By Jason Schott - Associate Editor - @JESchott19
Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson addressed the media on Saturday afternoon and talked about the payroll, how he feels this season has gone, and Citi Field.
On free agents he brought in, Alderson said, "Well, coming into this season we did have money to spend. It was money that had come off the books and reallocated. So we signed Curtis Granderson, Bartolo Colon. We brought in Chris [Young]. We did some other things. So our payroll this year is roughly the same as it was last year, but we reinvested quite a bit of that money.
"Look, what I have said on many occasions is it's not up to you to come and create a situation where we can improve our payroll. We need to play better with what we have. And I don't define that in terms of payroll, but with the players that we have. We're two months into this season. As I said, I think we're close. And I think we have the capacity to play better. Statistically, we've got to get back to ... average with respect to wins with one-run leads and that sort of thing.
Alderson said of the payroll heading into 2015, "So are we going to increase the payroll next year? I think that's something that we deal with after this season is over. If we're in a position [where] we're competing, we're vying for a wild-card spot or a division championship on July 31, I think we have the capacity to make a move. There's no question about that.
Alderson said of how this season has gone, "Look, with all of the frustration and disappointment that some of us feel, No. 1, it's a fairly recent phenomenon. You know, 10 days ago we were a game under .500. And we had a tough road trip. And I'm not trying to make excuses for me or the team or the players. We went into Philadelphia and won four out of five. That was an exhausting series. There's no question about that. And I think we got to Chicago and were maybe a little bit tired. Not an excuse. A lot of close games. We didn't win them. We played a better-than-Chicago-Cub team in San Francisco. All of those games were close. That was a six-day shutout. And that's what got us to where we are right now."
Alderson always sees positives, as he tries to sell the fans on his plan. "But, as I said before, we have some strengths. The pitching is a strength. We're getting there offensively. We're finding where we can fit the pieces in that lineup. I really do believe that we are close. So let's focus on what we have between now and the trade deadline. Let's see where we are. And then in the offseason, that's another question you can ask me and I'll have to answer again, for sure," said Alderson.
On the unending question of Citi Field, Alderson said, "This is our ballpark. We have to build a team that can be successful here. We may have some difference of opinion as to how to do that, but that's obviously what we're trying to do. As I said earlier, when we improved our outfield defense last year, we got much better in this ballpark. And so I think that was one example of how we have adapted. And I think those are the kinds of things we need to continue to do.
"At the same time, look, changing the ballpark is not a panacea for not hitting with men in scoring position. It's not going to change our rate of singles that we hit with a man at second base. So when I suggest that we look at the dimensions of the ballpark, that doesn't mean that I think that's the solution. It's just part of the equation. We're not trying to degrade the ballpark or shift the focus to the ballpark from other things as to why we don't win at home. But hopefully we'll take all of these things into account as we continue to try to get better at home," said Alderson.
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