The Phillies fired Charlie Manuel last week, and replaced him Ryne Sandberg, who will serve as “interim manager.”
“Manuel was a genius at handling the sensitivities of the current MLB player, and he created the template that has informed my coverage of Jerry Manuel, Terry Collins, Joe Girardi, and everyone else,” Andy Martino explains in a post to his blog for the Daily News.
Martino looks like Manuel’s actions through a Mets prism and writes:
“The modern athlete is sensitive, insecure, and performs better when flattered. If a player does not feel that a manager has his back, the skipper will not succeed. Jerry Manuel once joked that injured righthander John Maine could pitch lefthanded, and called the Mets’ offense “pathetic;” he was right on the latter point, but lost the locker room with comments like that. Terry Collins began his tenure by courting veterans Carlos Beltran, David Wright and Johan Santana, and has been rewarded — in most cases, at least — with a team that listens to him, and plays hard during losing seasons. Fans often want managers to be tougher, but that approach simply does not work.”
Speaking of Collins, the Mets have reportedly made a tentative decision on whether to retain Terry Collins beyond this season, according to a recent ESPN New York story, though they intend to keep their decision private.
According to the report, it is “widely expected” Collins will be given a new deal after this season.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
Tentative. It’s the key word in that sentence. Why? Because it’s quite clear that Terry’s future in blue and orange has everything to do with how his team plays these final six weeks of the season. His team has played mostly well over the last two months. However, the season doesn’t end today. And, it’s been these final few weeks (each of the last few seasons) that have really defined his time at the helm. I think, if he can lead his team and not have them fall apart, he’ll be back. For how long? I don’t know. If they tumble again though, I think he’s in trouble.
In regards to being like Manuel, I think Martino makes some smart and fair points, though I’m sure most fans will want to disagree. This isn’t football and aggression and brute strength do not win the day. Instead, confidence and ego are more important today than was the case 30 years ago. Match the mental, personality part of the game to living and dying under the spotlight of New York City, and these qualities actually become more important that in-game strategy.
Obviously, the ideal manager hits on all of these. But, it’s not a perfect world and if Sandy Alderson believes Collins is as close to that ideal as he can find, and the Mets play well down the stretch, and he wants to bring him back, I can live with that, despite him having just a 207-238 record at the helm.
Read More: Daily News (Martino)