His voice quavering at an unexpected news conference Captain Munnerlyn Jersey , Sandy Alderson revealed what he had just told his team moments before.
His cancer has returned, he’s taking a leave of absence – and his up-and-down tenure as New York Mets general manager is essentially over.
With the team in a massive tailspin, chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon and the 70-year-old Alderson made the announcement before Tuesday night’s game against Pittsburgh.
”With respect to the future, I would say two things: One is, notwithstanding the good prognosis, my health is an uncertainty going forward,” said Alderson, who agreed to a contract extension in December. ”And secondly, if I were to look at it on the merits, I’m not sure coming back is warranted.”
Asked whether he would like Alderson to resume his GM duties if his health eventually allowed that, Wilpon answered the same way twice: ”I think his health and his family are first and foremost.”
Assistant general manager John Ricco and special assistants J.P. Ricciardi and Omar Minaya will run the club’s baseball operations in Alderson’s absence. Minaya preceded Alderson as Mets general manager, and Ricciardi was GM of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2001-09.
Alderson was hired by the Mets after the 2010 season. He was diagnosed with cancer at the end of the 2015 season and had surgery, but stayed on the job. He reduced his work schedule at times but remained in a full-time role while undergoing chemotherapy treatments.
”One difference between then and now is that that took place in the offseason,” Alderson said. ”I had a surgery in the offseason, I had some chemo in the offseason. Much easier to manage that with offseason activity. I had the decision-making authority basically at that time. I will not have the decision-making authority going forward. If people want to call me Case Keenum Jersey , they’re welcome to do so. But at the same time, I don’t expect to be involved in day-to-day activity.”
Ricciardi, Minaya and first-year manager Mickey Callaway were all in the interview room at Citi Field when Alderson and Wilpon made the announcement.
Wilpon said Alderson informed him of his decision Sunday.
”It is paramount to all of us that care greatly for Sandy that he makes this a priority for him and his family,” Wilpon said, later adding: ”The wear and tear on Sandy, I’ve seen up close and personal. I talked to him a couple times about maybe taking a leave, maybe stepping away a little bit, and I had sort of forgotten about it because so much has been going on.”
According to players, Alderson broke down a bit as he spoke to his teary-eyed team in the clubhouse before addressing the media.
”It definitely puts life in perspective,” said outfielder Brandon Nimmo, who was Alderson’s first amateur draft pick in 2011. ”Just very somber news that we received. Our heart’s broken for him. He’s been through this battle before. He knows what’s in store.”
Mets captain David Wright, sidelined by injuries for more than two years, said players stood and gave Alderson a round of applause.
”I think there was a lot of jaws hitting the floor,” Wright recalled. ”I think we had a bit of an emotional talk. It wasn’t long, but at the end we certainly wanted to pay him respect.”
Alderson said a recurrence of his cancer was detected around late April or early May and he’s been receiving treatment since.
”I expect that the treatment will continue Pierre Desir Jersey , expect to have surgery later this summer. My prognosis is actually good. But in the meantime, the chemotherapy, the surgery, all take their toll,” Alderson said.
He said the treatment affects his energy level and leads to other side effects, explaining why he hasn’t been traveling on road trips lately.
”Which makes it difficult to stay up with sort of the pace, the tempo of the every day,” Alderson said. ”Operations continue, the game continues, we have a season to play. So I think in the best interests of the Mets and for my health, this is the right result.
”I feel badly that we’ve had the season that we have had to date. I feel personally responsible for the results that we’ve had,” he added. ”At the same time, I have confidence in our manager, our coaching staff, our players Jarvis Landry Jersey , that this will change. John, Omar, J.P., I’m sure will take a hard look at where we are, maybe take a fresh look at where we are and I have every confidence that they will serve the franchise well over the next few months through the end of the season.”
Alderson’s departure comes at a pivotal time for the Mets ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. Needing an infusion of young talent, they will likely look to sell off pending free agents such as closer Jeurys Familia, second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera and outfielder Jose Bautista. But ace pitchers Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard could command a huge return, and the front office must decide whether to embark on such a significant overhaul.
New York reached the 2015 World Series after rebuilding under Alderson and made it back to the playoffs the following year, but injuries and underperformance have decimated the team since.
After going 70-92 last year, the Mets replaced manager Terry Collins with Callaway and spent nearly $90 million to fill holes in free agency. They jumped out to an 11-1 start this season, but a 6-24 slide left them 31-45 with the fewest wins in the National League going into Tuesday night’s game.
”It’s been incredibly difficult,” Alderson said. ”And I’m reall Jon Gruden targeted Paul Guenther as his defensive coordinator in his return to Oakland even before he got the Raiders job, believing his aggressive defensive scheme was just what the team needed to reverse years of bad play.
Guenther's task has been even harder than originally thought because he is still waiting to get Oakland's best defensive player in camp.
Star edge rusher Khalil Mack skipped the entire offseason program and now extended his holdout into training camp as he seeks a long-term contract commensurate with the skills of one of the NFL's top defensive players.
"I really can't worry about that right now," Guenther said Sunday after Oakland's first padded practice. "I'm just trying to coach the guys who are out here. Obviously when he gets here, if he gets here William Jackson Jersey , he'll be an exciting piece to add."
There is no indication of when that time will come as Mack's camp and Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie have been quiet about negotiations. Mack is entering the final season of his rookie contract that is set to pay him $13.8 million and Oakland would have the option of using the franchise tag next offseason if no long-term deal is reached.
Mack is one of several prominent holdouts this summer, joining players like Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Seattle safety Earl Thomas. Pittsburgh running back Le'Veon Bell is also staying away from training camp but is not a holdout since he has not signed his franchise tender.
"He's working," fellow edge rusher Bruce Irvin said. "I talk to him every day. He misses it. You just know how it is. He's working his butt off and when he gets in here he'll be ready."
Mack has been one of the top defensive players in football since being drafted in the first round in 2014. He was a first-team All-Pro at both defensive end and linebacker in 2015 and won AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2016. He has 40 1/2 sacks in four seasons and leads the NFL in QB pressures with 185 1/2 since entering the league, according to SportRadar.
Free-agent acquisition Tank Carradine has taken over Mack's role at defensive end on the base defense but is not an accomplished pass rusher. The Raiders hoped to upgrade that rush by drafting defensive end Arden Key and tackles Maurice Hurst and P.J. Hall.
Key and Hurst have shown good bursts early in training camp as the Raiders prepare without Mack.
"We can't worry about who isn't here because when Khalil gets tired, when he goes out of the game, the guys who are here have to go into the game and play while he is tired," Irvin said. "He rarely gets tired, but when he does those guys have to be ready. We're focused on getting these young guys ready and that stuff will take care of itself."
Irvin is also taking on a bigger role in the pass rush after spending his first two seasons in Oakland as an outside linebacker who also rushed the passer.
Irvin dropped into coverage on almost one-third of pass plays last season, according to SportRadar. But Guenther plans to use him almost exclusively as a defensive end in his defense.
"I just think his best gift is going forward," Guenther said. "That's what he should be doing each and every down. Instead of playing linebacker and dropping into coverage, we have to utilize his and everybody else's talents the best we can."
NOTES: CB Gareon Conley has missed the past two days with a hip strain sustained on the first day of practice. ... RB Jalen Richard left practice with an undisclosed injury.
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