Of course, it's not an elected position, but lets not get bogged down in the details, ok?
He and I talk about this fact and more.
TH: Howard, why are you running to be the Mets' next General Manager?
HM: I am running to be the next General Manager because I believe the Mets can be run using the three pillars of LOGIC, TRANSPARENCY and PASSION. Logic will mean making plans that makes sense at Points C, D and E, not simply at Point A (see Mejia, Jenrry). Transparency means that you'll know why I made these moves every step of the way- I will be consistently available to both the media, and more importantly, to the fans. And Passion comes from my having lived and died with this team since age six, obsessing over moves both large and small, major and minor, baseball-related and those affecting the fans. None of them will be overlooked on my watch.
TH: Are you aware that this is not an elected position? If not, does that make you as crazy as the dude on the corner of 14th street, warning me about the apocalypse?
HM: I am aware that no one has been elected General Manager of the Mets yet. But I can think of no innovation that didn't have its skeptics. All over Europe and elsewhere, soccer teams choose their own team presidents, because the fans express their collective will. I believe if we present the Wilpons with an organized expression of our collective will, they will listen. They do care about what the fans think, more than most owners. We simply need to give them an affirmative plan of what we want. That is what my campaign will do.
TH: Your campaign is based on Logic, Transparency and Passion. I'm disappointed. There's no rhyme. LTP? What's that stand for? Shouldn't there be a hidden message?
HM: Just the opposite, in my opinion. The Mets have a generous annual payroll, one of the highest in baseball. They have the ability to spend on things other teams simply can't. They have a terrific stadium, and a fan base extremely eager to buy into any reasonable success. And they can offer players the best place in the world to live. So this is really all it takes to build a consistent winner here. It isn't rocket science. It is basic principles, applied rationally.
TH: Do you realize that the Mets aren't hiring a GM right now? In fact, if the playoffs started today, the Mets would be the wild card?
HM: Ultimately, it will be up to the Mets, and the fans, to determine if they want to change course, now or ever. In my time covering the Mets, and in my time loving the team, there have been so many ups and downs, easily-preventable baseball travesties and unexpected joys. In other words, luck has played almost the entirety of the role in success and failure. And since, as Branch Rickey put it, "Luck is the residue of design", that's meant two world championships since 1962, despite all the advantages cited above. We can do better.
HM: No, like Theo Epstein, this would be my first GM experience. I have covered the Mets and baseball for a host of outlets from SNY.tv to MLBTradeRumors.com for years. I haven't always been right, but my track record of success and failure in analyzing individual moves is one I'd put up against anyone in baseball. I have gameplanned out running the organization through hundreds of computer simulations using Baseball Mogul as well- war gaming traditional management doesn't do, which is crazy. No general in our armed forces would make a battle plan without gaming it out ahead of time. And failure to do so makes logic in down-the-road acquisitions that much harder.
TH: What is your favorite minor league baseball promotion?
HM: I've never met a promotion I didn't like. To me, that's something that would need to extend to the major league team as well. Furthermore, this idea that the Mets limit their promnotions to "first 25,000 fans" while the Phillies manage to have a giveaway to "all fans" is patently ridiculous. And the promotions don't need to just be about the teams that won it all- as suggested by Shannon Shark of Mets Police, we'd have a Lee Mazzilli Poster Day, for instance. We'd honor Felix Millan. I could see us having a Joe Orsulak Day. Under my watch, the Mets will embrace their entire history, even as we build a more successful future. On Day One of my tenure? We're bringing Banner Day back.
HM: Well, as you know, Toby Hyde has accepted a position as my Director of Minor League Operations. So I'd obviously consult with you on a range of matters. But I can start with one I know we already agree on. IT IS TIME FOR THE METS TO CONSISTENTLY DRAFT ABOVE SLOT. There is no greater way for the New York Mets to leverage their market advantage than by adding high-upside players to the farm system by drafting them in later rounds and convincing them to sign. I'd do my best to get the Wilpons to allocate additional money for this. And if the budget should remain fixed, well, I'd happily do without the services of whoever the next Alex Cora and Gary Matthews Jr. are, and spend that $4 million instead on players like Joba Chamberlain, Austin Jackson, Dellin Betances and Andrew Brackman.[poll id="2"]