Mets GM Sandy Alderson says that the club has “no present plans” to part ways with manager Terry Collins or any of his staff, as ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin reports. Alderson declined to endorse the skipper for the rest of the way, though he did so while noting that he would never issue such an assurance “unequivocally.”
Sitting at .500 entering play tonight, New York is beginning a critical, four-game series in San Francisco. The club sat at seven games over back after splitting a doubleheader on July 26th, but has gone just 7-and-14 since. Still, a recent report suggested that Collins’s job was safe for the time being.
Collins helped guide the Mets to a NL East title and World Series appearance last year, and entered his sixth season on the job with a seemingly firm grasp of the position. Indeed, he struck a new deal with the organization in November which guaranteed his salary through next season.
That successful campaign raised expectations, though, and Collins carries a sub-.500 mark during his time in New York. Of course, his tenure has coincided with a forced austerity plan occasioned by ownership’s financial limitations in the wake of the Bernie Madoff scandal.
At the time of his extension last fall, Collins suggested he was interested only in continuing on for a relatively short period of time. It seemed fairly likely that he had hoped to remain in command for this season and one more — the life of the deal — as the Mets sought to take advantage of their current window of contention.
Things haven’t gone as hoped, however, and some have argued that Collins is at least partially to blame. Certainly, Collins isn’t responsible for the team’s roster decisions over the winter and injuries to key players such as David Wright, Matt Harvey, and Lucas Duda. But there has been simmering frustration over his bullpen management, handling of struggling young outfielder Michael Conforto, and other matters — though much the same could be said of many other managers around the game.
It’s always difficult to assess from the outside just how much blame should fall on a skipper, excepting at least certain in-game decisionmaking. Conforto’s playing time, for instance, was presumably determined in conjunction with the front office. Still, Alderson’s somewhat tepid statement on his manager’s situation seems to suggest that the organization isn’t fully on board with his work this season.
Whether or not a change could make any kind of meaningful difference at this stage, of course, is an open question. And it’s not yet clear whether the Mets will see if a new in-uniform leader can effect a sudden turnaround, or whether instead the team will wait until the offseason to assess its options.