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Sandy

What is it Olive Garden says? “When you’re here, you’re family.” Learning that Sandy Alderson has to step away from his general manager responsibilities [1] because he needs to devote his attention to cancer treatment and recovery was like finding out somebody in the family has taken ill. Having dealt with that kind of familial situation twice, I don’t draw the comparison lightly.

We as hardcore fans are around the Mets, spiritually if not physically, all the time six months out of every year and plenty the other six months. We bicker with the Mets like they are family and we get them in a way others don’t like they are family and, despite all their foibles, we care about them like they are family.

Sandy’s been our baseball team’s general manager for eight seasons. He’s Sandy, not Alderson, usually. He doesn’t know the bulk of us from a hole in the head, but I think he cares for us as we care for him. He wants what’s best for us. He wants a winning team and a winning season. That his administration hasn’t delivered it more than intermittently (and not at all lately) doesn’t detract from the dedication he’s shown, both before and during his diagnosis. This is the second time he’s faced cancer. It’s enough of a foe that many don’t get a second swing. I hope he makes the most of it. I hope he experiences a great recovery. He says he doesn’t know if he’ll be back, no matter his health, that he doesn’t know if he merits a longer term in office. That’s a decision for another day. Sandy’s been a mensch in our lives since 2011. So has Alderson. Our thoughts are with him tonight.

There are relevant issues for the Mets as they go forward during his leave of absence and beyond. The GM job will be shared in the interim by John Ricco, Omar Minaya and J.P. Ricciardi, with Jeff Wilpon no doubt having his say. The Mets haven’t been burning up the league, we’ve surely noticed. There’s much improvement to be had, much work to be done. There’s much to debate, discuss and let off steam about.

Soon. Soon enough, certainly. For now, best wishes to Sandy Alderson, from this branch of your Mets family.