Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 2/20/12
WHAT we have seen the past few days is the whimsical side of the general manager of the Mets , the sense of humor Sandy Alderson employs - that, you suspect, most Mets employees must employ these days - to make it through workdays that soon will include more tales of gloom and doom in courtrooms and on ballfields. Alderson's tweeting has been a master stroke, an ability to assert on the one hand he certainly understands the daily anxieties caring about the Mets entails, while on the other proving at the end of the day, as serious a business as baseball seems, it still is a game, and still supposed to be fun. And it isn't only on Twitter that Alderson reveals his glib side (for the record, the account is @MetsGM and my personal favorite, to date, is this: "Will have to drive carefully on trip; Mets only reimburse for gas at a downhill rate. Will try to coast all the way to FL"). Told the other day that what the Mets really could use this year was a baseball version of Jeremy Lin, Alderson chuckled and paused a beat. "Couldn't everybody?" he said. Alderson never said the task of rebuilding the Mets was going to be easy, or all that much fun. He never has promised any kind of magic bullet to aid in the franchise's rehab. His first year was mostly favorable, even if he wound up bearing the public burden of the team's unwillingness to fully engage in a sweepstakes to retain Jose Reyes. But it also was a year he endured with a heavy heart, a twinge of sadness that remains in his heart as he prepares to open his second spring training in charge of the team's delicate present and uncertain future. Alderson was named the Mets GM on Oct. 28, 2010. Fifteen days later, his father, John, was crossing a street in St. Petersburg, Fla., just before midnight when he was struck by a Jeep. John Alderson - 87 years old, an Air Force pilot for 33 years, a veteran of Vietnam, Korea and World War II - died a half-hour later, early in the morning of Nov. 14. He was wearing a Mets cap on his head, and a 1989 World Series ring on his finger, which his son won as GM of the A's. "Anyone who loses a parent knows the effect it has on you, no matter the circumstances," Alderson said recently, his voice softening as the memories of his dad returned quickly. "He was 87 but he was youthful and he was sharp and he was so looking forward to this adventure with the Mets . And to lose him as we did " He coughed. "If you've lost a parent, you know what I'm talking about." Alderson is quick to point out the loss wasn't his alone, that John Alderson was very close to Sandy's wife, Linda, and to his other children, that his absence remains a cavity in all their lives. But so much of the man Sandy became was because of his father. While Sandy was a ROTC undergrad at Dartmouth in the '60s, he visited his father and rode shotgun as he flew test operations. Sandy served in Vietnam himself. John took Sandy to his first baseball games, a doubleheader at Comiskey Park when Sandy was 8. Later, stationed in Japan, father and son saw the Yankees on an exhibition tour, a favor Sandy would repay years later when he was working for MLB and the Yankees went there to open the 2004 season and he took his dad along with him. "He would have been there in spring training," Sandy said. "He would have been around a lot during the year. We would have talked constantly." A year later, the father's absence still pains the son. But the memories sustain him. "You're comforted by knowing how full a life he had in 87 years," Sandy said. Another spring training awaits. Another season. Another adventure. "He would have enjoyed all of it," Sandy Alderson said. michael.vaccaro@nypost.com
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