On what’s next for the Mets front office and why diversity matters

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Andy Martino
·3 min read
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Sandy Alderson and Steve Cohen treated art with faded background
Sandy Alderson and Steve Cohen treated art with faded background

For a few weeks at least, it had all fallen into place for the Mets front office, both for now and in the years to come.

Sandy Alderson would mentor GM Jared Porter, who could eventually ascend to president of baseball operations and succeed Alderson in running the Mets. Assistant GM Zack Scott would grow into the general manager job.

That dream died this week, when Porter’s misconduct cost him his job. But Alderson and Steve Cohen’s vision of humanistic, empathetic culture remains alive. Now, they will have to shuffle the remaining personnel and be more mindful of staffing the organization with gender, racial, and ideological diversity.

During Tuesday’s news conference, Alderson was noncommittal about the front office structure post-Porter. We can report that in the days since, Scott has been functioning as a de facto GM, while Alderson is still the de facto president of baseball operations.

The Mets would love to promote Scott, and are weighing if he has enough experience for that particular role yet. People who know Scott, 43, from his 17 years in the Red Sox organization speak extremely highly of his abilities and character. The Mets, too, have been impressed so far, and are optimistic that he will develop a strong presence with players and the media during his early months on the job in New York.

It is possible that the Mets will also bring in a seasoned executive not to run baseball operations, but to advise Alderson and help to mentor Scott. Former Angels GM and Yankees executive Billy Eppler is one name on that list, according to league sources.

Eppler, 45, is known to value the process-based approach that Alderson pioneered, and is affable and popular among colleagues.

If the Mets hire Eppler, they would also need to immediately get to work diversifying the perspectives in their hierarchy.

There were two powerful moments in Tuesday’s news conference: One, when Hannah Keyser of Yahoo! Sports asked Alderson if any of the rave reviews about Porter he had heard had come from conversations with women.

“No,” Alderson conceded, while clearly reflecting on what that needed to change.

He later added, “There does need to be more diversity across the industry. We need more diversity at the Mets.”

That leads to the second most powerful moment, when Alderson named his inner circle: Scott, Tommy Tanous, Bryn Alderson, Ian Levin, Joe Lefkowitz, Ben Zauzmer. All highly capable people who the Mets are lucky to have. And all white men.

We’re not saying this to cast aspersions. The writer of this article is a 40-year-old white man. There are simply not enough people either in the game or covering it with background and perspectives different from ours.

Think of it this way: It took a woman to ask the most pertinent question of Alderson, after several men didn’t think to.

As far as front offices, it remains largely a boys club -- a white boys club at that -- in both makeup and mentality. While Alderson asked multiple people about Porter during the search process, the rave reviews that came back were formed by the same basic worldview.

Hiring Eppler wouldn’t solve this particular issue for the Mets. It would only work if he were allowed to recruit a variety of voices in the rank-and-file as the Mets fill out their staff.

That would be a necessary step toward the organization’s ambitiously progressive goals -- goals which they have not yet achieved.

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
St. Louis
+115--
NY Mets
-139--