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POST-SPRING TRAINING BLOGGER CHAT WITH SANDY ALDERSON. | metsgrrl.com

POST-SPRING TRAINING BLOGGER CHAT WITH SANDY ALDERSON.

I need to get some photos of Sandy Alderson, because I have none, and so I have to start every conference call post with a photo of Mr. Met.

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The transcript is up, so I will not give you the word for word; you can also go read my Twitter feed from 6:30-7pm tonight for highlights.

It blows my mind that I get invited to these. Of course, it also blows my mind that my cat decided that the exact moment the call started was the right time to start ripping apart a cardboard box in my office. My entreaties that I was on a conference call with Sandy Alderson had zero effect. I am beginning to doubt his level of Mets fandom.

The challenge with these calls is that everyone gets one question – there’s no chance for follow up. And everyone has their own area that they are particularly concerned with – which makes for a good overall call. I especially appreciate that no one is asking gimme kind of questions.

It’s hard to think about what to ask. I always try to ask something that I am hopeful no one else is going to ask. For today’s call especially, I didn’t have time to come up with a set of backup questions, so I pretty much prayed hard that I’d either go early enough in the call that no one could ask my question, or that my colleagues would be more concerned about other things. Of course, someone asked about the release of Perez and Castillo immediately, which was bound to happen, but it set up my followup which was: How much transparency is too much transparency? Lost in the Madoff mess is the fact that we have a new organization with new people like Sandy Alderson who want to get on the phone with bloggers and don’t give us any restrictions on what we can ask. No one is asking cupcake questions.

What I had noticed was the wave of backlash: no sooner did Alderson publicly admit that the fan sentiment had a factor in Castillo’s release than there was suddenly this Luis Castillo Fan Club that had never before made themselves known, complaining about his release. I noted that it seemed as though the fanbase seemed to instantly transform from anti-Castillo to 100% pro-Luis, all the time. I heard a small exasperated chuckle as I asked my question.

“I do believe that honesty is the best policy and that one needs to be as direct & candid as possible; I thought it would have been disingenous to say that fan influence hadn’t had any influence at all on the decision – that should have been patently obvious, you know, with a new management team, the whole notion of turning the page, etc, it was too obvious a consideration. Did that dictate our decision? No. maybe I was trying to be too subtle.

There are obviously things we can’t talk about at a particular moment – we try to be as straightforward as you can, and I didn’t think that that was even close to the borderline.”

I could be cynical and point out that the sudden blogger press conference scheduling immediately after the release of Perez and Castillo would mean that the blogs going into Opening Day would be filled with the pearls of Sandy Alderson’s wisdom and not yet more amateur financial analysis of the latest amendment to the Wilpon lawsuit. On the other hand, it could have been a genuine, “Whoops, we haven’t done anything with the bloggers in a while and we probably should before the season starts.” Maybe, probably, a mixture of both, which I think is okay, and not disingenuous. I am curious as to what the frequency of these calls will be during the baseball season, and what other blogger outreach they have in mind.

There is part of me that wants a blogger box, like Cleveland, but so much of the game for me is the experience of sitting in the seats with everyone else. I would not be able to do what I do from the press box or a blogger box, no matter how nice it might be to have an outlet to charge my phone (instead of carting around two backup batteries. What, you thought my iPhone got through 14 inning games without a backup?!)

Actual baseball that matters on television in less than a week!

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