From the desk of: HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET
NEW YORK METS: Terry Collins has spent the first 29 games of the season making a strong case for his dismissal.
Is Terry Collins trying to lose his job? What was he thinking in leaving Jenrry Mejia in against Colorado on Saturday, and letting him surrender 8 runs in the 5th inning, punctuated by a grand slam off the bat of third baseman Nolan Arenado? Where was his mind in letting a 6-0 lead become a 2 run deficit?
Sure, an error by first baseman Lucas Duda prolonged the inning, but, make no mistake, the 5th inning will shine an awfully bright spotlight on the Mets skipper. I'm confident this will be an incident referred to numerous times.
His bullpen management was already questionable to begin with. At no time during Jenrry Mejia's meltdown, did the manager hasten activity in the bullpen. Diasuke Matsuzaka was still attempting to warm up by the time his real need arrived. As someone still learning the role of relief, Dice-K was no where near prepared to enter the game in time to save Mejia from his implosion. That falls squarely on Terry Collins, for not having two pitchers preparing themselves.
Issues with Terry Collins' game management do not stop there. He is also in the midst of making unpopular decisions with his line-up, particularly through his lack of conviction in selecting a clean-up hitter, along with his indecision as to how to proceed forward with the outfield.
The last few years have obviously been spent rebuilding the Mets, and as manager of such, Terry Collins served in that capacity well by pointing a preponderance of youngsters in the right direction.. But, 2014 was supposed to be a turning point. If the Mets can't produce tangible results on the field, then at a minimum, the decision making process should nevertheless move forward with creating a more demanding environment for the players.
I believed since the day Terry Collins signed his extension, that Sandy Alderson designed that contract with the intentions of eating it.
If Terry Collins keeps this up, he may not make it to July. But, a mid-season fire and hire however, may not present the Mets with their optimal replacement. Third base coach Tim Teufel would most likely serve as interim manager should Terry Collins get relieved in-season, and then be included in the interview process to determine next season's skipper. I for one, want Tim Teufel nowhere near the Mets helm. I do not even consider him an adequate third base coach.
More and more, Mets fans are clamoring for Wally Backman to assume control over the Flushing Nine. I share that sentiment. I suspect promoting Wally Backman in-season is out of the question, and I would even agree it unwise. He should finish what he started in Las Vegas. But come next season, I would be one of tens of thousands that would stand and roar with delight at the sight of Wally Backman handing the umpires New York's lineup card on Opening Day.
We do not know Sandy Alderson's true opinion of Backman. Based on philosophical beliefs, the two seem opposed in thought, application, and practice. However, there is something to be said for Wally Backman being in his third season as manager of the Mets AAA affiliate. It makes sense that Sandy Alderson keeps asking him back for a reason.
In hindsight, 2014 was prematurely targeted as the season this club was to turn the page. That still may be, but most agree true contention is still at least another season away. That should not preclude the club from operating with a greater sense of urgency.
Better baseball requires better management. If a change is warranted, act with expediency and conviction.