There’s an old adage: There is always a right man for the job. Three years ago when the Mets were poised to begin a long rebuild, Terry Collins was that man. By nature he appears patient and supportive. Exactly the type of guy you might want at the helm if you were going to fill the roster with inexperience youngsters trying to find their place in Major League Baseball.
So, how has he done? By the numbers he is 213-248 as Mets skipper to date. Not quite a ringing endorsement for a new contract, but I think blaming Collins for that number is the lazy route. Simply stated, Collins hasn’t had a roster capable of .500 baseball, let alone a legitimate playoff run. That’s not to say his teams weren’t capable of better.
Collins “by the book” style of management is out dated and often times infuriating. It causes him to regularly mismanage the bullpen and take the bats out if his players hands far to frequently in lieu of the bunt. What difference has it made? Its tough to put a number on it because sometimes players simply fail, but for arguments sake lets call it at least five games to date this year.
This is precisely the reason Collins cannot be brought back next season. There is always going to be some mismanagement during the season, but the front office must find someone who can cut that number in half. Two or three more wins would mean very little in 2013, but it could mean everything next season and beyond if the Mets find themselves in contention. If you don’t think so, I implore you to remember the 2007 and 2008 campaigns where the Mets found themselves on the outside looking in by the slimmest of margins.
If the Mets have the offseason many expect, the manger’s role will shift from treading water to the pursuit of the postseason. And while some will argue that that’s always the goal, Collins has never had the players to get there. In the not so distant future the Mets may have those players and while Collins hasn’t been a terrible manager, he’ll no longer be the best man for the job.
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