Updated on 5/1
Bob Klapisch of The Record, mirrors my post from Monday that the Terry Collins watch has begun:
The countdown on Terry Collins began on the first day of pitchers and catchers and nothing so far has made it any easier to believe he’ll be back with the Mets in 2014. Of course, Collins has handled his lame-duck status with grace and maturity — he’s an honest guy, good with people — but that hasn’t stopped Sandy Alderson from letting his manager continue to drift away from the mother ship.
Collins, no dummy, knows he would’ve already received a vote of confidence, even in private, if Alderson and Jeff Wilpon were entirely sold on his body of work. Both men know what job security — or its absence — does to a manager’s standing in the clubhouse. Without a commitment from ownership, Collins looks like a short-timer on a bad team, a latter-day George Bamberger. The current six-game losing streak, including embarrassing back-to-back losses to the Marlins, doesn’t help his cause, either.
Collins seems to be making one bad decision after another during this current losing streak. It’s hard to ignore his bad calls and the become more glaring especially with the team losing 10 of their last 13 games.
Last night, in a critical save situation – in a game the Mets needed so desperately to win – he called upon Brandon Lyon while his regular closer Bobby Parnell was armed and ready to go.
Lets just say that it didn’t work out too well for the Mets…
Reportedly, Parnell was pissed off after the game and was angry that he didn’t get the chance to preserve the win for Jeremy Hefner who pitched the game of his life and deserved a better fate.
Tick, tick, tick, tick….
Original Post 4/29
After getting off to a 7-4 start to the season, the Mets have now lost nine of their last 12 games and aside from when Matt Harvey and Jon Niese are on the hill, you don’t get the sense that the Mets will win that day.
Part of the problem was a middle to back end of the rotation that was ill-conceived from the beginning. The ever so reliable R.A. Dickey was replaced with Shaun Marcum who has already missed nearly a month of the season. Not surprising coming off an injury plagued season in 2012.
The bullpen, which has been among league’s worst for two years in a row, is in familiar territory once again and sporting the highest ERA in the league and the second worst mark in baseball. While Bobby Parnell has made advances in the closer role, the league is batting .324 against LaTroy Hawkins, Josh Edgin and Glen Burke have already been cut, and Scott Atchison, Brandon Lyon and Robert Carson each have ERAs over 4.00.
The outfield, which many thought would be better than last year’s version, is producing at the bottom of the MLB barrel again. Collin Cowgill is batting a gritty .169, and Marlon Byrd is providing a veteran presence to go with his .235 average. Those two were announced as everyday outfielders on Opening Day and experiment that lasted all of three games. Adding to the folly is the scrappy Mike Baxter and his .229 average. After a solid start, Lucas Duda has been mired in a slump and is batting .233 in his last ten games. Jordany Valdespin is probably the Mets’ best option, but is still relegated to bench and spot duty. He didn’t even merit a start a day after a game winning grand slam.
You have a mixed bag in the infield with David Wright holding up his end of the bargain with a .309 average and a .506 slugging, and Daniel Murphy continues to defy his skeptics offensively and defensively. Ike Davis has been a sore spot all season long and as I said two weeks ago it’s time to bring up Josh Satin who leads the organization with a 1.10 OPS and platoon him at first. Ruben Tejada hasn’t cut it defensively or offensively and yet somehow he frequently finds himself batting leadoff.
This team has gaping holes everywhere. Today on MetsBlog, Matt Cerrone provided a glimmer of hope:
I don’t see that changing the climate in Flushing. The Mets were at their worst last season when Davis got hot, Wheeler can’t seem to find the strike zone in Vegas, and D’Arnaud has missed nearly the first month of the season on the DL.
Yesterday on Twitter, I posted this message:
Mets won't do anything to draw negative attention before All Star Game. I think Collins will be chopped after that if things don't improve.
— Mets Merized Online (@MetsMerized) April 28, 2013
I put much of the blame on yesterday’s loss on Terry Collins. His decision to remove Niese when he did was a terrible one, and the worst part was what he said afterward:
“I knew they were going to put Howard in,” Collins said. “Scott Atchison‘s breaking ball is really difficult to hit. I don’t care who it is.”
He also replaced Juan Lagares with Collin Cowgill and as one reader pointed out, that Howard two-run double probably would have been caught with the speedier and more agile rookie who Collins himself said was better than Matt den Dekker defensively.
Is it too early to call for Collins’ head?
Probably, but while we can fix the bullpen, the outfield, the infield or the backend of the rotation, you can’t fix stupid. As I said, the Mets won’t do anything now with the All Star game closing in at Citi Field, but there’s a reason why Sandy Alderson opted to let Terry Collins go into this season without an extension and as a lame duck manager.