You know I don’t love Terry Collins, Mike. I don’t think he’s particularly astute. But generally I try to restrain myself from those criticisms, try not to focus too much on any manager’s in-game decisions, which are too often put under the microscope for scrutiny, making them appear larger than they actually are. Even so, Terry’s hard to figure sometimes.
But here’s the thing: Whenever I go over to read the comments section on Metsblog, I end up feeling sorry for the poor guy. Here’s a recent small sample, taken after Monday’s lineup (without Wright) was posted:
* “Wow . . . I’m starting to really not like TC.”
* “I’m really starting to think Collins has lost his mind. It was inexcusable that he didn’t have a lefty ready in the pen when he took out Niese yesterday knowing that the Phillies had Ryan freaking Howard on the bench. Wally time??”
* “Look, it’s obvious that Terry is going to ignore Valdy’s leadoff stats this year and Baxter’s poor defense and just do whatever he wants based on strange, inconsistent ideas that he has floating around in his head.”
* “His decision-making is even causing his orange complexion to go away.”
* “Terry has a knack for putting ice cold hitters in the clean up spot.”
* “It’s as if the guy just tosses darts at this point.”
* “Another stupid lineup from the dumbest manager ever!!!”
* “We’ve lost every game since Baxter has been leading off. Thought it was a crazy idea from the get-go and it certainly hasn’t succeeded, but Collins sticks with it and pushes us down the toilet.”
* “Terry Collins is a BOOB. Insulting our intelligence with his B.S. faux baseball knowledge. This lineup is an INSULT to every Met fan!!!”
And on and on it goes, comment after comment. By the time I finished the thread, I wanted to hug him. You know, pat his back and say, “There, there, it’s okay, we know you’re trying.” He’s become Sandy Alderson’s human shield.
Yes, sadly, I rather they let Collins go too. I like Collins and think he has had a bad hand from the start. But he signed up when he did with few options. Life is tough and I now believe he is in the way. After three years of standing still all excuses for Alderson and his deputies need to be removed. It is time for Sandy to walk the walk and start improving the major league roster. And Collins has now become one more shield of the real issue with the Mets. The talent level is atrocious. Sandy and his bosses the Wilpons need all excuses removed.
Every year the major league team gets worse. The excuses have been lined up all along. First it was Castillo and Perez. Then Bay and Santana. They all are gone, as well as K-Rod, Jose Reyes, and Carlos Beltran. No talent has been acquired to replace any of them. Now I hear it’s Collins’ fault. With this roster! Ha.
Watching the games this week, Terry has had a rough week. Unlike his bosses, who quit on both the 2011 and 2012 Mets, I do not believe he has any quit in him. I think Collins, a baseball lifer, not a former attorney, respects the game and the fans who attend every day. The strain of managing an Independent League roster against major league teams is creating a situation where Terry is now making things worse trying to make things better. You can’t make this roster better. It is what it is.
But having said all this I would be sincerely surprised if Collins is let go anytime soon. The Wilpons would still have to pay him. And the focus will shift 100% above the manager. He is one last convenient excuse.
No, expect Collins to be around until very late summer at the earliest, the entire season if the ship is righted at all. If there is one thing Sandy Alderson has been a pure genius about it is keeping the spotlight off himself, Fred, Jeff, and Saul. There is no reason to expect a change in tactics now.
I just hope it doesn’t get too ugly, it’s been bad enough already.
And it is May 2nd.