I looked back at the Mets 52-year history to see if it confirmed something I believed to be true. It did. The Mets have never had a manager enter a fifth season after four full losing seasons. Not Casey, not Joe Torre, nobody. 2014 is Terry Collin’s fourth year as manager.
Now, personally, I don’t get too caught up in the everyday stuff with managers. A lot of fans get crazy over every double switch or pitching move, but I’ve never been wired that way. I’m not in the clubhouse, there is so much I don’t know. Even things that seem straightforward to fans, like when one pitcher is used in relief over another guy. Many times guys are unavailable that day, and teams are not going to announce that.
Also I have seen so many styles work, and not work. The type of manager that is effective depends so much on the situation. Bobby Valentine did tremendous work right here in New York. When he got to Boston, he was a train wreck and barely made it through a season. The next year, with Valentine gone, the Red Sox won the World Series. Managing is often about horses for courses.
But those numbers I mentioned above are real. Eventually, no matter what roster a manager has to work with, he needs to win or go. The idea is to win, and every stone has to be left unturned. Collins needs to win at least 83 games or it is time to find out if someone else can lead this crew to victory.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I like Terry. I think he is a good man who wanted to redeem himself for his earlier failures as a manager. And to his credit, Collins, who was fired twice for being too rough on players, is a different guy with the Mets than his reputation with the Astros and Angels suggests. But everyone doesn’t get a trophy in real life, and it’s the manager’s job to find a way to squeeze every last win out of his team. The Mets cannot afford to have losing season after losing season without holding the people in charge responsible. Before the guy buying all the groceries is shown the door, it’s only reasonable to first make sure the problem isn’t the cook. The New York Mets have already not made the playoffs in seven years, and have endured four straight losing seasons. If it becomes five, Collins needs to go.
And if this team struggles early and Terry does not make it through the year, that is fair too. I have long maintained that Terry Collins is not the problem with the Mets, but now, in 2014, that is not good enough.
It’s time to see results that indicate he is part of the solution.