Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
I’m not comfortable with what is going on with Terry Collins and his role of manager.
It’s starting to feel like Collins is about to get a two-year extension for no other reason than he’s been asked to manage minor-league talent in major-league uniforms that may or may not have anything to do with the 2014 Mets.
Last week, after being swept by the Nationals, and being outscore 25-5, Terry Collins said he planned to address his team’s young players about their effort, despite already having talked to them a few days earlier. The Mets rebounded to take three of four games this past weekend from the last-place Marlins, who are on pace to lose more than 100 games.
“You’d think some of these guys would grab the opportunity that’s in front of them, because of the injury issues on our club, and say, ‘Here’s my chance to show I’m a major league player,’ and we’re not seeing it. We’re not seeing it,” Collins said, following the series against the Nationals. “That leads to feeling sorry for yourself and I will not stand for that. Not in this clubhouse. Not in this league. You don’t feel sorry for yourself in this league.”
OK, that’s fine. I agree, but, maybe some your guys aren’t major leaguers, Terry. I appreciate this mentality, but there are guys on this roster who – no matter the opportunity – are never going to be better than they are. You’ve shown you can wring out a bit of talent from guys that barely have any to give, which is nice. But how does that translate to big-league talent that will supposedly be here next year?
That said, Collins is reportedly all but guaranteed to be back as the team’s manager in 2014, despite his contract expiring at the end of this season, the New York Post’s Mike Puma recently reported.
“I think Terry has done a tremendous job,” a scout watching the Mets recently told the Daily News. “That roster is not good, but they’re obviously still playing hard for him. That’s not an easy thing to do as a manager.”
It had been believed that September results would factor in to how the front office judged Collins. However, a high-ranking club official told Puma that is no longer the case, since this would essentially be like grading him on the team’s performance in Grapefruit League games.
“You do the best with the players you can in the clubhouse, make sure they work hard and get the job done,” Collins said Monday, according to the Bergen Record. “We’ve seen great improvement in some guys and some other guys haven’t gotten it done. … All I worry about is getting to the ballpark and making sure they’re ready to play.”
So, what has Collins done to warrant returning, that isn’t simply a by-product of the weak roster given to him by Sandy Alderson?
He’s done a decent job of keeping these younger players motivated, but that’s not something he’ll be tasked with if the roster is going to be better, if it’s going to ‘turn the corner,’ if Alderson is going to make big-league additions. Collins will instead be asked to manage better, major-league players, which is still not something we know he can do. His primary goal will be to lead a winning team, not push rookies and babysit a transitional roster from one GM to another.
In other words, if Alderson announces Terry’s contract extension in a few weeks, which feels like a foregone conclusion, I’d like to hear why Collins is the right person to manage the better team he’s about to have…