Sandy Alderson is infuriating with his “lawyer speak,’’ which is the art of answering a question without saying something. After hearing him Monday on Mike Francesa, who, of course, did not ask the appropriate follow-up questions, I will give you that public service:
ON FIRST BASE CHOICE WITH IKE DAVIS OPTIONED:
Alderson answer: Terry [Collins] will have three options. Daniel Murphy can move to first base and we can play Jordany Valdespin everyday at second base. A second option will be to play Josh Satin at first base and leave Murphy where he is. Third, but not likely would be playing Lucas Duda at first. We’ve told Murphy about first base and he understands that if we do move him, we’re not looking to shift him to first base permanently. But basically if we move Murph it gives us a chance to evaluate Valdespin who we need to look at closely.
Obvious follow-up: If they’ve been thinking about this for a while, then why didn’t they have an action plan in place? Three options is not a plan. In addition, after saying they wanted Murphy and Duda to stay in their new positions earlier, why the change? Does this indicate unhappiness with Murphy at second? If the move is not permanent, can we deduce they are doing this to ascertain Valdespin’s trade value?
ON DAVIS DEMOTION:
Alderson answer: “With respect to Ike Davis, we went about it as long as we could. In retrospect we should have done it sooner. He needs to get away from the voices in his ear. Hopefully the hitting environment in Las Vegas will be the right environment to turn it around.’’
Obvious follow-up: If they waited too long on Davis, what was the turning point in making the decision? What kind of pressure did Alderson feel, if any, by hearing the crowds booing Davis? Was that not an indicator. We’ve heard so much about the Las Vegas climate as being detrimental to pitching, so wouldn’t the obvious be true with a bump in numbers be misleading in evaluating Davis? What exactly will Davis be evaluated on? The Mets, collectively, abandoned the club’s hitting approach, so will that be hammered into Davis’ psyche? Francesa should have also asked about Davis’ contractual status and whether the team is inclined to not tender a contract.
ON KIRK NIEUWENHUIS PROMOTION:
Alderson answer: “We felt that Kirk Nieuwenhuis needed to play here in the majors.’’
Obvious follow-up: How can he say that when Nieuwenhuis is still striking out at an alarming rate? If they want to find out about Nieuwenhuis, then why did they sign Rick Ankiel? Alderson said Ankiel bought them some time with Nieuwenhuis. How much? Three weeks?
ON LUCAS DUDA AND RUBEN TEJADA NOT BEING CONSIDERED CORE PLAYERS:
Alderson answer: Alderson said he didn’t look at either as being a core player or significant future player.
Obvious follow-up: When the decision to not re-sign Jose Reyes, you expressed optimism with Tejada. He hit over .280 last year and played well in the field. Yes, he’s had troubles this year, but was that a large enough window to make that decision? What does he have to do? … If Duda isn’t considered part of the core, then why move him to left? Didn’t the team have any other outfield options other than him, and if it didn’t, then who is responsible for void?
ON TERRY COLLINS’ JOB SITUATION:
Alderson answer: “Anytime you hit a rough patch people speculate about players and staff, but this is about player performance and I don’t believe our staff performance has been bad. If its a player issue, then that’s on me. I’ve been in situations where we change hitting coaches every year but I honestly don’t think that’s our problem. Terry is working his butt off and we are not considering changing anything.’’
Obvious follow-up: Can that be interpreted as an endorsement for next year and beyond? Doesn’t endorsing the manager and coaching staff send a message to the players that the problem is on the field?