The Mets, mired in a six-game losing streak and 13-24 over their last 27 games, are in a downward spiral, and that has led some to speculate about Collins’ job security.
Alderson’s comments Tuesday put a public face and a declaration on the “will Collins get fired” question, but did it really settle anything or translate to Collins actually having job security?
There are two separate things to take into account here, things that people often have a tough time separating.
1. The Mets, as of now, are poorly constructed at the major league level. Ownership hasn’t provided the front office with the proper budget, and the front office hasn’t done a good job with the money it has been provided. That is not Terry Collins’ fault.
2. Terry Collins has never been viewed as even an average in-game manager. His lineup decisions, bullpen moves, and other in-game maneuvers have always left a lot to be desired.
The point? It’s possible – and common – to have both a poor team and a poor manager.
No one is blaming Terry Collins for all of the Mets’ ills, but he is certainly a contributing factor to their poor performance. To put it another way – dismissing a poor manager is permissible simply due to the fact that he is, indeed, a poor manager.
In addition to Collins’ in-game shortcomings, he has had other issues in 2014.
The team has played poor fundamental baseball, some of which (such as attempting to steal third base when a hold-sign should be on) can be prevented by the manager.
Collins sat center fielder Juan Lagares for four out of five games in May, and became confrontational with the media and took a shot at the fans when he was questioned. Collins also gave rambling, nonsensical responses when he was asked to provide a reason for benching Lagares.
Recently, Collins irritated David Wright by double switching him out of a close game late, and by refusing to put him in the lineup a day after Collins said that he would indeed allow Wright to play if the third baseman wished to.
Collins has also been erratic as far as the way he’s used his young starting pitchers. For example, he allowed Zack Wheeler to throw a career high number of pitches a few weeks ago (which is fine), but removed Wheeler a few days ago at just 86 pitches in what was a very odd move.
Regardless of what Sandy Alderson said on Tuesday, it’s impossible to believe that Collins’ job will be safe if the Mets continue to lose at the rate they’ve been losing lately.
Collins doesn’t bring much to the table from an in-game standpoint, has pretty much lost the fan base, and may be dealing with an increasingly testy clubhouse. Add to that continued losing, and you have a situation that is untenable.