New York Mets News

How safe could Terry Collins’ job really be?

By Danny Abriano

Here’s the complete list of men who have managed the Mets for four straight losing seasons and remained employed for a fifth:

No, I didn’t forget to write the name(s).

In their history, the Mets have never had a manager oversee four straight sub-.500 seasons in their entirety without losing his job.

In fact, only one Mets manager (Joe Torre from 1978 through 1981) oversaw four straight losing campaigns. Torre, it should be noted, was hired midway through 1977, another losing campaign.

One other Mets manager (Casey Stengel from 1962 through 1965) oversaw three straight losing campaigns before departing midway through his fourth. Stengel, of course, was managing an expansion team in the twilight of his career. He’s in a different category than the rest.

Other Mets managers to oversee consecutive losing seasons?

Dallas Green, 1994 and 1995, was fired toward the end of the 1996 season (another losing campaign).

Art Howe, 2003 and 2004, was fired after the 2004 season.

Jerry Manuel, 2009 and 2010, was fired after the 2010 season.

Like Jerry Manuel, Art Howe, Dallas Green, and Joe Torre, Terry Collins hasn’t had the best rosters to work with during his time with the Mets.

However, while they were not solely to blame for what ailed the Mets, Manuel, Howe, Green, and Torre all paid for the Mets’ ineptitude with their job. Why should Collins be excluded?

It seems that the majority of Mets fans want the club to move on from Collins. Aside from fan sentiment, there have been numerous articles written by those who cover the team citing that the Mets should make a change at manager.

Of course, with criticism of Collins comes those who rush to his defense while pointing out that the roster construction is not his fault.

As is noted above, this is indeed not all Terry Collins’ fault. However, while Collins can be absolved of complete blame, that doesn’t mean he isn’t part of the problem.

In addition to being a poor tactician (something that by itself should be enough to cost him his job), Collins’ bullpen management has been a trainwreck, his lineup construction – up until recently – strange and at times stubborn, his double-switches (one lifted Juan Lagares late in a tie game) odd, and the explanations behind many of his moves nonsensical.

Collins has also stated at times this season that he has played certain players or inserted certain pitchers in order for the media and/or fans to get off his back. That’s a problem.

In a recent game where the Mets committed six errors, Collins attempted to deflect blame for the team’s lack of focus by saying that he and his staff were also present for the good games in 2014.

To repeat, Terry Collins is not solely to blame for the Mets’ woes.

However, there’s nothing to indicate that Collins is part of the solution.

In the current state of major league baseball, and especially under Sandy Alderson and other hyper-analytical front offices, who the field manager is is less vital than it has been in the past. Still, that doesn’t mean that a field manager isn’t an extremely important piece of any organization.

2015 will be the start of a new era for the Mets, likely one where the club actually expects to legitimately contend for the first time in seven years.  I don’t see one reason why Terry Collins should be at the helm for it.