Terry Collins has been the Mets manager for the previous four seasons and, boy, have those been some brutal years. The 2014 campaign has been much of the same: bad bullpen, poor situational hitting, and games filled with mental errors. Three things that can all be blamed on the manager of a professional baseball team.
Enter Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson, who recently stated that his manager was here to stay. That usually means that he has been wrestling with the decision himself.
No one is blaming Collins for having a Major League roster that does not have much talent. That blame falls directly on Alderson and the Mets owners.
Coming into the year, Collins also had veteran relief pitchers whom were on their last legs such as Kyle Farnsworth and Jose Valverde, both have since been released by the Mets. He also had to deal with the Ike Davis saga which finally came to an end when the Mets traded him to the Pirates in mid-April.
However, Collins is to blame for playing favorites in the bullpen and tiring guys out. A perfect example is Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia. Familia only made 7 appearances in the month of April for a total of 9 innings; however, the month of May was entirely different. Familia made 18 appearances totaling 18.2 inning pitched. Familia is a 24-year-old flame thrower who Collins would be wise to not overuse and rather pick and choose the spots for which Familia is needed.
The mismanagement of Collins can be overbearing at some points, and just downright confusing. In Zack Wheeler‘s last start against the Giants, Collins decided to take him out after 86 pitches in 3.2 innings. Wheeler did let up 4 runs but he also had 6 strikeouts so the move was unwarranted. The Mets would go on to lose the game and, once again, tire out the bullpen is doing so.
Many managers have had success with teams that do not have much talent, but they have gotten by with what they have. How? Making the right in-game decisions and letting players get comfortable in a particular spot in the lineup. This is something that Collins does not do well at all. The only main stay at one position in the batting order has been perennial All-Star David Wright, who has batted 3rd all season. Other than that, every game is anyone’s guess as to what the lineup might be.
Is it unfair for the Mets to fire Collins? In some ways, yes, because it is not entirely his fault for the Mets being where they are today. However, baseball is a game for professionals, and no one in upper management of any organization should worry about hurting someones feelings.
The Mets need someone to take accountability for how unwatchable they have become in recent years and firing Collins would be a step in the right direction. That would show the players and the fan base that losing is not acceptable, and if you can not get the job done, you will be replaced.
The Mets must operate like a winning franchise if that is what they intend to do in the near future.