issue with ownership rather than the GM.

in any case, thanks for sparking my armchair GM tendencies with your post. I trust you're hoping for a Giants/Rangers series as well.

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