Terry Collins played the media perfectly last night, even in defeat.
Rather than run away from his obvious blunder to start Mike Pelfrey, or worse point fingers at others, Collins did a un-Jerry Manuel like thing and pointed the finger at himself.
“It was my fault,” Collins said. “I write the lineup. I didn’t need to pitch him. I had a little concern there might be a problem. I know better than that. … It was my responsibility to take charge of that and I sent him out there.’’
From there, Collins diffused the issue. It only becomes a topic again should he repeat the mistake.
Beat reporter want credibility. They understand the game, and when one of the participants screws up they want him to be man enough to stand up.
Managing pitching staffs is a lot about trusting the pitcher, and against his better judgment, Collins listened to, and gave in to, Pelfrey’s request to pitch. After the game, Pelfrey said he was fine and didn’t want to use having the flu as an excuse.
The fact is he wasn’t fine. It is admirable he wanted to pitch, but he wasn’t thinking about what was in the best interest of the team.
Pelfrey should have backed down last night.