Not Right How Mets Are Judging Terry Collins

As of now, Terry Collins’ job is safe and deservedly so. Based on getting the most out of what he has been given and basic fairness, there’s nothing justifying Collins’ job being in question.

COLLINS: What's he thinking? (AP)

COLLINS: What’s he thinking? (AP)

However, fairness is irrelevant in sports. A manager’s job security always becomes an issue when he has lame duck contractual status and his team has lost six straight games.

Losing streaks get everybody edgy, with questions directed to management, in this case, GM Sandy Alderson, who was asked the inevitable by The New York Post.

“That’s not something that has entered my mind or any mind within the organization,’’ Alderson said. “Has it entered the minds of others in the media or what have you? Yes.’’

Well, of course it has. It’s been on the back burner since pitchers-and-catchers in February. And, I don’t think for a second it hasn’t crossed Alderson’s mind, either.

Walter Alston used to work on one-year contracts, but he was Walter Alston and his Dodgers teams were perennial winners. They were an organization that believed in consistency. They were the exception to the rule.

By contrast, Collins manages the Mets, a franchise that last went to the World Series in 2000. Thirteen years later, and they are on their fifth manager. That’s not even three years each, and that’s no stability. While this trend doesn’t suggest good things for Collins, it might work in his favor for at least this summer. If the Mets aren’t going anywhere, there’s no reason to make a change and have owner Fred Wilpon pay two managers.

Bobby Valentine managed that World Series team, but frequently clashed with then GM Steve Phillips – one of four since 2000 – and with his personality wore out his welcome. Art Howe was the polar opposite of Valentine, and that didn’t work, either. I thought Willie Randolph had a chance, but he was hamstrung from the beginning when he wasn’t given full reign to hire his coaches and had to deal with clubhouse spy Tony Bernazard, who usurped his authority. Jerry Manuel was overmatched, but that’s what you get when you sack a manager after midnight.

Now there’s Collins, who was brought in by Alderson to clean up the mess. However, Alderson doesn’t have free economic authority to spend, and consequently Collins doesn’t have the pieces. He’s basically a custodian; here to keep things clean.

The pieces he’s been given don’t fit, but here’s the rub, Collins is judged on what he does with those pieces, much like on those cooking shows where the contestants have to make something out of a basket of random ingredients.

“He came into the season without a contract for next year and may not have one for next year through this season,’’ said Alderson, meaning don’t expect an in-season extension. “But as I’ve told him and said before: This isn’t just about wins and losses. It’s about how we approach the game and fully taking into account what he has to work with.

“We talk from time to time and the [job status] subject comes up. I’m not trying to avoid the topic. It’s status quo. You go through a tough week and people like to immediately jump to conclusions and start discussing a doomsday scenario. A good first week isn’t necessarily any more of an indication than a bad fourth week.’’

So, there you have it: Collins is the care taker for 2013.

Alderson wants to know more if his roster can work and play nice with each other rather than if it has any talent. He’s telling us – again – that it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, but how you play the game.

Unfortunately, they keep score and results do matter. Major League Baseball isn’t new wave, liberal physical education where everybody gets a prize for showing up.

Winning does matter on this level. Teams pay big money to get players capable of winning and fans pay big money to watch those players.

If the losing continues, attendance will eventually drop as it has every year since Citi Field opened. But, the players will get their money. And, Collins could be out of a job. Not fair, but that’s how they play the game. It is also something Alderson needs to think about concerning his own job status.

ON DECK:  The Summer of 1973 Series continues.

Please follow me on Twitter @jdelcos

11 thoughts on “Not Right How Mets Are Judging Terry Collins

  1. Terry has done a helluva job with the spare parts that make up half of the team. He’s also brought his AAAA and rookie players along pretty well. Of course the fandom world loves a scapegoat but they should look elsewhere, not here, to find one.

  2. You’re an idiot. It’s not about playing nice, it’s about acting like professionals and getting the most out of the talent you have to work with. Even if Alderson is realistic that the team doesn’t have enough talent to contend he still wants to know which players are going to develop into the core of a contender. And one person with great influence on that process is the superior who interacts with them on a daily basis, and presumably guides them, as in any business. There are only 2 ways to judge a manger-wins and losses, and player development. By rightfully ignoring wins and losses Alderson is judging Collins the ONLY fair way. “Being judged on what he does with those pieces” is a vague phrase, and you’ve chosen to interpret it your own phrase in a way that runs counter to everything the organization has said and done, just to support your misbegotten article. You’re the only one.

    • God forbid if the Alderson cult were to judge their lord nd master. He provided a crap team and skates free because the cult has decided winning is irrelevant. They only care to save Fred. The cult is truly sick.

    • In the real world TC is being set up to fail.

      Coming into Spring he was not given one player who has played major minutes and done league average in the OF.

      Coming out of Spring he had a surplus of OF, no bench for IF and a bunch of pitchers.

      To date 2 of the outfielders who were with the team at the start of the season have been demoted due to lack of production, Ike is not hitting just like last year. our 5th starting pitcher for the first time this week was on the mound and we have 12 wins to 16 losses now.

      At the end of the day if we have not had a successful season ( whatever that means ) the coach will be blamed and we will go in another direction because clearly a change of direction is needed after 3 losing seasons.

      The GM will not be blamed because he did his job. He has slashed the payroll of the club from $120M to $93M.

  3. Pingback: My Beloved Mets – It’s not right how the Mets are judging Terry Collins

  4. I think they have been very fair with Collins. In his first two years, the Mets were a lot better in the first half than second half. While he doesn’t have amazing talent on the team, they were above .500 and in the playoff mix at the all-star break last year. Why is Collins losing guys later in the year? Too much use of the ‘pen? Too strict with rules? Bad mouthing guys like Ike and Duda in the press? Constantly complaining about the cards he’s dealt? How do you think the back end of the rotation feels when he slams them all the time?

    He hasn’t done a terrible job, but he has shined either. It’s not obvious that he should get extended. Baltimore has similar talent and has been much better. Collins is the poor man’s Buck Showalter. Maybe the homeless man’s Showalter.

    The Valdespin stuff makes him look real bad too me. A young guy with a lot of talent who needs guidance. Stuck on the bench with no better options for center. He has better numbers than Murphy for 2nd in half the at bats. Isn’t developing young guys the WHOLE reason Collins is here? Hello?!? He hasn’t help develop Duda, Ike, or Valdy. He just complains about them. TEACH! LEAD!

    Terry seems like a good guy, but I’m not that impressed regardless of talent level. And this team has more talent than some believe when you look beyond a couple of NL teams. If you look at the Giants who won 2 World Series in 3 years — this line up is just as good in terms of talent. If Wheeler is for real the rotation for the Mets is about on par: Harvey, Niese, Marcum, Wheeler, Gee.

    I’s stick with Sandy Alderson’s plan. Remember Santana got hurt and we’re paying Jason Bay $18 million this year. That’s $33 million of bad Omar contracts.

    • I don’t know. Duda is doing well at the plate this year. The field not so much. Did TC or his coaches have a hand in that?

      Ike is on record that he won’t go the other way. That he hits homers. Can you coach someone like that? You could sit him, but since you have no bench what about pinch hitting?

      As for Murph, unless I miss my guess under this coach he found a position and is continuing to hit.

      I have heard several post games and unlike the previous idiot, I don’t see him throw his players under the bus or have double standards.

      Is he the coach for this team? Perhaps not, but he is not given the players. The team collapses because the pen gets burned out. If the starter throws 100 pitches in 5 innings do you leave him out for another 3 or do you bring in the pen and try and win the game today.

      With few exceptions these pitchers don’t go 7/8 innings so the pen is toast. Is that the coaches fault or the front office who trades away the Cy Young winner and the only pitcher to consistently get out of the 7th inning. In his place we have Marcum who has only pitched this week and hasn’t gone 6 innings yet. Oh and our supposed ace is having problems. Perhaps that is TC’s fault. Perhaps not, but the team has problems.

      Part of it is MLB scheduling spring games in the winter, but every team is subject to that

  5. Also, I think it’s sad that the New York media always has to scapegoat someone and get them fired.

    The Mets needed to rebuild and that takes time in baseball. Draft picks takes year to develop unlike the NFL or NBA. You can just sign free agent as these guys are already in their 30s meaning they have long contract for big money with only 3 prime years left AND you lose draft picks.

  6. The author of his article is a complete shill, and can’t b taken seriously. Terry Collins is not a good in game manager, he is bad with the bullpen, he is out managed more often than not, and he also has had two seasons in which his team has given up after showing they are capable of being decent over .500. John Delos is the definition of clueless.

  7. The media judges a manager by how much help that manager gives the reporter in writing their stories for that night and how much off-the-record info the top media people get.

    The reason the journalists always look to fire the manager or GM or similar after the season is it give one of them a shot at a promotion. Adam Rubin got Tony Bernazard (scapegoat) and that landed him the ESPN gig.

    It’s a business. $$$.