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The Apple Never Falls Far: A Genealogy Of The Mets' Front Office

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I've always liked "coaching trees" in football as a means to track the dispersion and progression of various strategies throughout the game. And while there isn't an exact analogue to the NFL Head Coach in baseball, the general manager, who hands down a set of values for the team and its minor league affiliates, comes close.

As currently constructed, the Mets front office reflects the trees of two men: Frank Cashen and Sandy Alderson, who both enjoyed their greatest success in the mid-80's. If the Mets do the likely and hire Terry Collins as their manager, they will have replenished the organization entirely from Alderson's tree:

Alderson_tree_medium

That's not a bad thing, though. The last time the Mets went outside the organization to fill the GM position, before Alderson, was in 1980, when Nelson Doubleday hired Frank Cashen. Fred Wilpon had previously picked all his GM's from one tree:

Cashen_tree_medium

The bolded names above are, of course, six of the twelve general managers in the Mets' history. The Cashen tree also branches off noticeably less than the Alderson tree, which has produced a varied range of front office and managerial talents.

I want to explore the strategic implications of the switch another day, but just on their own, these charts illustrate the deeper significance of the Alderson hire. The Mets didn't just hire their twelfth GM to replace their eleventh. They reversed thirty years of stagnancy.