Lucas Duda was removed in the third inning by Terry Collins last night for not hustling after he chose not to run hard on a misplayed flyball in the outfield by the Marlins defense.
Rather than being at second base and in scoring position, Duda ended up no further than first base.
Although he took an inning to react to it, Collins did the right thing and pulled him. It’s about time he put his foot down on all this lollygagging, but I wonder if this would have been the case if it were David Wright instead who often does the same thing?
Duda took responsibility for failing to run out the popup and acknowledged his lack of hustle.
“I was frustrated and I didn’t bust down the line and Terry pulled me out,” Duda said. “That’s pretty much how it is. I would have done the same thing. I mean, I didn’t run. That’s part of the game — you’ve got to play the game hard. And I didn’t run.”
This came less than 24 hours after Collins chastised his team and went as far as suggesting that his team may have quit. He regretted making the charges the next day, but some players took it hard.
I’ve said this before and last night was a good example of it, but there’s no accountability on this team and that is why for two years players have been getting away with this lackadaisical approach to the game until last night.
“I know he didn’t do it on purpose,” said Collins. “A routine fly ball, you get caught up in that stuff in the big leagues. But as I told him when he came off the field, we’ve made a statement here that we’re not going to play the game like that, especially right now. Had we won 10 of the last 12, or 15 of the last 20, you can kind of turn your head. But I couldn’t turn my head tonight.”
Collins shouldn’t turn his head on any bad play EVER in my opinion. There’s never a good time to turn your head on things like this and it doesn’t matter if you are winning or losing. As manager, Collins is also the disciplinarian and he should address things even-handed and fair. He needs to hold these players accountable. And not just Duda, but all of them… No matter how large their status on the team is or how big their paychecks are.
As far as Lucas Duda is concerned, shame on you. You were the one that was bitching and moaning when the Mets sent you down to Triple A. You were the one crying about how you belonged in the majors. Well if you want to play in the big boys’ league then act like you give a damn. Play hard all the time and don’t slack off.
Last night, Terry Collins attempted to send a message to his team and hold them accountable for their actions. That’s great, but it took almost two full seasons for him to finally get that point across.
Terry promised solid fundamentals, a 100% effort, and accountability from all his players in his very first Spring Training camp when he addressed the team. It was great promise, but it never happened.
The fans deserve better than that.