Leaving Collins’ Fate Up In The Air Can Blow Up In Sandy’s Face

An article by posted on March 20, 2013

terry collins spring 2

Post Updated on 3/20

I caught this transcript on MetsBlog this morning. They were comments made by Sandy Alderson who was a guest on the New York Post’s baseball podcast. The subject was Terry Collins‘s lame duck status and the possibility of a contract extension in the future:

“Well, I want Terry to be the manager. He and I have a great rapport. I think he does a great job with the players. They believe in him. I just felt that going into this season with the disappointment of the last couple – and I don’t mean that in not getting into the playoffs – more about how we played in the first half and the second half – a lot of that has to do with personnel. It doesn’t have to do with leadership. It has to do with the depth of the personnel and injuries and whether or not you can overcome those.

Often it’s not about the manager, but about what depth you have in your system.  We have more and more depth to draw on and I think we’re seeing that. But I think in part for that reason – and in part for the desire just to see how the team continues to develop – this is the best thing for the Mets. It doesn’t mean Terry won’t be with us long term, and it doesn’t mean he’ll be judged on wins and losses either.”

You all know my feelings on this as we’ve discussed this quite often over the last 3-4 months. I think having a lame duck manager in this town is a big mistake. I believe Alderson is being naive and as usual he likes to be reactive rather than proactive. He takes that approach with every decision he makes and is never out front on anything. He loves to wait things out. Sometimes it works, sometimes it fails.

I would love to see him get a dose of his own medicine when he enters his own lame duck season and hope the Wilpons leave him flapping in the wind, if only to show him how it can undermine one’s authority and ability to make decisions based on the long term because you are mostly worried about the short term.

Collins inherits a 74 win team that has a weakened rotation and outfield. His rotation lost a 20-game winner that accounted for more than 25% of the team’s wins last season and his spot in the rotation has been taken by Shaun Marcum. Scott Hairston, who was no great shakes mind you, was still the second best slugger on the team in 2012 and he was replaced by Collin Cowgill.

The bullpen, as always is a crapshoot, and the de facto closer for now is Bobby Parnell who hasn’t succeeded in that role in the past, and in fact may be a downgrade to Frank Francisco if you can believe that. The rest of the pen is a rag-tag group of scrap heap signings, journeymen and just one youngster with loads of potential who may wind up getting burned out by June if he indeed becomes the only lefty in the pen. I’m talking about Josh Edgin.

Collins will do what he can to survive. During his tenure as Mets manager, he’s lost half an All Star team worth of talent with nothing to show for it at the major league level – it’s all simmering in the minors with some pieces still years away.

You gotta feel bad for the guy….

Post Updated on 2/16

Collins is the final year of his contract, which he originally signed in November 2010.

According to Ken Davidoff of the New York PostWally Backman isn’t looking to take Terry Collins’ job as manager of the Mets, but his goal is definitely to manage in the big leagues.

For now, Backman is focused on what he’s being paid for and that is to mange the Triple-A Las Vegas 51′s this season.

As I said before, and you can read below, I thought it  was naive for Alderson to think Collins’ lame duck status wouldn’t become an issue. Here is what he said last week:

“I think it will only be an issue if Terry makes it an issue or I make it an issue,” Alderson said. Wrong answer Mr. Alderson, this isn’t something you can sweep under the rug and pretend it goes away.

Backman may have just made it an issue:

“I know that his contract’s coming up, and he knows it. Everybody knows it. It’s a tough spot for him and, really, for me.”

Alderson did little to extinguish what Backman said by telling Davidoff on Saturday, that he believes Backman is capable of managing in the big leagues right now.

Yep… This is going to be a big issue – like it or not.

Original Post 2/2

Last night, Sandy Alderson revisited the subject of Terry Collins, who is in the final year of his contract and heads into this season as a lame duck.

“I think it will only be an issue if Terry makes it an issue or I make it an issue,” Alderson said. “I hope we don’t let the media make it an issue, although it’s a question that I’m sure will be asked, especially early in spring training.”

“But I’ve talked to Terry. I think he’s comfortable with his situation. And I know that whatever happens this season, there will be a fair evaluation at the end.”

This is not that different from what he said right after ringing in the new year:

“Look, it would be disingenuous to say, no, it won’t be an issue. Sometimes it becomes an issue. I think it’s a function of whether Terry makes it an issue, or the club makes it an issue, or the media makes it an issue. I understand the possibility it could become something. I hope it doesn’t.”

I think Collins is eventually going to be the fall guy for 2013 even though he was dealt a bad hand. The truth is that he’s never gotten the opportunity to manage a team that can contend for a title, and when he was able to get the team to play above themselves, he had the rug pulled out from under him.

If this team really is geared for a championship run beginning in 2014, I doubt very much that Collins will be around to see it. I’m pretty certain that he will be cast aside for a younger and newer model, never having an opportunity to reap the rewards of the confidence he’s instilled in some of the team’s younger players.

As for this becoming an issue or not, I think it’s naive to think it won’t be.

We’ve had dozens of instances like this in the past with the Mets, Yankees, Jets, Giants, Knicks and Rangers, and it always becomes an issue in this town. This isn’t southern California.

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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