The 2017 season isn’t even over yet and the New York Mets are already prepping their spin for why manager Terry Collins won’t be back next season. Collins, whose contract is expiring, wants to return for 2018 but there appears to be no interest in a reunion. Newsday’s Marc Carig published a story yesterday in which a bunch of anonymous team sources and players bashed Collins’ decision making and relationship skills, with some front office folks complaining about Collins’ bullpen usage. The article indicated that owner Fred Wilpon was the only reason Collins still had a job, but that he won’t stand in the way of a change this time. Those anonymous sources must want to make sure that Collins goes because they delivered another interesting leak to Mike Puma and Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
This story expanded on the criticisms in Carig’s piece, but provided a specific example of Collins’ poor bullpen management, specifically involving closer Jeurys Familia. Team officials indicate that Collins was warned not to overuse Familia, particularly in non-save situations, but Collins frequently ignored that directive. Familia ended up developing a shoulder injury in May that required surgery that sidelined him until the end of August, a critical blow to the Mets’ season. Mets’ brass believe that Collins’ overuse of Familia had a direct correlation to the injury, and the front office is clearly fed up with Collins at this point.
The amount of negative information that has leaked about Collins in the past two days is staggering and a true indication of the level of dysfunction that surrounded the Mets this season. Even though some of the organization’s points are fair, such as Collins overusing his bullpen and relying far too much on veteran players, the way the Mets have anonymously thrown Collins under the bus is cowardly. Collins may not be the best baseball tactician out there, but he has been a loyal soldier for the franchise, guiding them through a rebuilding period to reach the World Series in 2015 and a wild card berth in 2016 despite missing a ton of players due to injury.
Earlier this season, Collins became the longest tenured manager in franchise history, passing Davey Johnson for the most games managed in a Mets’ uniform. If the sources are correct a lot of that tenure came thanks to Fred Wilpon, but the way the Mets are getting ready to send him out the door is completely classless. Collins has been here a long time and guided the franchise to some incredible highs, and even he would probably admit that the team might benefit from hearing a new voice in the clubhouse. Instead of settling things behind the scenes and publicly announcing Collins’ departure this week, giving him a chance to say goodbye to the fans on his own terms, the Mets are anonymously bashing Collins before unceremoniously dumping him on Monday. Collins may not be a perfect manager, but he certainly deserves better than this petty nonsense on his way out the door.