Friday, November 11, 2011

Caught On Tape: Fred Wilpon & Sandy Alderson Discuss Strategy For 2012

"Sandy, we're phasing out color to cut costs."
In case you're wonder the bug we planted in Fred Wilpon's Citi Field office is still functioning fine.  Here's what it picked up a couple of mornings ago:

Fred Wilpon: Hi Sandy.  Thanks for coming in so early.  Sit, sit.  Can I get you a coffee?

Sandy Alderson: Thanks Fred, sure.  Black with one sugar please.

FW (into intercom):  Heather.  Bring Mr. Alderson a black coffee with one sugar.

FW: Sandy, I've been giving it a lot of thought and have come up with several great ideas to keep the team moving forward while acting in a responsible manner when it comes to.... finances.  Oh, good, here's your drink.

Heather: Here you are Mr. Alderson.  That'll be one dollar, please.

SA:  Really Fred?   And what is this.  Heather are you a Candy Striper?

FW: Heather- that's alright.  Put Mr. Alderson's coffee on my tab.  

(Sound of door closing as Heather exits)

FW:  We found Heather at a local hospital.  She told me that she's a huge Mets fan.  Her work is top notch.  And she was working as a volunteer over there.

SA: Well (jokingly) I hope you are paying her better here than over there.

FW:  Not really, actually.   Anyway.....   Sandy tell me how things are going with Jose (Reyes).  You know I am very fond of that young man and want him to be our shortstop for years to come.  Where have we left it with him?

SA: Jose and his agent are sifting through offers from other teams.  My impression is that he loves New York and would stay here if we can come close to what he is being offered elsewhere.  My best guess is that he'll get offers of five years for anywhere from $90 million to perhaps as much as $105 million.

FW:  Hmmmm.   What do you think he would say to us if we offered say 3 years,  $36 mill?

SA: I think he'd say: "Adios - mis amigos locos!"

FW:  Well, I'll have to think some more on it but I think that's about as far as I could go.  What would we do at shortstop if he does sign elsewhere?

SA: Then we'd give Ruben Tejada the job.

FW: Yes, Ruben.  You know I am very fond of that young man and want him to be our shortstop for years to come.

SA: But you just said that about.....    Nevermind.

FW: Moving on.  I've been thinking about retooling our scouting department.   Here's my plan -  we fire everybody.

SA:  Fred you can't do that!  How the hell would we know who to draft every June?

FW:  I've thought of that Sandy, don't worry.  I am going to get you subscriptions to Baseball America and sign you up as an ESPN Insider.  That way you can read Buster Olney and Keith Law all the time.    Then I've bookmarked a number of fantasy baseball prospect sites and other teams' blogs.  A smart guy like you with the help of JP and Paul will be able to figure out who to draft and we'll save a couple of million bucks that way.

SA:  I REALLY don't have a good feeling about that Fred.  We'll have to talk about that some more.  What else do you have?

FW: As you know Sandy I attend almost all of our home games.  No matter how bad the team has been the fans generally don't start streaming out of the park with their heads down til the 7th inning at the earliest.  I'm thinking that there really is no reason to light the parking lots and Robinson Rotunda during the first 2/3 of the game.  We can save money on electricity and spin it as good for the ecology.  Then after we bat in the 6th on come the lights.  Don't you love it?

SA:  I think it sounds a bit chintzy actually.

FW: Then you probably also wouldn't be too thrilled with my idea to dim the stadium lights by about 20%.  I'm figuring that the guys who can catch flyballs like Bay and Pagan still wouldn't be hurting in a slightly less bright ballpark while guys like Harris, Scott Hairston, and God forbid that we use Daniel Murphy out there wouldn't be helped even if they were standing on the planet Mercury.

SA: No Fred.  I can't endorse doing that either.   I hope we're almost done here because I have a lot of thinking to be done back in my office.

FW: The only other thing I have left here on my agenda was how we might cut down on our medical expenses.  I'm shelling out about a thousand bucks every time we do an MRI on some kid's hangnail.  Do you think we can switch to some kind of voucher plan?   We'll give each player a medical expense account of some amount and then if they exceed their limit they'll have to pay out of pocket.  These guys make a lot of money.  They can afford it.  What do you say?

SA:  Wow.

All articles featured on The Apple are fictitious. No Mets were harmed in the writing of this story. Story by Larry Smith.  You can follow Larry Smith on twitter @dr4sight.   

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