He defends Collins and says that he has had to endure Chris Young, Frank Francisco, a major drop in payroll, a major contraction phase, and the loss of a batting champion and Cy Young Award-winner among other things that were all beyond his control.
“Why wouldn’t he be back?” one official told Mike Puma of the NY Post.“We’ve seen improvement in some young guys and everyone is still playing for him.”
Martino also adds that Collins has had to face the cameras twice a day for four seasons trying to sell the public on a dreary second class product.
He concludes that both Sandy Alderson and Collins should stay on until we see if their collaboration will result in success. Next year, he says, both Alderson and Collins can be evaluated on wins and losses alone.
“The former has had enough time to construct a sustainable team, and if it does not work soon, sharp criticism will be fair. By the same standard, Collins will have the chance to manage the team in its first year when only a pennant race is acceptable.”
I’m sorry, but I have to disagree.
I am not willing to cross my fingers for a fifth straight season hoping that things will get better. All those items that Martino mentions aside, it doesn’t explain away Collins’ woeful in-game tactics, or the horrendous way he manages his bullpen, and most of all his feelings about playing young players in general.
It took an intervention by Sandy Alderson last week to finally get Collins to understand that player development is of utmost importance to this franchise and that it’s not the back-burner issue he seems to think it is.
His constant catering to veterans and his inability to confront them on various issues is also a problem. His lack of accountability is another.
Case in point was just last night when we saw Juan Lagares failing to run to first base after a failed bunt attempt. The fact that Lagares felt comfortable enough not to hustle to first base is an indictment on Collins. It’s a reflection of a manger who has been slack on fundamentals, soft on discipline, and long on excuses.
As I’ve been harping for nearly a year now, this team needs someone fresh and dynamic to take them to the next level. We need a manager who connects with our young prospects rather than disconnecting from them. A manager who will stand up and demand better play, demand attention to basic fundamentals, and demand accountability from each of his players.
In Terry Collins you have a manager that is so fearful of losing his clubhouse as he did in Houston and Anaheim, that he’s actually making excuses for his players now rather than confronting them and being the disciplinarian all managers are supposed to be.
As Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez both said, any discipline should be done openly in the dugout so that every player can see it and understand that there’s consequences when you don’t give it your all, and when you don’t hustle, and when you don’t use your head.
This clubhouse is far too tainted for Collins to do a course-reversal and fix it.
Only new leadership can do that.
It’s now apparent that Terry Collins will enter the 2015 season as the Mets manager, and a lame duck manager at that.
My guess is that by early-June, Sandy Alderson will see the error in his decision and will ultimately do what should have been done this season. I expect he’ll fire Terry Collins before next year’s All-Star break.
Unfortunately, Sandy probably ends up wasting another year away, and that’s what the real shame is here. As the title states, retaining Collins as manager is a decision he will come to regret.