Asked for what would constitute a successful season, GM Sandy Alderson did not take a page out of Fred Wilpon’s “meaningful games in September” playbook. In fact, the GM left himself extremely wide latitude.
“I don’t try to define that,” Alderson said Thursday, as the Mets began a workout in Miami. “I can say winning the World Series, and anything less would be unsuccessful. But somewhere between where we were last year and winning the World Series.”
As for the outside pessimism about the team, Alderson added: “I believe that’s human nature and that’s sort of reality. We just have to deal with it. We have to go out and prove what we feel we can communicate to others. You do that by going out on the field, playing a certain way and winning games.”
While any other GM would say something similar, Alderson said it would be welcome, but is not critical, that the Mets get off to a fast start.
“I think the first part of any season is important,” he said. “I wouldn’t call it crucial in this case, or in any other case. But it’s nice to get off to a good start because it sets a tone, creates a perception. That’s something that only the beginning of the season offers.
“I don’t think this team needs to get off to a good start to build its confidence or anything of that sort. I think there’s plenty of confidence here. I think we’ve played very well in the spring, particularly in the last week or so. If we play as well during the season as we have in spring training, particularly recently, we’re going to win a lot of games. That’s the mindset that they have. Getting off to a nice start would reinforce that. It’s not critical, but it would be nice. And in our case, extra nice because of the low expectations some people seem to have -- not us, but others.”
Said Terry Collins on that subject: “We’re in a situation where we need to build confidence on this club that we can compete, which I do believe it’s here. I watched these guys every day and talked to them. I thought we had a very, very good spring. I know these guys feel they can play with anybody. A lot of times the wins in April sometimes can be ignored, and they’re very important, as wins are in September. For us to build up some confidence and get our fans back on board, it’s important for us to get starts [well].”