The sacking of Manuel demonstrates once again baseball is widely unfair. After a long playoff run, which included several trips to the World Series, followed by a run of injuries from Chase Utley to Ryan Howard to Roy Halladay, the Phillies are south of the Mets, both in the standings and on the map.
So naturally, Manuel is out.
Collins, in the final season of his contract, could finish 2013 with his third straight losing year the Mets’ fifth overall, but is expected to get an extension because of how well the team has performed despite not adding significant pieces and substantial injuries.
After winning the first two games of the San Diego series, the Mets are eight games below .500, but have a reasonable chance of finishing even, but second place appears less likely.
Should the Mets lose the remainder of their games they would have 106 losses, a number many predicted of them heading into the season.
However, with several key injuries – including David Wright, Jon Niese, Johan Santana and Bobby Parnell – a patchwork bullpen and outfield, and dreadful slump of Ike Davis, the Mets adjusted on the fly and are playing competitive ball.
For the most part, the Mets have played well fundamentally, while breaking in a new outfield, and always seem to play hard for him. Collins has had several head-scratching moments, but has generally been solid.
When teams hustle and keep their heads in the game, it indicates the manager has things under control. Collins definitely merits an opportunity to stay now that resources have been promised.
Also working in Collins’ favor is nearly half the roster is different than what he left spring training with, and he’s had to juggle with 92 different line-ups in 120 games. That is almost incomprehensible.
The Mets appeared to have answered five significant spots this season, including positives in the development of Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler; Parnell’s acclimation to the closer role; and the additions of outfielders Eric Young and Juan Lagares.
There have been other positives, such as the catching tandem of John Buck and Anthony Recker; the mostly solid play of Daniel Murphy at second base; and the play of Marlon Byrd in right field and Omar Quintanilla at shortstop.
There remain several holes and questions, but overall Collins deserves to be in that dugout next season. Not only that, he needs to stay.
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