As I type this the Mets are flying to blistering Phoenix with the words of Terry Collins ringing in their ears and mine. The Mets followed up their 1-5 road trip with an 0-6 homestand.
Collins’ post-game presser yesterday was filled with promises we’ve all heard before. “Over the next two weeks, the Mets will start playing as they did in the first half”, he said. They would b more patient with their at-bats; they would pitch better; they would play better defense; and, they would be fundamentally sound.
Sounds good. Also sounds like something we’ve heard before. What I don’t understand is how Collins can promise all this. If it were something that could be readily promised and delivered, then why don’t the Mets play that way all the time?
The thing is Collins can’t make such a promise. Not only is it impossible, but he doesn’t have the talent on his team to make it happen.
Thoughts from Joe D.
For the last few weeks I’ve mentioned that Collins has become a sympathetic figure to me. Yesterday’s presser only showed why. When Sandy Alderson showed up in the dugout on Monday before the game along with Snooki to proclaim the team were not buyers, did anybody see how ashen Collin’s usually rosy face became?
He was hearing it for the first time. The poor guy actually bought into the “we are buyers” charade that began in early July when the Mets were on top of the world.
When Collins lost his closer Frank Francisco he didn’t sweat it because he was sure an arm was coming and even talked about it matter-of-factly the next day at his pre-game press conference.
So imagine the lump that developed in the back of his throat as he heard those words, all while he’s struggling to find a way to get the Mets back on track, only this time without his closer Francisco, his ace Johan Santana, and one of his most consistent pitchers he had in Dillon Gee. And then along comes Snooki wrapping her arms around him to take pictures with him. Poor Terry…
Collins wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s a believer too just like Gil was. He has enough faith and fire to go around for the whole team as we all saw in the first half. But Collins can’t walk on water or turn it into wine.
So he goes up there to the podium and makes one last ditch effort to salvage the season by making a passionate plea to believe in him and the players. That might have worked in Spring Training when he said he didn’t need Jose Reyes to win a Wild Card, but it doesn’t sound legit when he’s standing amid the rubble and ashes that are now Sandy Alderson’s 2012 Mets – the team that wasn’t going to punt this season.
Terry wasn’t making promises up there… Actually, he was praying…