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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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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 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.

7 comments to Sandy

  • Dr. Louis Verardo

    After listening to Sandy’s press conference on the way home today from work, and hearing him assume responsibility for the team’s performance this year in spite of his illness, I feel I have witnessed a person of extraordinary character. It has been too long since I have seen someone in the public eye behave in such a manner, and I can only echo Mickey Callaway’s observation that “he is one bad-ass Marine”.

    Semper fi, Sandy Alderson.

  • JoeyC

    We all wish Sandy a long life. The fact that Sandy was a Marine Corps officer, then a Harvard Law School graduate, then a World Series champion says a lot about his character. This guy has real balls.

    Is it too soon to wonder whether three separate guys, each with his own viewpoints and ambitions, will be easier for Jeff Wilpon to control? Or can three men who presumably know something about baseball now have more success standing united against the architect of the Great Wall of Flushing?

  • Dave

    It says a lot that Sandy provided his own self-assessment while making this announcement; much is said about players or other team personnel having what it takes to make it in, or deal with – or neither – New York. Sandy has chewed up and spit out a lot worse.

    One beat reporter’s take was that he essentially fired himself. Perhaps that’s true. We have all critiqued his work and his performance, and that’s all fair, but he was hired to do a thankless, bloody well near impossible job, and we played World Series games. Nobody saw that coming until it was about to happen, yet it did. His tenure has not been the most fruitful in the franchise’s history. But he’s been a completely standup guy, he’s been stifled by the Wilpons investing in Madoff first and the Mets second (arguably third or fourth), and while we remain enormously frustrated, the culture is certainly different now than it was before he was here. I’m not betting against him.

  • LeClerc

    A sad and honorable leave-taking.

    Callaway chose the perfect words to show his gratitude.

  • Gil

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery for one of our guys.

  • Orange and blue through and through

    This is about as bad as it gets. A dysfunctional, large, noisy family that rarely gets together in one place at the same time, finds out their gruff, well-meaning Uncle has a terrible illness. Each member of the family is appropriately shocked; thinking of all the awful things they each may have said or thought about this Uncle. But, there is not one of them who truly, down deep, can say they know a better man.

    We as Mets fans are this family. We may say this member is an idiot, or that one is a moron; a right given by time and love, but let someone outside the family say something bad, and then, we have a problem. All the rest of our problems now pale in comparison.

    I didn’t always agree with everything Sandy Alderson did, but he is a very good man who held his pain privately and who celebrated his successes humbly. My brother battled the same foe that Mr. Alderson confronts. I wish Sandy far better results.