Two More Years! Two More Years!

An article by posted on August 2, 2013

It seems that recently, the Mets discussion has centered around the guy who is or isn’t writing out the lineup card.

It’s likely a minority opinion, but I think the Mets need to lock Terry Collins up to a two year deal now, and put the discussion to rest.

Wally Backman was my favorite player growing up. I have nothing against him at all, but I believe that MOST of the people who want him to be the Manager, have likely never seen him manage.

I believe you can take any Manager decision that didn’t work, and use it to build a case toward firing that Manager. Most of the people that do not want Terry Collins back in 2014 have some legitimate arguments. The problem I have is that most of the time it’s based on things like “handling of a bullpen,” or a “late game decision,” and when they reference Backman as the answer – I wonder how do they know he wouldn’t make those same mistakes?

Backman has zero experience at the big league level as a coach. If he was to be hired, he’d make mistakes – does that mean we let him go as well?

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When the managerial search was on, there was a large majority of Mets fans that wanted Backman over both Collins and Melvin. Melvin is on his way to possibly his second straight Manager of the Year Award. Sometimes the answer isn’t always the popular one. I do believe Backman deserves a chance somewhere, and I hope he gets it one day.

I said it before, managing can be summed up by a move that Eric Young Jr. made this week. If when he goes for the delayed steal and is thrown out by a mile – it was a stupid move and people are angry. But, he was safe and so it was a gutsy, and “heady” play that should be applauded.

To me, the Manager is more about what he gets out of the players then what one move out of thousands that they make.

Take the Yankee four game series for example. The Mets came into that series having lost 5 of their last 6 and when you compared each team’s roster you had a clear advantage leaning the Yankees way even with their injuries. The Mets came back to win the first two games, one of which was against the greatest closer who ever lived, and then went into Yankee stadium and dominated the so called “big brother.”

I look at the July 1st game against Arizona when the Mets were down 3-0 in the 7th inning, chipped away at the lead and blew a tied game in the 13th inning thanks to a Cody Ross HR and then coming back to score 2 runs to win the game.

Even the July 4th game when the Mets lost to Arizona in 15 innings after Arizona took a lead in the 13th and 14th inning, the way the team played that game was a reflection on their manager despite the loss.

To me, the Manager is less about X’s and O’s and more about how he leads the team and whether the team responds to his leadership. Bobby Valentine can be a great X’s and O’s guy, but he was a total bust in Boston because he lost the clubhouse before the season started.

I’ll admit, I didn’t like the idea of throwing Valdespin out there to be beaned, and I even said I thought it was a reflection of Collins being more of a minor league instructor than a big league manager. It was a mistake. valdespin 2

When you look at this team, and try to figure out their future – you see David Wright, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and then a bunch of question marks right now. This franchise needs stability from the top down, they need a leader that the players can count on and Collins has proven to me that he’s that guy.

Heading into the 2009 season, San Francisco Giants Manager Bruce Bochy was heading into his final year of a 3 year deal. Fans in San Francisco were comparing his bullpen management to that of Dusty Baker as a reason why the Giants should look elsewhere for a Manager.

With a 24 year old Tim Lincecum, and a 23 year old Matt Cain the Giants won 72 games in 2008 which was the first year the Giants began their “Bonds-less” path.

Heading into 2009, Bochy was 143-181, and prior to that he was 951-975 with San Diego. The Giants gave Bochy time to see the rebuild through, their franchise was in a transitional/rebuild phase. They trusted that their plan of Lincecum+Cain could work in the future and that after a four long terrible seasons, the franchise needed stability in leadership, and not another change.

Bochy’s Giants won 88 games in 2009, and he was given a two year extension.

The next thing that happened? Well you know the rest. Bochy’s Giants have won two World Series’ in the last 4.

Now I’m not suggesting Collins will win two out of the next four World Series’. From my fingers to God’s eyes right?

But, what I am suggesting is that Collins is in a similar spot with his roster as Bochy was in 2008.

Unfortunately, Collins’ contract expires so he doesn’t have the 2009 season to give everybody an obvious reason as to why he deserves two more years.

I believe Collins deserves two years because I think the next two years are significant for this franchise and the front office. The excuses are gone, the accountability must be present.

The bad contracts are off the books, the young players are finding their way to the big leagues – it’s put up or shut up time for everybody in the Mets organization.

The Mets do not NEED a new manager – they NEED a new 1B, SS and OF.

What they need to do is remain stable in their leadership and provide the best tools possible in 2014 and 2015 to try and finally turn things around.

I believe Collins is the leader they need, and he has shown me enough to suggest he deserves two more years.

About the Author ()

Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.

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