New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson needs to hand Terry Collins the pink slip very soon.
By Kevin Flynn
It’s time for Terry Collins to go.
My wife is an avid watcher of the New York Mets. I routinely come home from work to find my wife yelling at the television, while the Mets suffer through another scoreless inning.
I ask her, “What’s wrong?” And she explains in disgust, “this team gets guys on base and consistently can’t bring them home.”
My father in law has been a devout Mets fan since 1962 and he has been blaming Mets managers ever since I could remember first meeting him. First, it was Willie Randolph’s fault, then Jerry Manuel.
Now, it’s Collins.
What I’ve come to realize is that I’ve been a Mets-manager apologist for the last two years. But after the last couple of weeks coupled with press conference audios, I’ve stopped apologizing.
On Saturday night, my wife and I attended the Mets game with two of the biggest Mets fans I know: my sister and brother-in-law to witness Matt Harvey pitching against the Cincinnati Reds in the rain. It hit me, it’s time for Terry Collins to go.
I watched red-hot Curtis Granderson lead off the game with a double. Batting second is Ruben Tejada, who is a terrible bunter. This decision would be one of the first to backfire. Anyone else in the two hole could sacrifice bunt Granderson to third, which would allow Duda a chance to hit a deep fly ball at the very least, to bring in a run.
Collins doesn’t attempt to manufacture a run here, nor any time for that matter. He doesn’t like hit and runs, he doesn’t do sacrifice bunts. Any other manager would most likely make the call, even to Tejada at this point, to lay down a bunt here. But Collins allows Tejada to hit, who promptly grounds out to third.
In the fourth-inning, Michael Cuddyer leads off the inning with a double. Same thing. Wilmer Flores goes down on strikes with no attempt to bunt Cuddyer over. Now, the game ends with a 1-1 tie and suspension until tomorrow.
Small ball works. Take the Pittsburgh Pirates for example.
They lead the league with sacrifice hits (32), helping them to a 41-32 record, good enough for second in the NL Central and third best record in the National League. They win and they don’t have the pitching that the Mets have, but they have confidence and manufacture runs when they need to.
That’s a direct effect from employing a manager who plays the game the right way in Clint Hurdle. Collins seems to have a role on the field while executive management is making the calls from behind the scene.
The next time up, Granderson hits a solo home run to left field. Another decision that would haunt Collins on this night. Why wouldn’t you take your best hitter at the moment and bat him third or fourth? You need runners on base in order to drive in runs. Not the Mets and not Collins.
The Mets are last in the league at the moment in team batting average, hits and total bases. They are second to last in runs scored, RBI’s and sacrifice hits. Collins doesn’t manufacture runs, and he’s not going to.
This has been an ongoing narrative since 2011.
Collins was hired and was asked to do the job with minimal talent on this team. They finished that year with a record of 77-85. Since then, the team has brought in much better pitching while David Wright’s injuries and power regressed in one of the biggest ballparks in the league.
Each year, Collins should have incorporated small-ball philosophies little by little. This would have ultimately prepared them for some of the injuries that have taken hold on the club.
It’s worked not only in Pittsburgh, but has been a staple in San Francisco and St. Louis. Let’s also not forget October of 2014 as the Kansas City Royals took the principle to the AL.
MLB functions on a copycat basis, yet Collins isn’t trying to copy winning formulas. Collins has never had a winning record with this team, and I was apologizing for him earlier in the year when my father in law was saying his time was up in April. Only because of the sickening amount of injuries that the Mets had to deal with this year.
The Mets lost some really good arms to injuries. Zach Wheeler, Rafael Montero, Buddy Carlyle and Vic Black to name a few.
Travis d’Arnaud went down, and then the unspoken leader of the team, David Wright got injured.
This was the opportunity for Collins to change his philosophy. He didn’t.
The Mets have been terrible at the plate and stellar on the mound. Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Bartolo Colon and Noah Syndergaard are plain nasty together and the fact that Collins found an All-Star closer in Jeurys Familia has a lot to do with their above .500 record. Still, this was Sandy Alderson’s plan all along to keep as much pitching as possible.
Pitching wins championships, but not unless scoring runs wins games to get them to the playoffs. The Mets were in first place for a long time and after a recent eight-game losing streak they have fallen into second place.
Now, in a press conference to announce the arrival of Long Island pitching Phenom, Steven Matz, Alderson admitted that he would overpay to bring in the right guy to help this lineup. He wouldn’t have to if Collins adjusted his style and learned how to move runners from base to base appropriately. Five-years is a long time for a manager without a winning record to have a job.
Most Mets fans are crazy about Wally Backman. I don’t know if Backman is the be-all-end-all answer, but Collins isn’t the solution and his time is up.
[su_button url=”https://elitesportsny.com/2015/06/27/kristaps-porzingis-meet-the-newest-new-york-knicks-big-man-videos/” target=”blank” background=”#000080″ size=”10″ wide=”yes” radius=”0″]NEXT: Meet Kristaps Porzingis[/su_button]