Matthew Cerrone over at Metsblog.com 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 Metsblog.com 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.