9:29pm: Puma and colleague Joel Sherman add more context to the story, reporting that Collins was on the brink of being fired last season when Fred Wilpon intervened. The Mets went on to rally and make a Wild Card appearance, which helped Collins’ cause. Alderson & Co. were also debating a managerial change at multiple points this season, per the Post duo.
Puma and Sherman add that Collins’ heavy usage of Familia early in the year flew directly in the face of advice from the front office. They also note that the absence of David Wright and the trade of Curtis Granderson removed two of the team’s most important veterans in terms of maintaining clubhouse order.
9:00pm: In a revealing, must-read piece for Newsday, Marc Carig reports that owner Fred Wilpon protected manager Terry Collins from being dismissed by COO Jeff Wilpon and general manager Sandy Alderson at multiple times over the course of Collins’ seven-year tenure as the team’s skipper. There have been multiple reports suggesting that Collins may not be back with the team in 2018, and the New York Post’s Mike Puma recently reported that if the decision is made to move on from Collins, the elder Wilpon isn’t likely to veto the decision this time around.
Carig cites “more than a dozen team insiders” in reporting that Collins has lost favor in the front office due to a lack of responsiveness to analytics, his overworking of multiple relievers and a clubhouse in which he’s lost control. As Carig points out, Collins rode Jerry Blevins, Addison Reed, Fernando Salas, Hansel Robles and Jeurys Familia extremely hard in the season’s first six to seven weeks; there were 21 non-Mets pitchers that had five or more appearances on zero days of rest by mid-May, while each of those five had already had five or more such outings. One club official tells Carig that Collins “abuses” relievers by overworking them and simply “doesn’t listen” when approached by the front office about extra rest for the ’pen.
Moreover, Carig spoke to a number of unnamed Mets players that suggested that Collins made his preference to give playing time to veterans over rookies perfectly clear. When the Mets traded away most of their veterans in July and August, the clubhouse was comprised largely of younger players who “had grown to resent the manager,” Carig writes. One Mets player states that Collins has always been “difficult” to communicate with, and another more bluntly tells Carig that following the wave of summer trades: “We were all miserable.”
Beyond Collins, the future of both pitching coach Dan Warthen and hitting coach Kevin Long is uncertain. Warthen’s potential exit has been reported on previously (most recently by Puma), and Carig writes that it’s not clear if Long would remain with the club if he’s not given consideration for a potential managerial vacancy. Carig’s column contains quotes from numerous team officials and players alike and shines plenty of new light on the disconnect between the dugout and front office.