Tag Archives: David Wright

Mets David Wright becomes ‘Face of MLB’


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy The New York Mets

Follow me @liamlaguerre 

 

Mets captain David Wright won the MLB’s “Face of MLB” contest.

The contest came down to a match up against Oakland’s Athletics’ infielder Eric Sogard and Wright.

“Captain America,” as Wright has come to be known, gained more retweets than Sogard by fans to win the contest.

 

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The 7 Line brand becomes part of Mets culture


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Terence M. Cullen

In the bar where Darren Meenan once sold t-shirts, he now holds court. People shake his hand and wish him well.

Only about four years ago Meenan, a Queens native, founded The 7 Line clothing company.

Now he and his brand have become fixtures in Mets culture. It’s hooked a younger generation, he said, that might not have the fond memories of the 1969 or 1986 World Series.

“Although there’s not a winning team on the field right now,” he said. “I try to turn our events into a mini playoff atmosphere.”

The 7 Line launched its 2014 calendar, the third of its kind, at McFadden’s at CitiField on Saturday, November 16, kicking off another year for the burgeoning brand.

Eighty women applied to be on the calendar, Meenan said, and then it was narrowed down to 31 as a “little tip of the hat to [Mike] Piazza.” The former catcher was enshrined in the Mets Hall of Fame in September. In total, he said, about 34,000 people voted to select the 12 ladies to be featured.

The calendar was photographed by Bryan Dewitt over two days in September and hundreds turned out to meet the dozen calendar girls and pose for pictures.

“It’s really exciting to support a growing fan base,” said Nayi Castro, who will adorn the August 2014 page. “It’s really fun.”

The brand’s fan base has increased in the last three years. What started as a clothing line is now part of team culture.

Last year, The 7 Line hosted seven group trips to Mets games – five at CitiField and two away games – with double that amount set for the 2014 season.

Those games include trips booked to Yankee Stadium, Miami, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

“It’s the fans,” he said. “The fans are doing it. They come to the games. They have a great time. They tell their friends. And that spreads like wildfire.”

Chris Leuth has been the Mets ticket representative for Meenan for the last few years.

“It’s a pleasure. Darren’s a great partner,” he said. “When I met Darren, I knew there was a lot of potential.”

The evening featured raffled paintings of Mets third baseman David Wright by David Majowicz.

Majowicz, a Mets fan, said the fan base wasn’t something he pined for, but fell in love once it came.

“I don’t know if it was something I was waiting for,” he said. “But when it happened, it was immediate.”

Meenan, however, said the growth of “The 7 Line Army” had nothing to do with him, but rather fans who wanted something more.

“We call it ‘The 7 line Army,’ but we’re a great group of people,” he said. “We enjoy having fun. We’re very respectful when we go to other ballparks. I think that kindness is kind of addictive. We’ll go to a Cubs bar and everyone will have a good time.”

 

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Mets place Wright on 15-DL, Baxter back


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

File photo

The Mets will have to fight on without their leader for a little while.

The team placed their captain, David Wright, on the 15-day disabled list this morning after he injured his right hamstring yesterday. “The Pride of Whitestone,” Mike Baxter, was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas to replace him on the roster.

Justin Turner started at third base for the 1:10 p.m. game today.



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Baseball meets art at All-Star FanFest


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Terence Cullen

It was a bright day at Citi Field, Mr. Met on the JumboTron and traffic on all surrounding parkways was bumper-to-bumper.

Then the sky fell dark as artist Charles Fazzone took a paintbrush to the heavens and made it a midnight blue. A group of people gathered around his work station and marveled as Fazzone painted the 3-D portrait of the ballpark.

His goal was to have the portrait, intended to portray a night game, finished in time for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 16.

“They’d like me to finish it by Tuesday so I’m kind of rushing and so forth,” he said on Saturday, July 13. “I started at the studio—the drawing part of it—the painting part of it I’ve been working for quite a few days.”

Fazzone and his art were one of many attractions at the T-Mobile FanFest last weekend as the baseball world gathered in New York for the Mid-Summer Classic. He has done the cover art for every All-Star Game program since 2003, with the exception of the 2006 match-up in Pittsburgh.

Along with Fazzone’s exhibit, FanFest included pieces of history, games and some of baseball’s legends. Mets alumni John Franco, Edgardo Alfonzo and Mookie Wilson served as ambassadors, with team captain and third baseman David Wright as its spokesperson.

Fazzone said his paintings for the game are auctioned off by MLB, will all proceeds going to Stand Up 2 Cancer, which helps fund cancer research. Fazzone said the painting he worked on at Fan Fest could go for anywhere between $18,000 to $35,000.

The New Rochelle-based artist, who considers himself a “New York fan” when it comes to baseball, said he was glad this year’s game was in the city, where he has a large group of collectors.

“It’s very special to me because this is my largest collector base of fans,” he said. “It’s really nice to be to be here in New York because all the FanFests have been in different cities for so long. And I know the city so well and people familiarize my artwork with being New York artwork.”

 

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Mets’ Captain David Wright to start in All-Star Game at Citi Field


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo Stock

The ballots are counted and it appears fans around the country made the Wright choice.

Mets third baseman  David Wright will be starting for the National League team in the MLB All-Star game, which will be played at Citi Field on July 16.

The Amazing’s captain outpaced San Francisco Giants Pablo Sandoval, who bested Wright for the starting spot last year. Wright, who fans dubbed “Captain America” during the World Baseball Classic, is currently batting .305, with 13 homeruns. This will be his seventh All-Star game appearance.

All-Star voting ended on July 4 at 11:59 p.m. and the results were announced on July 6 at 6:30 p.m. on a Fox special All-Star game show. The show also revealed that Mets phenom Matt Harvey will make his first appearance in the Mid-Summer Classic. As one of the biggest surprises of the 2013 baseball season, Harvey (7-2, 2.27, 141 strikeouts) is expected to be the starting pitcher for the All-Star game.

The last time the Mets hosted the All-Star game was in 1964, the first season for Shea Stadium. Ron Hunt was the only Met to start that game.

As for Yankees fans, second baseman Robinson Cano will start for the American League and closer Mariano Rivera was also selected to the All-Star team for his final season.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers, then thunderstorms and a chance of rain in the afternoon. High of 68. Winds from the East at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the South in the afternoon. Chance of rain 60%. Thursday night; Mostly cloudy. Low of 54. Winds less than 5 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Hoppin’ Thursdays in Sunnyside

Area businesses are participating in Hoppin’ Thursdays in Sunnyside, a weekly promotion for the month of May. Thirty-three business are offering exclusive deals to customers. The deals include dining and drink specials, discounts on products and discounted salon services. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Police make arrest in Ozone Park rape

The man sought in the rape of a 20-year-old in Ozone Park Sunday has been arrested, said police. Read more: The Queens Courier

City Council passes paid sick leave bill

City legislators voted today to rectify the New York’s policy on paid sick leave, and now have enough support to override a veto from the mayor’s office. Read more: The Queens Courier

Man arrested for allegedly shooting realistic toy gun with kids in Queens park

A Queens man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly firing a lifelike weapon and handing it over to his toddler-age son. Read more: CBS New York

10 accused of auto thefts in Queens, Brooklyn

State police and Queens prosecutors say 10 men have been indicted on grand larceny and other charges for stealing cars from dealerships in Queens and Brooklyn for resale. Read more: AP/Fox New York

Mets slugger launches new program to keep spotlight on Sandy

The Mets’ star slugger is stepping up to the plate for those impacted by Superstorm Sandy. Read more: New York Daily News 

Police: Women left captor’s home twice in a decade

Three women found alive after a decade in captivity endured lonely, dark lives inside a dingy home where they were raped and allowed outside only a handful of times in disguises while walking to a garage steps away, investigators say. Read more: AP

David Wright named fourth captain in Mets history


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

File photo

During his injury-shortened tenure on Team USA this year, fans dubbed him “Captain America.”

But now, it’s official.

Third baseman David Wright was named the fourth captain in Mets history – joining the elite group with Mets legends Gary Carter, Keith Hernandez and John Franco. Unlike Hernandez and Franco, however, Wright will not wear the “C” on his jersey like those worn by NHL captains.

“This is probably one of the proudest days of my career so far,” Wright told reporters upon the announcement. “I think to be viewed in this light both by ownership, by [General Manager] Sandy [Alderson] in the front office, by the coaching staff and probably most importantly by the players is a great deal to me.”

Wright’s guarded the hot corner in Flushing since 2004, and has grown into a quiet leader on the team through playoff prospects and tragic collapses.

Last December, the 30-year-old signed one of the largest contracts in Mets history:  $138 million back-loaded over the next eight years, effectively making him a Met for life.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST 

Friday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain in the afternoon. High of 48. Breezy. Winds from the WSW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 20%. Friday night: Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain in the evening, then overcast with a chance of snow. Low of 32. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation 30% .

EVENT OF THE DAY: Wreck-It Ralph in 3-D at NYSCI

From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes a hilarious, arcade-game-hopping journey in 3-D. Wreck-It Ralph longs to be a hero. So when a new game arrives, he sneaks into it with a plan to win a medal, but soon wrecks everything, and accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens every game in the arcade. Playing at the New York Hall of Science Friday, March 15 and Friday, March 22 at 5 p.m. $9 adults/$7 children, seniors and students with ID. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Man charged in Queens murders, brush fire due in court

A Brooklyn man is due in court Friday in the murders of two men whose bodies were found in a burning brush fire in Queens. Read more: AP/ABC New York

Census records show more people are moving to NYC

The entrances to the Big Apple are now busier than the exits. For the first time in half a century, more people are moving into the city than moving out, helping to swell the population to a record of 8,336,697, according to Census data released yesterday. Read more: New York Post

Former New York Gov. Pataki endorses John Catsimatidis for NYC mayor

Billionaire mayoral hopeful John Catsimatidis on Thursday picked up his biggest endorsement yet: former Gov. George Pataki. Read more: New York Daily News

David Wright wants to rejoin U.S. Lineup; sore ribs a concern for Mets

David Wright was scratched from the World Baseball Classic game Thursday against the Dominican Republic because of sore ribs, and U.S. manager Joe Torre isn’t expecting him to rejoin the lineup. Read more: CBS New York

Critics wave knives and hockey stick at U.S. air safety hearing

The top U.S. transportation security official on Thursday defended his controversial move to allow small knives to be carried onto airplanes, despite protests from flight attendants and lawmakers who say it will endanger the flying public. Read more: Reuters

How will Pope Francis deal with church sex abuse scandal?

The election of a new pope could help heal the wounds left by a Roman Catholic sex abuse crisis that has savaged the church’s reputation worldwide. For alleged victims, much depends on whether Pope Francis disciplines the priests and the hierarchy that protected them. Read more: AP/ABC New York

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Partly cloudy with a chance of rain in the afternoon. High of 50. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 30%. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy with a chance of rain. Low of 30. Winds from the WNW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Keely Garfield Dance – Telling The Bees

The custom of telling bees after their beekeeper died was believed to keep them from absconding or dying and encourage their affiliation with a new beekeeper. This tradition assumes a reciprocal relationship between animals and humans, between past, present and future and between the lines of life and death. Performer Keely Garfield forages links between the waggle and round dances of the honeybees, their industrious, cooperative societies, the sweet results of their toil and the sting of breakdown in our own organizing principles. Runs from March 13-16 at The Chocolate Factory Theatre in LIC. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Arrest in connection to bodies found in Howard Beach brush fire

A Brooklyn man was arrested in connection to the two bodies found in a brush fire in the Spring Park Preserve last week, authorities have announced. Read more: The Queens Courier

Dangerous billboard hangs over Queens Boulevard, leaves neighbors furious

A deteriorating and potentially dangerous sign hangs over Queens Boulevard, and a neighbor has been complaining that no one has taken action to prevent a potential tragedy. Read more: CBS New York

Ewww! MTA says elevator at Woodside, Queens LIRR constantly breaking down on account of urine

This elevator is more than just a wee bit slow. A lift at the Woodside, Queens, LIRR and subway complex is constantly breaking down from damage caused by people peeing inside it, officials said Monday. Read more: New York Daily News

Two city Sandy rebuilding projects to receive full federal funding

Four post-hurricane rebuilding projects, including two in New York City, will now be fully funded by the federal government, to the tune of more than $1 billion. Read more: NY1

Black smoke as morning fails to bring new pope

Cardinals in secret conclave failed twice on Wednesday morning to elect a new pope, as black smoke over the Sistine Chapel showed ballots on the first full day of voting were inconclusive. Read more: Reuters

David Wright drives in 5 as Team USA rolls Puerto Rico

Gio Gonzalez gave Team USA its best start yet, and David Wright provided a big finish. Read more: CBS New York

 

Mets, David Wright officially announce new deal


| brennison@queenscourier.com

DWRIGHT

Mets fans have grown used to watching homegrown stars end up in another team’s uniform, from Tom Seaver to Darryl Strawberry and most recently Jose Reyes. David Wright’s recent eight-year contract with the Mets means that cycle might be broken.

Wright’s $138 million extension, first reported at the end of November, was officially signed on Tuesday, and will keep the third baseman with the team through 2020, when he will be 38.

“It’s a dream come true to be able to finish my career where I started it and hopefully add a championship or two,” Wright said at a press conference announcing the deal at baseball’s Winter Meetings in Nashville.

“To me there was no thought of ever putting on another uniform,” he said.

Wright thanked Mets fans who he said have stood by him through the ups and downs in his career. “They’ve seen a lot of strike outs, a lot of errors,” he said.

The Mets all-time leader in hits, runs, RBI, doubles, walks and total bases had one year remaining on his contract coming into the offseason, though both he and the team expressed a desire to complete a deal.

“This is a cornerstone relationship that we think will allow us to continue to build and provide a winning future for the Mets going forward,” said General Manager Sandy Alderson.

Wright is coming off a year in which he batted .306, scored 91 runs, slugged 21 home runs and knocked in 93 while coming in sixth in the National League’s Most Valuable Player voting.

The future of the Mets remains up in the air as the team  has finished below .500 for four consecutive years and is listening to offers for Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, but Wright’s confidence has not wavered.

“Things haven’t gone the way we would have liked them to the last couple of years, but that’s going to change,” Wright said.

“I’m going to give everything I have out there to bring a championship back to Queens.”

Fifty years of Amazin’


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Mets 50th Anniversary Logo - FINALw

The New York Mets are commemorating their golden anniversary in Amazin’ fashion.

In honor of their 50th season, the Mets, who played their first game on April 11, 1962, are initiating an array of tributes, including a new, celebratory logo.

Third baseman David Wright, first baseman Ike Davis and outfielder Lucas Duda were joined by six season ticket holders from the club’s inaugural season to introduce the changes on November 16.

The 50th anniversary logo integrates the same fundamental elements of the team’s classic blue and orange skyline symbol, with accents of gold to celebrate the milestone. The patch will be positioned in place of the current logo, on the left sleeve of team jerseys, as well as on the back of blue game caps.

The Mets will also don different uniforms, with blue pinstripe or white being worn at home and grey on the road, reflective of the jerseys the club wore in its inaugural season. The primary home uniform will be the pinstripe, paired with the blue caps, and white and black alternates will be worn only on select dates. The black dropshadow will also be removed from the Mets script logo, letters and numbers.

One of the Mets’ favorite pastimes, Banner Day, is also returning. Banner Day, which began in 1963, will have a unique 50th anniversary theme, complete with fans parading around the warning track holding signs representing their favorite memories from the team’s history.

Each decade of Mets history will be celebrated throughout the upcoming season with a series of alumni bobblehead giveaways, commencing in April with Mets legend and Hall of Famer Tom Seaver. Other promotional giveaways will include 50th anniversary logo caps, T-shirts and collectibles. One fortunate fan at each home game will also receive an authentic No. 50 jersey, embroidered with the name “FANTASTIC.”

To show reverence to the team’s past, the Mets Alumni Association presented by Citi will also make several appearances throughout the season, and new exhibits highlighting Mets 50th Anniversary artifacts will be featured in the Mets Hall of Fame & Museum in time for Opening Day on April 5.

To get information about the Mets’ plans for their golden anniversary, fans can visit the newly-launched Mets50.com web site. Visitors will be encouraged to share photos of their favorite Mets memories to enter the “FANtastic at 50” sweepstakes and win a pair of 2012 Mets season tickets. Other website features include an interactive timeline detailing significant and influential moments in Mets history and archival footage from the past half century.

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 11/17/2011: Top fund-raiser for Comptroller Liu charged with funneling sham donations


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Activist Patricia Dolan killed crossing Hillside Avenue

Patricia Dolan, longtime Community Board 8 member, president of the Queens Civic Congress, Kew Gardens Hills Civic Association and the founder of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Conservancy, was struck and killed as she crossed Hillside Avenue on Tuesday, November 15. Police say Dolan, 72, was crossing the thoroughfare near 198th Street — on her way to a CB 8 Transportation Committee meeting — when she was struck by a 1998 Nissan sedan driven by an unidentified 57-year-old woman.  EMS responded to the scene and took Dolan to Jamaica Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Read More: Queens Courier

David Wright expects to stick around with NY Mets for 2012 MLB season

David Wright joined Ike Davis and Lucas Duda for a press conference to announce some of the Mets’ plans for their landmark season, which includes the return of Banner Day and, in April, a Tom Seaver bobblehead day. Davis and Duda both pronounced themselves fit from the injuries that affected them last season — Davis’ ankle is “full-go right now” and Duda is over his concussion. Read More: Daily News

Fairway supermarket opens in Douglaston

Foul weather did not dampen the excitement on the lines of eager customers awaiting the grand opening of the long-anticipated Fairway Market. “It’s been so long since we had a nice, big [food] store like this,” said Doris Mayne of Douglaston.  “It’s about time.” Customers lined up over an hour before the doors first opened, anxiously awaiting the store that has been over two years in the making. Read More: Queens Courier

Politicians Push For Expansion Of Good Samaritan Law At Queens Anti-Crime Rally

Elected officials in Queens are calling on residents to come together to stop crime. In the wake of an attack on a young girl and several robberies, local politicians attended an anti-crime rally Wednesday in Astoria. They spoke about legislation, including expanding a Good Samaritan law to businesses. Read More: NY1

Romanian duo sent to prison for thefts using doctored Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards

Two Romanians in the U.S. on journalism visas were tossed in prison for up to three years Wednesday for starring in a true-crime story of theft by way of doctored Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards. Daniel Gheorghe and Ionel Cristian Popa, both 33, were convicted of re-encoding the gift cards with stolen bank account information and then using them to withdraw almost $18,000 from a JPMorgan Chase bank in Queens. Read More: Daily News

Noise abatement equipment muffles ear-splitting MTA fan in Hunters Point 

Silence is golden for noise-addled residents of Hunters Point. Noise abatement equipment recently placed on a large fan that exhausts fumes from a nearby subway tunnel has muffled its ear-splitting racket, according to state Sen. Michael Gianaris. Read More: Queens Courier

Top fund-raiser for Comptroller Liu charged with funneling sham donations

A top fund-raiser for Comptroller John Liu was busted by the feds yesterday for allegedly providing the city’s chief fiscal officer with thousands of dollars in sham donations in order to evade campaign-finance laws. The charges against Xing Wu “Oliver” Pan yesterday delivered a devastating blow to Liu’s ambitions of running for mayor in 2013, and have raised questions about his role as the city’s top fiscal officer. Read More: New York Post

Drugs hidden in innocent flier’s luggage

A former Yankee Stadium security guard lost his job, went through a humiliating full-body strip search and faced the threat of spending the rest of his life in jail — all because someone planted two bricks of cocaine in his luggage. Roger Levans, 56, of South Ozone Park, Queens, said the cascade of horrors began Dec. 29, 2010, after he got off his Delta Air Lines flight from Guyana, where he’d been visiting family for Christmas — and didn’t end until March, when the US Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn finally dropped its bombshell drug charges. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Mets Clubhouse – Hope on the Horizon


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

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As yet another baseball season comes to a close, I would like to thank all of the readers for checking in each week. In this final issue of Mets Clubhouse, I look towards the future and list several players fans may see in a Mets uniform a few short years from now.

There is one word that strikes fear into the heart of every sports fan: rebuild.

While rebuilding usually translates to not being competitive for several years, it can also spell a shift in direction and a positive change in philosophies.

Such a change is long overdue for the New York Mets.

The Mets must, and likely are, in rebuilding mode, and the hiring of Sandy Alderson last October proved that team ownership desires baseball minds focused on youth products rather than expensive signings. Management has already hinted at a significant payroll cut for the 2012 season.

With most franchises, long term success is only established when their minor league affiliates are regularly producing talent. The Mets already enhanced their farm system during the season by trading Carlos Beltran for highly respected pitching prospect Zach Wheeler. The team will look to continue to do so this offseason and during next summer’s First-Year Player Draft, during which the Mets could have up to three first-round picks if Jose Reyes decides to take his talents elsewhere.

The team’s compensation for losing their leadoff hitter could be the first-round pick of the team that signs him as well as a conditional first-round pick to group with the one they currently hold, which if the season ended today would be the 13th overall selection.
While this draft reportedly lacks the superstar talent that has been present in recent years, three early picks have the potential to bolster any farm system, particularly when Alderson is the man in charge of the selections.

Pitching is not a large concern for the Mets, with Wheeler, Matt Harvey and Jenrry Mejia as solid prospects, and hurlers Jonathan Niese and Dillon Gee already having success in the majors.

The Mets should therefore look to improve their performance at the plate next summer.

One prospect that may be available is outfielder Victor Roache. Roache, who attends Georgia Southern University, exploded last year as a sophomore to lead all of college baseball with 30 homeruns and 83 RBI. Roache would surely provide the Mets with the big bat the team is missing, as well as provide offensive production from the outfield, an area in which the Mets were greatly lacking this season.

While it appears unlikely that Arizona State shortstop Deven Marrero would fall to the Mets, Alderson could draft Stanford’s Kenny Diekroeger, who has hit .324 over two seasons with the Cardinal, to replace Reyes if he departs.

Other offensive options include LSU commitment Joey Gallo, a versatile player who has tremendous power at the plate and can reportedly throw 94 mph from the mound or across the diamond, or third baseman Trey Williams, a Pepperdine commitment with remarkable homerun hitting capability.

If the team does decide to improve pitching, the Mets may snag Kevin Gausman, a 6 foot 4, right handed pitcher from LSU. Gausman is considered one of the top pitching prospects in the nation, with a smooth delivery and a fastball that averages in the mid to low 90’s, but has been clocked as high as 100 mph.

Despite negative connotations associated with rebuilding, Mets fans should view this time as a chance to correct the mistakes of the past and build a contender the right way – by drafting and scouting intelligently and developing a superior farm system. If anyone is meant for the job, it’s certainly Sandy Alderson.