Tact Not A Virtue Of Mets’ Terry Collins

Tact is not a strong suit of New York Mets manager Terry Collins when it comes to dealing with the media.

Collins has had several abrasive moments this season, notably when he said he didn’t care what the fans thought during in the Jordany Valdespin episode. Everything about the Valdespin incident was handled poorly, which I partially attribute to Collins’ lame duck status. Collins immediately spun into damage control and it didn’t hurt when the team started playing better soon after.

COLLINS: Lighten up.

COLLINS: Lighten up.

Then there was his dumbfounded denial of ever hearing of Matt Harvey’s sore forearm that led to his elbow injury. The manager gets an injury report from the training staff whenever a player has treatment, so Collins knew. Denial about injuries is not the way to go.

He’s had two more the past few weeks.

The first was when Ruben Tejada went down with a broken leg in the ninth inning of the Mets’ furious rally to beat San Francisco. Tejada was injured in the top of the ninth, yet finished the inning on the field. There was no announcement in the press box about the injury, and also no surprise when he was lifted for a pinch-hitter.

After the game, toward the end of the questioning session, a reporter asked how Tejada was feeling.

“He broke his leg,’’ snapped Collins, in a demeanor that elicited muffled laughter because nobody knew and the impression was the manager was being sarcastic.

Collins’ first words after every game, to alleviate any confusion, should be an updated injury report. The questions will be asked, so get it out of the way. The reporter asked an innocuous question because the Mets made no announcement and Collins didn’t volunteer the injury.

Lastly, last night came his barbed response to the question whether he would consider giving Dillon Gee an inning so he could reach the 200-inning milestone, something the pitcher deeply covets.

“Why?’’ Collins said. “I mean, seriously? I don’t think so.’’

He never said why he wouldn’t.

Collins was accused in his managerial stint with the Angels of not being in touch with his players. How could he not know this was important to Gee? If the concern was injury related, then say so. Or, he could have said something along the lines of “that’s 200 innings as a starter, it would cheapen the milestone to give him an inning as a reliever.’’

Instead, Collins came off as condescending. He’s been around long enough to know the question would be asked, so he should have had a better answer. The appearance was he was surprised, and bothered, by the question.

If all else fails, he could have simply said, “I don’t know. That’s something I will have to discuss with Dillon.’’

It is expected Collins will get an extension. Hopefully, he’ll come back more tactful and less sensitive.

Your comments are greatly appreciated and I will attempt to respond. Follow me on Twitter @jdelcos

11 thoughts on “Tact Not A Virtue Of Mets’ Terry Collins

    • Bets10: It is hard to truly evaluate a manager of a team with as low expectations as the Mets, made even lower with a multitude of injuries. That the team did not quit on him is an endorsement.-JD

  1. Collins is an ass and a terrible manager and now we can have Collins part 2.
    These are the very least of his problems. For a much better account of Collins as a manger
    read Danny Abriano of Rising Apple.

    “Collins doesn’t deserve to lose his job because he’s been operating with a roster that’s poor. At the same time, he doesn’t deserve to keep his job for that same reason alone. What Collins should be evaluated on is his in-game management. There are many people who like to downplay the importance of a manager who knows what he’s doing while the games are in progress. I’m not one of those people.

    Since taking over in 2011, Collins has proven to be a poor tactician. He’s in love with the bunt (something many managers are guilty of), shies away from hitting and running, and his bullpen management has been poor. Additionally, he’s routinely been out-managed by the man in the opposing dugout when it comes down to late game match-ups and strategy.

    Collins’ lineup construction has been both curious and haphazard, and he’s shown that he doesn’t look at statistics nearly as much as he should. That trait has been exposed when Collins plays certain guys against right handed pitchers simply because they’re left handed, or vice versa -with Collins often ignoring or simply not knowing that the player he’s running out there has reverse platoon splits.

    With the Mets expected to turn the corner in 2014, I want someone in the dugout who’ll routinely out-manage his counterpart. That person isn’t Terry Collins.”

    Amen, I don’t know what you see in Collins.

    • Hawk: Maybe he’ll be better the second time around. Until the Mets make significant progress in their rebuilding, I don’t believe they’ll be able to attract a high-profile manager.-JD

      • ” Until the Mets make significant progress in their rebuilding, I don’t believe they’ll be able to attract a high-profile manager.-JD”

        John, this answer makes the most sense to me.

        For everyone who wished it, the Pillsbury dough boy, face of failure, is getting a new 2 year deal with a club option.

  2. I saw that post game interview and unlike what Delcos inaccurately reported, “How could he not know this was important to Gee? “Collins let it be known he know about Gee’s approaching 200 innings and it’s importance but opted to make in-game decisions for the purposes of winning.

    And though he could have used tact in response to the relief pitching question to get to 200 innings, and that he should have given Gee another inning Friday and if not, tomorrow – Sunday – I think Collins at that point as well as his decision to pull Gee for pitch hitter, was all about preserving the integrity of the game – and I understand that. I recall when he didn’t in Reyes’s final Mets game and maybe that was on his mind at the time of his comments as well as irritation over another two straight home loses.

    It’s still however possible for Collins rethink his position and give him one inning tomorrow. I think it’s the right thing to do, and think it’s possible, but also keep in mind that Gee had the entire season to have created conditions in which he gave his manager no reason to pull him one inning, or one batter sooner. Ultimately, Gee controlled his destiny there many times over and it just didn’t work out the way he wanted.

  3. Collins flaws are: not letting his starters pitch deep enough into games; not starting a player on the day after he had a game winning hit; strange pinch hitting decisions such as using Omar the other night; pulling relievers out of games too early when they are pitching well and not letting them pitch multiple innings; letting attitude issues with young players spill into the media rather than keeping it in the clubhouse; batting players such as Tejada with low on base percentages leadoff….I could continue but Hardcore Pawn is on….