New York Mets News

So, whose fault is it, Sandy?

By Sam Maxwell

Sandy Alderson publicly supported Terry Collins as manager a couple weeks ago amidst buzz that Collins was on the hot seat as the losses kept mounting.

Jun 14, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson (left) talks with chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon before the start of a game against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Well, now the “sources” are backing up Sandy’s words. Via Andy Martino of the NY Daily News:

"People in the team’s front office say that Alderson has been thinking a lot lately about the team’s run differential (minus 10), which he believes indicates that the team should be around .500, not 31-39. Other disaster teams, like the Phillies (minus 26) and the Padres (minus 61) have far worse differentials.But the GM, in searching for explanations and ways to improve, adamantly does not believe that managerial tactics are to blame for the underachieving, colleagues say.That strongly suggests that Collins is safe for the foreseeable future, and it doesn’t even account for another key point of Alderson’s personality: He truly does not believe in change for the sake of change, and speaks often of the risks of that approach. This GM feels that a team can make itself worse, if its decisions are guided by emotion or narrative, rather than cold logic.In New York, we are accustomed to managers automatically losing their jobs under certain circumstances, like a string of losing seasons. But the guy running the Mets simply does not think this way. He values stability over the short-term jolt of change."

That may be well and good, and I personally have believed that we have needed to get away from the “short-term jolt of change” tactics that have plagued the New York Mets over their 50-year history. But this is now Collins’ 4th year managing this team. The team has not gotten better in that time, and one could argue it has only gotten worse. And the roster certainly has to do with that. While the minor leagues have begun to flourish under Sandy and his front office team’s leadership, which is something the Mets direly needed to fix, his judgement at the Major League level has been less than stellar.

While I do not believe Terry is the long-term answer at the manager position (even if “long-term” just means the length of his contract, including his 2016 option), he is more than a sub-par in-game manager, and has not put Sandy’s lackluster roster in proper positions to succeed, regardless of our perception of talent level.

The unfortunate circumstance for Mets fans is that this team is unlikely to have long-term success with the Wilpons at the helm (and I bet Sandy thinks about that from time to time, trying his best to turn a Dodge into a Cadillac.)

Since they bought out Nelson Doubleday for full stake of the team, the Mets have had only 4 winning seasons out of 12, one of which was a rebuilding year that needed a strong push at the end to finish 83-79 (’05), 2 which included epic collapses, and 1 where the Mets couldn’t capitalize on the greatest postseason catch ever to win their 5th pennant. The Wilpons have yet to show they can capably run a Major League baseball team, let alone that they understand what it means to own the New York Metropolitans.

I want this team to win desperately, but it breaks most of our hearts to have a gut feeling that will never happen with the Wilpons owning the team.