Collins knows his time is up

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Wednesday night was the Mets’ last home game of the season, and it was likely Terry Collins’ last home game as Mets manager. Mets fans sensed that, so some Mets fans chanted “TER-RY COL-LINS” before the Mets game was over.

There is likely going to be a new Mets manager in 2018 unless Mets ownership and front office have a change of heart, which is hard to believe considering they have been talking about wanting a manager that has a better feel for using sabermetrics to win games.

Collins told several members of the New York media that he has no interest in retiring. He wants to be around the baseball players in any sort of capacity. That could be a hint that he would likely stay in the Mets organization as a roving minor league instructor.

If the Mets manager had his way, he would manage next year to make amends for what has been a horrible season after entering the season with the expectations of making the playoffs. He knows the reality of his situation. His contract expires after this year, and the Mets can use that and his age (69) as a crutch to say they want to find a new voice that can relate better to today’s players.

Think what the New York Giants did in hiring Ben McAdoo to replace Tom Coughlin last year.

What we are seeing from the Giants right now, under their overmatched head coach should serve as a lesson that there’s no guarantee a younger manager will make a difference with the Mets. It’s something the Mets front office should think about before they make the rash decision of having Collins go away for good.

Face it, no new manager will make a difference if the pitchers can’t pitch or if the players on the team spend more time on the disabled list than on the field. That was Collins’ problem, not his managing as Mets fans and Mets general manager make it out to be.

There’s a good chance a new manager is not going to have success next year since the Mets only have two sure things in the starting rotation in Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard and so many questions marks in the back end of the rotation in Matt Harvey, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman and Zack Wheeler. The bullpen features many guys who can’t pitch.

Maybe the Mets are doing Collins a favor by not giving him a new contract. The last two years are as far as the Mets can go. There’s a good chance their window of opportunity is slammed shut. They are not good enough to beat the Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals and Nationals, who have better talent all across the board.

It’s hard to believe Harvey will ever be the same pitcher he was. Relying on Wheeler and Syndergaard is too much to ask when both are injury-prone. The Mets’ success was predicated on starting pitching, and with most of the starters being damaged good now, it’s going to be hard for them to be a contender.

This would have not deter Collins. He feels the Mets can contend, and he wants to be part of it. Despite all the injuries this year, he actually believed in his team. He made no excuses. He did all he could to get the most of roster, which was not good, and it showed on merit. A team has to be awful to lose 90 or more games, and that’s what the Mets’ 2017 campaign is all about.

Collins wanted to leave on a good note. Who wouldn’t want to leave a franchise in a good place? He felt he could have given one more run.

The Mets front office doesn’t feel the same way. They have been harping about his game management for years, and they are not wrong, but it would be hypocritical of them to fire Collins and hire a manager that may be awful in game management. They are not hiring a Ron Gardenhire or a manager they can’t control. They want the manager to be their puppet by following orders on what players to play on a given night. It’s a good guess that manager will be clueless.

It’s amusing the Mets have an issue with their manager being inept at managing a game when in reality, they are going to hire an inexperienced manager that is going to be the same as old manager. What’s the point of letting Collins go? He might as well stay since the Mets are not going to hire a competent manager that will take no nonsense from the front office.

Collins can try to change Sandy Alderson’s mind, but that’s going to be a moot point. The decision likely has been made long time ago. There’s no looking back.

It’s a shame the Mets have kept Collins in the dark about his status. For the job he has done in seven seasons, he deserves better from his bosses. He could have used some clarity from his bosses, so that way he can say good-bye to the fans in the Mets’ 81st home game of the season.

Collins did not wax poetic about his final Mets home game. He did not think it was appropriate to talk about it when he has not given any word if he is back next year or not.

He has to know the Mets have made their decision. Seven years was enough.

Five hundred sixty-seven regular season games. Five hundred seventy-five games managed at Citi Field. Eight postseason games. One World Series appearance. Collins can’t say it was a dull moment.

It was an experience that he will relish for the rest of his life.

History will say Collins did a great job overall.

 

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