Quotes That Can’t Be Ignored

By Danny Abriano

I recently wrote a piece stating that the Mets should not consider extending Terry Collins through 2014.  After his post-game quotes last night, i’s fair to question whether or not the Mets should allow Collins to return in 2013.  Here are the quotes, wrapped up by Adam Rubin:

"Asked directly if the team had quit, Collins succinctly said: “You have to ask them.”   Pressed about his own thoughts, the manager repeated: “You’ll have to ask them. I have my own opinion. I’m not going to express it publicly.”   Asked what he could say to his team after such a loss, Collins said: “You’ve still got to play. You’ve still got to play the game right, play like Juan Pierre plays. He hit a chopper down the first-base line in a game [while] meaningless and beats it out for a hit. That’s how you play."

Collins’ refusal to answer whether or not the Mets had quit, looks like confirmation that they have.  Collins said he “had his own opinion.”  That opinion seems to be that his team has quit on themselves, their Manager, and their fans.  When Collins went further by stating that his guys should “play like Juan Pierre plays,” he was calling them out for not hustling.  The players should police themselves, but it’s up to the Manager to keep his team in check.  To make sure they don’t give up.  Collins has failed miserably in that regard.

Sept 16, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins watches game against the Milwaukee Brewers from the dugout at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

During this second half from hell, the starting pitching has been above average for the most part.  The offensive players are the same ones who were responsible for the 46-39 start.  The bullpen has improved.   How, then, does one explain a 20-44 stretch?  Is there any explanation for a team going 4-25 at home since the All-Star break, and failing to score more than three runs in 17 consecutive home games (one short of the Major League record)?  The team has been lazy, they’ve played carelessly, and displayed no urgency or pride.

The only plausible explanation is that the team has quit, an explanation that appears to be backed by the Manager himself.  This is worse than 2007, and worse than 2008.  Those teams tried, but collapsed.  2009 was an injury ravaged disaster.  The 2010 and 2011 Mets showed glimpses before fading.  The 2012 Mets?  They’ve given up.  They’ve gone from a team that some thought would contend to the most unlikable, unwatchable Mets team in nearly a decade.

The last time the Mets completely bottomed out was 2004.  After that season, Art Howe was fired and replaced by Willie Randolph.  The Mets went on to have four consecutive winning seasons (despite Randolph’s shortcomings).  Manager’s don’t have an enormous impact on the outcome of the games.  I believe, though, that once a Manager admits that his players have quit on him, that Manager needs to be replaced.

Hopefully, this season is as bad as it gets.  Maybe 2013 will be like 2005, and the team will finally start to make the fans proud again.  In my opinion, regardless of what other moves are made after game 162, the first one should be to relieve Terry Collins of his duties.  The players have failed, the front office has failed, and the Manager has failed.  However, the Manager is the only one who has copped to being unable to adequately perform his job.  For that, he should no longer have a job.