Terry Collins has a shiny new two-year contract with the Mets. He will be the man leading the team come spring training next year. Simply put, this move cannot be evaluated yet. I mean, it is hard enough to evaluate Collins himself based on his body of work with this club so judging whether he should have at least one more year at the helm is a challenge.
If you did not want Collins back next season you are going to look at wins and losses and build your argument from there. Under his leadership the Mets have gone 225-261. Why in the world would any team want that winning percentage back?
No, the Mets are not crazy for bringing back a manager who has yet to bring their team a winning season. If there is one thing that Sandy Alderson has made very clear since he took over, it is that the Mets have a plan and they are sticking to the plan. Terry Collins became part of the plan in 2010 and going to any other manager would be changing tracks. The front office thinks the team is close to competing. If they really are close, there is absolutely no reason to change the route they are on.
Bringing back Terry Collins also signals the front office taking responsibility for the on-field product. Collins simply has not had much talent to work with in his three seasons with the organization. While some of his in-game decisions have been suspect, one has to wonder how the results would be different with better players. Maybe he would not have kept Jeremy Hefner or Dillon Gee in for that extra inning if he had Vic Black all season. He would not have had to find a pinch-hitter for Omar Quintanilla if he had any serviceable shortstop to play a full game.
Sandy Alderson and co. know this team has holes. They know Collins is not responsible for putting talent on the field.
Despite the losing record, Terry has not done a bad job with this club. The biggest concern through his managerial career was keeping control of the clubhouse. The fact that he has not won yet he has kept the players behind him speaks volumes. Players were on his side throughout the Jordany Valdespin hit-by-pitch saga. If he has the faith of a team amidst losing seasons, imagine what players would do to win for him.
The two year contract does not mean Collins is going to be around for both years. It allows the Mets to use 2014 to reevaluate him and decide whether he can work with a group of players they deem “talented.”
For now, this is one less decision to make in a busy offseason. It is one less piece to transition into the club and it creates fluidity through the questions that are moving from the end of 2013 and into 2014.
Let’s see what Terry Collins can do with some talent and experience before we run him out of town.