Terry Collins agitated with media, questions about playing time

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Terry Collins got a bit defensive with fans and media this past weekend, when being questioned about his lineup choices.

In case you missed it this past Friday, there was a bit of an uproar about Juan Lagares again not being in the starting lineup.

“He’s not been swinging good,” Collins said Friday, when asked why Lagares had been on the bench the last four games. “We need his defense, but we have to score runs.”

Lagares had 12 hits in the 46 at bats (.286) prior to essentially being benched before the start of the Subway Series. As a result, by the end of Friday’s game, the hashtag #FreeLagares ended up trending nationwide on Twitter.


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Lagares started the next day, hit and robbed a home run and lead the Mets to their only win in the last five days.

“He has been an everyday player. He got into a little bit of a funk,” Collins said when asked why Lageres was no longer viewed as an every-day player. “You know, it’s not like I sat him for seven days. I sat him for two days, for cripes sake. We get a little carried away here. Somebody gets a day off and it’s like the sky is falling in. It’s not. … This is what the market is here. If I give Grandy a day off, he’s ‘benched.’ If I give C.Y. a day off, he’s ‘benched.’ If I give Juan a day off, he’s ‘benched.’ That’s not really the case. I know you’ve got to sell newspapers, so do what you’ve got to say. But when I come in here every day and figure out who has got to be in the lineup, somebody can’t play. And today somebody is not going to play. I don’t get too bent out of shape about it, because I know in the long run, after the next 120 games, they’re all going to [have] play[ed].”

The next day, it was reported that Ruben Tejada would continue to get the bulk of the playing time at shortstop (Rubin, May 17).

“He’s showing us that he’s the same player he was a couple years ago,” Collins said earlier this week (Bergen Record, May 15). “This guy is really swinging the bat good.”

Tejada had been batting .178 during the 54 plate appearances prior to Terry’s statement.

He has one hit in his last 14 plate appearances, including going hitless against the Nationals the last three days.


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Lagares had been dealing with a family emergency and will travel to the Dominican Republic on Monday due to a death in the family. He is expected back with the team on Tuesday.

This past Friday night, after expressing confusion over his handling of Lagares, I wrote this about Collins: “You know, I’m really starting to be concerned about his judgement. … Flores, who is just 22 years old, and who should be playing every day, some place, is riding the pine, despite being a guy who is known for his bat not his glove. Yet, he’s on the bench, while Tejada and his .139 average in May are starting every day, at a time Terry is concerned about offense not defense. I’m at a loss. I officially have no idea what Collins is doing, because he’s doing the exact opposite of what he says he thinks he’s doing, all while saying things that are contradicted by every stat you can find.”

This weekend did nothing to give me confidence. I realize he isn’t in a perfect situation. He’s being forced to juggle playing time between a lot of mediocre veterans and still-developing rookies, all while trying to meet his GM’s public expectations to win. However, for his own sake, he should at least to act in concern with what he’s saying. This will help him as it pertains to fans and media, at least until his team starts winning again.




278 comments
Steve C Schumacher
Steve C Schumacher

Good maybe he'll get so po'd he'll quit taking Dan Worthless with him and we can finally get a real major league manager and pitching coach for a change. He's been given a free ride by the media for way too long!

mmmets
mmmets

I am agitated with Terry Collins

Nelson Holcombe
Nelson Holcombe

Where should a guy who hit .350 in Spring and .290 with 4 homers at Vegas be playing?  It shouldn't be Vegas with the .100 hitters you have playing almost everyday. 

Dan Camarda
Dan Camarda

Dana Smith well said. No one else has to comment as you just hit every point of what's wrong with this team! I couldn't agree with you more. We need a new manager, one good GM who knows how to spend money and of course new owners which unfortunately will never happen!

Doubleday
Doubleday

... and I'm agitated by Terry Collins.

roe71
roe71

I think Kieth Hernandez said it best early this season referring to Murphy and Wright getting time off in spring training, he said... "What's the point of this time off? These guys had almost 5 months off? And your giving them 2 weeks off in spring training?? For what purpose??

Dana Smith
Dana Smith

For Collins' entire tenure I have been more than patient with his decisions and media interviews. He has not exactly had the best talent to manage ballgames with, so we give him a pass. At this point, his 3 free agent signings have been, for lack of a better phrase, completely awful. Honestly, I think the Mets would have been better off bringing back Harang or Dice-K as the 5th starter. If they didnt sign Granderson and Young then Eric Young, Lagares and probably den Dekker would be our outfield.
Anyways, Collins has reached the tipping point with me. There is NO excuse to bench Lagares. None. At all. He needs to play, every single day. Its funny, because even during his slump where he has been "expanding the zone", Granderson, C Young and E Young have all been just as bad, if not worse, and they still didnt get their hits like Juan did. I dont care how much you want a traditional lineup Terry. E Young is NOT an everyday player. Period. Abreu should never start.  End of story there. And his comments about Tejada...I dont understand what he's seeing. I'm set with Collins. I'm set with the New York media blowing everything out of proportion. Remember Sandy's "90 wins" statement? That statement was not spoken in public, on record by Sandy until after it came out that he said that. The media leaks far too much information. Terry, Sandy's 90 wins, his plan, Matt Harvey, our prospects, the Wilpons and anything else that can be thrown in there is what is causing the constant negative pressure of this organization. Ever since the collapse of 2007, this team has had constant negative publicity. I miss when I was younger, and didnt understand all of the business aspects of the game, and I watched Piazza and Leiter and Hampton and Alfonzo and Franco lead my favorite team to a world series.
We can all blame Collins, or Sandy. But we all know it starts at the top. The Wilpons financial picture is a mess and clearly affecting this team. Sandy is limited on what he can spend. When he does spend, he picks up "power" guys in a stadium where home runs go to die. Completely wrong idea. We needed line drive hitters who hit for average. The Colon signing was a risk, and we can see why. He's old man, and he's going to be inconsistent from each outing to outing. Now we get down to Collins, who cant even his eyes to make a simple assessment of clearly who the best players are on the field. The whole "hitting" philosophy this team has is an absolute joke. All of these guys know it too. Growing up, you learned from your coaches that you adjust to the park, to the weather, to the pitcher, to what your scouting reports on yourselves are. So we go up there, every time, taking pitches from every guy as if they are the same pitcher. Ive seen the Mets get caught looking at called third strikes more than Ive seen in awhile. I hope they turn this thing around, and quickly. It gets old hearing "You're a Mets fan? Didnt know there were any left." or being asked how theyre doing and saying "Well they lead the NL in strikeouts".

Michael Portanova
Michael Portanova

why are going out of our way to give tejada a chance? at best he hits .230-.240 and plays average to above average defense.. why cant we just give flores a try.. I'm 18 and this team is already making me lose my hair.

Jim McEnroe
Jim McEnroe

Terry's acting like a man about to get canned and he knows it. 

hurricaneditka
hurricaneditka

Terry's excuse is terrible, it's not like we have Stanton and Trout as our other outfielders.  Young and Granderson have been far worse than Lagares in his slump, I don't see him sitting them for 4 out of 5 games

Peter Ramirez
Peter Ramirez


Terry has sucked as a manager from day 1, so this really isn't anything new. The one thing he did well initially was motivate his players to play hard for him, but that's ALL he's ever done. It's laughable to think how many fans on here argued with me over Collin's merits as a manager just because of that single fact, completely oblivious to his glaring faults and total incompetence as a strategist. I wonder how many of those people have done a complete about-face at this point. Terry has always done a poor job putting together lineups and is even worse at managing a bullpen. I don't care how great of a motivator he is; you're being paid to be the manager of a major league baseball team. Not a minor league team, or a college team, but for a major league team. I'm tired of watching fools like Terry Collins and Jerry Manuel and Art Howe being given the opportunity to manage when they are so clearly incompetent. If I were as incompetent in my job as any of them, I would be fired within a week...and I'm not managing a baseball team.

Perhaps what bothers me most is that so many fans judge a manager based on wins and losses, which is ridiculous. Dumb is dumb, any way you slice it. I don't care if the Mets were 42-0 or whatever this season, that would not suddenly absolve Collins from his decision to play Tejada and benching Lagares. Some managers get lucky, and some managers have rosters which are going to perform no matter what and make them look good. And sometimes the players just perform better than expected and the manager gets most of the credit. When this team was overachieving, so many fans were inexplicably bowing down to Collins. He has ALWAYS been like this. 
What scares me the most is that he might be managing this team when we're actually good. Truly a depressing thought.

A note to Terry: if you can't handle the NY media criticizing your questionable decisions day in and day out, then maybe you should quit. I hate the hounding and repetitive nature of the media as much as anyone, but they have every right to question decisions in which Terry has no justifiable defense aside from "I can't play everyone." What are we, in third grade? Man up Terry. EY can't hit a lick and CY is in a slump. Bench one of the two for the foreseeable future and play whoever is hottest. Then when that person cools down, play the other for an extended period. It is not rocket science.

Also, am I missing something or is having a speedy outfielder like EY coming off the bench such a bad idea? You can still utilize his speed each game without having such a black hole in the lineup. I never understood Terry's infatuation with EY's game. He's got speed but if he doesn't get on base, which he rarely does, he can't use it. Why not just let him pinch run every game and utilize him that way? 



As an aside about Alderson's role in all of this, I honestly don't know what to make of it. Too many people give the FO crap because, well, people are generally stupid and impatient. But one of three scenarios is playing out here:

1) The FO is essentially forcing Collins to play certain players to boost their trade value
2) There is a lack of communication within the organization, specifically between Collins and the FO
3) The FO is letting Collins do whatever he wants for the most part

Regardless of which scenario it is, because it's pretty pointless speculating on which it might be, it is ultimately the responsibility of the GM to have the manager be an extension of himself and the FO. As solid of a job I think Alderson has done up to this point given the circumstances (he's had misses to be sure, but I think he's been good for the most part--The Wilpons are another matter), this has to ultimately fall upon his shoulders, whether or not the FO is instructing Collins on who to play.

Rich
Rich

@metsblog. How about a pole asking fans if Collins should be fired. He's horrible from the lineup to the bench to the pen.

SomeHighSchoolKid
SomeHighSchoolKid

I think Collins has lost it. You didn't sit him 2 in a row Terry, you sat him 4 out of 5. Does he even realize this? Or do the fans pay more attention to his team than he does?

xplr
xplr

Terry reminds me of "Mush" in A Bronx Tale. Whatever he does turns to mush.

Frank Montemarano
Frank Montemarano

It's simple. Alderson told him to play the guys that Alderson acquired. Yiun, Granderson and EY. Colon should be in the bullpen when Gee comes back

cmetsfan
cmetsfan

If Alderson wants to trade Chris Young/Eric Young/Granderson at the deadline and needs them featured, I can't blame Terry if he's being told who to play. 


I mean I'd like Flores to play too and hit 6th or 7th at least. Yet if it's not Sandy's big picture, which better involve trading some part of the logjam, then I kind of get the spot Collins is in.


However, if Collins is just out of it, and doesn't realize that even if Tejada were Ray Ordonez defensively, it doesn't appear that's gonna help with this team, then that's a problem.

vimets
vimets

The NY media is brutal on its sports teams. All the more reason

why the Wilpons will move the Mets to Memphis and then we'll

be stuck with just the Yankees.

fatherflot
fatherflot

@Jim McEnroe  Yup. Willie got paranoid.  Jerry just laughed his dopey laugh.  Terry is getting erratic and peevish.  He will not finish the season.

philsdad
philsdad

@Peter Ramirez Pleasantly surprised that we have someone who can write a coherent critique of the situation.  Love the part about "people are generally stupid and inpatient" (90 percent of the posts on this blog).  I don't agree with the fired within a week comment.  I have worked with guys that should have been fired years ago.  Terry is definitely getting grilled and should be.  His decisions don't make sense at times.  How many times has your company managers made decisions that have you scratching your head.  They have to deal with budgets and second guessing all the time..  That is what they sign up for.  That is what I signed up for in my job.  You most likely did too.  The team is broke.  These bloggers are the guys at the water cooler bitching and complaining but do not have he intelligence or the skill to be in the role these guys are in (Alderson and Collins).  And then they bash the players.  Makes no sense to me.  Be a part of the solution or get out of the way.  That would reduce comments on this blog.  Sandy is doing what he can.  He will be making a trade soon.  But keep in mind he is not operating from strength.  Teams know he has no money and are going to ask for the moon.  Let's not trade another Nolan Ryan for the short term fix.  He know what he is doing.  Terry may be losing it under the pressure and may need to go just to appease the fan base.  I ask who do we hire?  Have not seen one person bring up a name. 


Peter Ramirez
Peter Ramirez

@Rich  Won't work. The Wilpons will simply create bots to vote "No" over and over and over, resulting in a 50-50 split between "Yes" and "No".

Being sarcastic if that wasn't clear. I would be the first person in line to vote "Yes".

bitencurl
bitencurl

@Frank Montemarano I disagree. If deGrom and Montero pitch well until that point and Wheeler continues to do his best Mejia impression then sending Wheeler down has to be considered. 


Colon will literally eat innings which is key when so many guys are going to be on limits, I wouldn't quite throw the towel in on a guy who put up the numbers he did just last season. 10 million should be nothing to this team, but it is so it makes Colon look like a problem when he really shouldn't be. As a 4/5 starter he's great IMO.


I believe CY and Granderson were the real bad signings that never really made much sense. The last thing this line-up needed was two guys who K as much as they do and hit around the mendoza line. A 5-year old could have told you Granderson would hit for far less power in Citi field than in the Bronx.

hankincolo
hankincolo

@Joe Wenzel Just a guess, but I suspect Terry has no faith in Wilmer playing the field. 

zoddie
zoddie

@Joe Wenzel The issue is we probably don't have minor league shortstops better than Tejada.  It is probably the ONLY position in the minors the Mets don't go 2-3 guys deep.  And Tejada has SUCKED this year (and I was one of the hopeful fans that thought Tejada could return to his 2011-2012 form).

dukewillie
dukewillie

@barbarossa  Which is why Alderson will probably never promote Wally to mange the Mets. Wally won't stand for that can of meddling.

Brandon Hillman
Brandon Hillman

@cmetsfan just remember flores was hitting third in AAA and pretty much every level he has played. When in the lineup he should be in a position to drive in runs. Base on current performances no one deserves to have any set position in the lineup except lagares murphy and wright

mrmet4mvp
mrmet4mvp

@cmetsfan  If TC is receiving orders to play Tejada, then why would the GM have brought Flores up in the first place?


None of this makes any sense.

Bob Primosch
Bob Primosch

@fatherflot @Jim McEnroe And, assuming Backman isn't happening, it doesn't seem as if they've been grooming anyone for the job even though everyone knew Collins was a short term fix when they hired him.

philsdad
philsdad

@Peter Ramirez Besides Wally which is not going to happen because of his off the field problems

bitencurl
bitencurl

@dukewillie @barbarossaThat's exactly why. Sandy wants a puppet he can control. According to him Terry Collins has been excellent. Fire them both.

mrmet4mvp
mrmet4mvp

@cmetsfan  Now we know; it was orders from Wilpon to save $800k by DFA'ing Quintanilla before his contract deadline.


Glad we're ruining the development of one of our most promising prospects to save less than a million dollars.

cmetsfan
cmetsfan

@mrmet4mvp Maybe to motivate Tejada, so he can showcase him, since he has appeared to get lazy with no competition, but i don't pretend to know.