I never know what to make of these reports. Reports say something, and then two weeks later somebody says the same thing from a different source and it’s as if our memories get erased and we won’t remember that these reports ever came out before and we’ll all be breathless about it all over again. But there’s a Jon Heyman “report” out there that’s kinda catching fire a little bit, and since it involves the Mets manager, it’s worth discussing.
First, the title “Tea Leaves Don’t Look Good For Terry Collins“. That’s a direct implication that this is nothing more than an educated guess. And it’s sponsored by Bigelow Tea. Bigelow Tea … Tea Proudly!
(If you’ve ever heard Howie and Josh on the radio, you’re probably laughing at that.)
Okay, so here goes:
Terry Collins, who this year became the New York Mets‘ all-time leader in games managed, is beloved by people around the team – the staff, the media, even most of the players. And this disastrous Mets season isn’t his fault.
Cue Robin Williams:
Okay, continue, Mr. Heyman:
No one’s saying it, but people around the team all seem to be assuming there’s almost no way he’ll be back — whether it be due to his choice or the team’s. No one expected the Mets to be 55-70, and it may not be a positive sign that no one will say a word about Collins’ situation, either on or off the record. It’s also something Collins is thinking about too. When he agreed to the two-year deal after the 2015 World Series, he said at that time he wasn’t sure he wanted to manage beyond 2017.
So there really hasn’t been any news broken here, which I guess was implied by “Tea Leaves”. But I think the real news is that nobody around the Mets is talking on or off the record. Usually, “Mets People” are all too happy to dish on team issues, especially when it comes to slandering players after they leave the organization. But now they’re silent. Either Sandy Alderson cut out their tongues or they finally got the message that they should keep quiet about internal matters. There’s your breaking news, kids.
As for this “news”, people around the team all seem to be assuming that he won’t be back. I went to the game today, so technically, I’m a “person around the team”. With Collins’ contract expiring, and the fact that Collins is 68 years old, I could have also assumed that he wouldn’t be back either. See, I can be a source too. So beat writers, you know where to find me.
So now this has turned into “Reports Say That Terry Collins Will Not Return”. Getting over the semantics that this is less of a report and more of an educated guess (which is valuable, but let’s not get the two confused), it’s worth noting, and it’s worth discussing. Whether Collins won or not, and whether you like Collins or not (and after seven seasons of a manager who lost more than won most of you probably don’t), voices can’t stay the same after seven seasons. Injuries were a problem this season, just as they were last season. Nobody is going to win with a starting 2-5 of Chris Flexen, Rafael Montero, Tommy Milone, and Robert Gsellman. But it doesn’t mean that Collins should be back, and I don’t think he should be back. It’s time for a new voice and a new vision.
His legacy here will be multifold: First will be guiding the team to the 2015 World Series and 2016 Wild Card game after Sandy Alderson was finally able to afford a few good players like Yoenis Cespedes. Second will be Collins taking the ball from a starter or a reliever after a three run bomb that could have been avoided had TC just taken that pitcher out one batter earlier. Also, there’s the total reinvention of Collins as a player first manager. He alienated players in Anaheim. Then he comes to New York where managers of Collins’ ilk get eaten alive unless they win immediately. But Collins proved that you can teach an old dog new tricks, and he survived New York for seven seasons which is new player-friendly attitude, which he had to a fault sometimes.
To survive seven seasons here with a record under .500 takes some McGyver-like skills. He survived some bad rosters where there was no hope of any real help coming. He survived tons of injuries, most of which took place over the last two seasons. And he survived his own managerial shortcomings, which might be most amazing of all. His first contract ended after three seasons of rosters that Collins never had a chance with, so he was re-signed. His second contract ended after a pennant, so he was re-signed. Good fortune is a part of it too. But that Collins survived what most managers around baseball wouldn’t have, and Terry Collins probably shouldn’t have wouldn’t have in any other organization is at least in part a testament to Collins. Though moving on from him will be for the betterment of the long term mental health of this roster, Collins deserves all due credit for lasting this long.
That said, please give everybody a breath of fresh air and give us somebody like Gabe Kapler to manage the team. I don’t want to hear about Sandy’s Oakland connections (Bob Geren, Dick Scott) or anybody else’s cronies. Cronies aren’t working out so well in the strength and conditioning unit, so let’s lose that hiring practice. Kapler is the Director of Player Development for the Dodgers and everybody in the organization eats organic food. The Dodgers and their affiliates are a combined 153 games over .500, and their worst affiliate is right at .500 (Great Lakes). He’s blocked by Dave Roberts and I want him here shoving Whole Foods items down everybody’s throat. Now that Whole Foods is owned by Amazon and prices are lowering on Monday, it’s actually cost effective for the Wilpons. Everybody wins!!!
Except us in August and September.