Terry Collins is helping rebuild the Mets’ house and should get a chance to move in.
When the Mets hired GM Sandy Alderson the timetable was for three to four years. Rebuilding teams initially lose, which is the case for Collins’ Mets. There was promise in 2010, the second-half collapse of 2012, and things aren’t projected to be much better than last year’s 74 wins this summer.
There are no promises beyond this year, but Collins does have the endorsement of his best player.
“That would be great,’’ David Wright told reporters in Port St. Lucie if he wanted Collins back. “He is a perfect fit, a perfect mold for the type of team that we are building.’’
Wright’s words should carry weight.
Three straight losing seasons is usually not the way for a manager to get a contract extension, but Collins’ case is unique.
Other managers inherit teams with limited talent as did Collins, but things are always just a little more skewed with the Mets, beginning with their financial restrictions.
Alderson was hired to clean house, so it was logical Collins inherited bit parts. Collins had three core players from which to build in Wright, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran. Reyes and Beltran were in their walk years, and Beltran was coming off an injury.
Johan Santana was out in 2011 and went on the DL at the end of last year. Mike Pelfrey turned out to be a bust, and the rotation and bullpen needed to be rebuilt. There are still questions for both that are beyond Collins’ control. Beltran was traded in mid-season and Reyes, as expected, bolted.
There were new players everywhere – Josh Thole, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy and Ruben Tejada – with some playing new positions. There was a bust in left field in Jason Bay. There was inexperience – Jon Niese – and projects – R.A. Dickey – in the rotation and the fading Francisco Rodriguez as the closer.
No way could Collins win with that, and he’s not likely to win this year. However, there is some hope with Niese and Matt Harvey in the rotation; Davis coming off a good year; Tejada more than adequately replaced Reyes; Murphy is adjusting to second; and catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud should be in the majors early this year.
There remains inexperience in several positions – notably the outfield – and a patchwork bullpen.
There are holes, but being clear of Santana’s $31million after this year there is the promise to spend. Next year could be better and Collins should be around in the transformation from train wreck to stability.
As I wrote several days ago, I want Collins to take a more bad ass approach and reprimand players for not hustling or making fundamental mistakes. I am sure he does that behind closed doors, and I understand his lack of depth prevents benching some players.
He’s getting a handle on that, but I want to see him bring in the reins more. Young teams need that control.
Collins was Alderson’s pick and the Mets are making progress in his rebuilding plan. Collins was part of that plan at first and should remain a part of it.
The sooner his lame duck status is removed the better.