The Mets’ Terry Collins isn’t a great manager, but far from a terrible one. The hitting slump continued today as the Mets scored only one run in being swept by the Chicago Cubs, which erased any positive thoughts garnered from sweeping the Reds.
April’s 11-game winning streak is forgotten; archived in Mets’ trivia.
With the Mets not hitting, there was nothing Jacob deGrom could do, although he was lucky he didn’t break his hand or a couple of fingers when he punched out a water cooler. That would have been typical Mets, wouldn’t it?
Collins told reporters after the game, “we have to lighten up a bit. … More guys fail in this game from fear than they do a lack of talent.”
Although Collins remains supportive of his team – and his players generally play hard for him – radio talk shows roast him on a regular basis, and stories are percolating about his future. One writer I greatly respect, Newsday’s David Lennon, did so in Thursday’s editions, and nailed it when he said pressure on Collins is “not fair, or right … but it’s reality.’’
Also reality is Collins isn’t getting help from ownership or general manager Sandy Alderson, who said in his book – that proclaimed him as the game’s smartest general manager – he didn’t have any confidence in his manager.
Nice, huh? What a way to instill confidence in your team. You say stuff like that when the manager is not under your employ. Do you think that didn’t go unnoticed by the players? It will certainly be brought up when the ax falls on Collins.
The Mets, a team whose rotation was largely put together by former general manager Omar Minaya, is good enough to win most games with even a little support. They haven’t gotten much, if any, this year. Of their 40 losses, 21 have been by two or fewer runs. They have been shut out nine times; and 29 times (including wins) scored two or fewer runs.
Yeah, that’s Collins’ fault.
Shouldn’t we instead dish blame on the Wilpons for not allowing for a budget needed to acquire a top-drawer hitter? Especially considering they received positive nods in the courts – not to mention a $167 million windfall – in the Madoff case.
Or, how about Alderson, whose only offensive acquisition of quality, was the project Curtis Granderson? The Mets have also had a long line of hitting coaches – they haven’t had a collective clue at the plate since firing Rick Down – with Kevin Long the latest not to reach them.
Yes, the Mets have had injuries, but all teams do. Washington has arguably been hit harder.
Ultimately it comes down to the players.
Collins can’t hit for his players, and as hard as he tries to pound fundamentals into them, it just hasn’t sunk in. Too many strikeouts, not enough walks, not enough situational hitting, and too many wasted at-bats.
The Mets’ team batting average is a league-low .232 by nine points. They have a paltry .297 on-base percentage. I don’t need any of the new sexy stats to tell me how badly they’ve hit. I see it with my own eyes.
Including today, they’ve scored 277 runs (3.4 a game). The Mets have also struck out 620 times (7.7).
No worries, things should be better when the Mets go into Los Angeles and face Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Then, it’s on to San Francisco where they get Chris Heston, who threw a no-hitter at them at Citi Field, and Matt Cain.
By that time, they could be four games under .500, maybe more, heading into the All-Star break. Perhaps by then Alderson would make a trade or two, only as a seller and not a buyer.
Collins will eventually take the fall for Alderson’s inability to put a representative team on the field. Alderson wasn’t able to fill the void created by Wright’s injury. For years now, Alderson failed to bring in any quality hitters – or even one.
Instead, Alderson has worked on his comedy routine – several times at the expense of Wilmer Flores – with his latest quip calling the media and fans “residents of Panic City.’’
Of course, the condescending Alderson was telling us we’re not as smart as him. Sandy, I might not be able to build a watch, but I can tell time.
And, what you’re doing isn’t working.
If Collins goes, you should, also.