Sandy Alderson back to using 90 wins as talking point for Mets

Written By kom nampuldu on Rabu, 01 April 2015 | 18.18

PORT ST. LUCIE — Much was made of Sandy Alderson's 90-win saga from last spring. Perhaps too much.

That number and that season-long conversation, though, may have spurred the change in culture the Mets are going through now.

That is a good thing.

Alderson is not about to shy away from that number this spring.

"What I said last year was that we need to think about how we win 90 games,'' Alderson told The Post Tuesday at Tradition Field. "I think that continues to be our goal. How do we go about winning 90 games?

"If we have an expectation of doing that, how do we basically execute on that?

"I never made a prediction before and I am not about to make a prediction now, but we have to think in those terms.''

So, 90 wins is not a prediction.

It is, though, a living, breathing challenge. Call this season 90 Revisited.

Are these Mets up for such a challenge? Has the tide of losing finally turned and was the 90-win talk from a year ago the spark that ignited the change?

"If that started a change in the conversation and in the mind-set a year ago, that we are closer to fulfilling now, than good for us,'' Alderson said.

Good for the 2015 Mets.

The Mets are rolling this spring. They beat the Nationals 2-0 Tuesday at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Fla. to improve to 18-11. In mid-January, manager Terry Collins said the goal this spring was to build a platform of winning. They've done that.

This spring the Mets have outscored opponents, 169-115.

Spring-training records and numbers mean nothing come next week, of course, but they do mean something now, and that is not an April Fool's joke.

The Mets needed to have a good spring training to get the ball rolling in the right direction. They have done just that.

When asked what his expectations are for this team, Alderson said: "Higher than any other team that we've had here in New York since I've been here.''

The Mets have had six straight losing seasons — four with Alderson in charge.

Yes, it's time for a change.

The Mets are getting it together for the first time in a long time. It has to start somewhere. The talent gap has been too wide.

"I think trying to instill confidence and meeting realistic expectations, you start with expectations and then you to build confidence and the ability to meet them, gradually performance supersedes talk,'' Alderson said.

"Look it's spring training, but you know what, spring training can go two different ways so to this point, the expectations have translated into action and of course we have another transition point coming up into the regular season, it just keeps going.

"Every transition is important, and a little bit uncertain, but so far, so good.''

Exactly, so far, so good.

As for the hitting, the Mets are batting .289 and the additions of hitting coach Kevin Long and assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler continue to be two of the most important offseason acquisitions made by Alderson.

"There is sort of a group dynamic going on,'' Alderson said of the hitters. "All of these at-bats are interrelated because these guys are all talking about what they're doing, what they are trying to do, so the cumulative effect has really been excellent so far.

"It's been great from the very beginning,'' Alderson said of Long and Roessler. "They've been all-in since the very beginning. They've invested a lot of time before spring training to get up to speed with our hitters.

"They had credibility coming in based on experience with the Yankees, but credibility only goes so far if you can't back it up. So not only have they sustained on it, but they've built on it because everybody has bought in. I'm very impressed with the effort they've put in.''

If this success carries over to the season 90 wins becomes much more than a talking point.


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