“The Mets are a storied franchise, if you will,” Alderson said. “Some of the stories have been good. Some of them have been bad. If we want to be an iconic franchise, which I think we are capable of doing, we have to write more good stories than bad, and occasionally we have to write a really epic story. That’s what excites me about these next few months and years, because I think we have the chance to do that.”
Alderson, who served in the United States Marine Corps. and earned a law degree from Harvard, has long chafed at the Mets’ reputation for comedic chaos and unforced errors. A former general manager, Steve Phillips, likes to say that to run the Mets is to see the pile of manure in your path but step in it anyway.
In Cohen, Alderson said, he found an owner who could restore respectability and shed the well-earned label for slapstick. On Tuesday’s call, Alderson read from a memo he prepared for Cohen outlining his mission.
“First page, second paragraph,” Alderson said. “A vision for new ownership: to create an iconic major league franchise respected for its success — competitive and financial success — and how it achieves that success, and for its commitment to fans and community.”
Respect should flow not merely from winning, Alderson said, but from the way a team operates. As an initial good-will gesture last week, Cohen restored the pre-pandemic salaries of all Mets employees, reversing the 5 to 30 percent pay cuts implemented in March. He also established a relief fund for seasonal employees who work at Citi Field.
Those gestures cost Cohen about $9.5 million, he said last week — or less than the Mets would have spent on Brad Hand, an All-Star reliever for the Cleveland Indians who went unclaimed by every team on waivers last week. Had Cohen been in place, Alderson said, the Mets might have made the $10 million claim.