The 2014 Mets are 16-15 so far this season and closer to first place than they have been this late in a season since 2010.
You would think that after all the doom and gloom that surrounded the team coming into the year and after being swept by the Nationals to begin the year, things would be looking good considering where the Mets are today.
Except that you would be only partially right. The Mets have lost four of their last five games and have seen the in-game management of Terry Collins become front and center when it comes to issues plaguing the Mets in this stretch.
Some of his decisions have been downright weird the past few days and have followed a pattern of odd managerial decisions that he has made since taking over in 2011.
With Terry in the middle of his fourth season and his style once again being a major reason why this team is not better today (of course there are many other reasons why they aren’t better beyond just Collins but that’s a post for another day), we as a staff took the time to answer a simple question with a not so simple answer it seems.
Should the Mets fire Terry Collins?
Here is what we think…
Matthew Falkenbury (@dailystache): I have been patient with this franchise to the point where I thought the other day I would never be patient with any of the other teams I root for like I have been with the Mets. My patience has officially run out on Terry Collins. He has been just a terrible in-game manager since he took over but this year it seems especially bad. His lineup choices and trying to coddle certain players is something I’m sick and tired of seeing and reading about. This team needs a shakeup and if the front office is not going to do so with the players then they should do so by firing Terry Collins.
Michael Ganci (@mikeganci): I have never been a Collins disciple to say the least. He’s old fashioned, over-manages and falls in love with the wrong players. The Mets need someone young, with fire who has a long-term vision and more importantly, has the respect of the players. Collins may be looked at as a lame duck old man. If I were to bet, I’d say he’s out of a job before August 1.
Andrew Lavan (@metfan722): I do not believe Collins should be fired, but he needs to manage his bullpen better. I think that has more to do with talent than actual mismanagement. With pitchers like Black, Edgin, deGrom and Montero waiting in the wings I think they are prime candidates to help the team more than say Valverde, Farnsworth, Rice, etc.
Susana Crespo (@SusiMJK): I’m torn on Terry. He’s a really nice guy with fiery passion for the game (which I love) but he can’t manage a game if his life depended on it. Between his terrible bullpen management and his questionable obsessions with starting bench players, maybe it’s time for the Mets to move on.
Mark Ethe (@toogooden16): Terry Collins is an atrocious bullpen manager and even worse at maintaining a consistent lineup, which might allow players to get their timing and go on streaks. He over plays the hot hand in the bullpen, but seems to have the opposite philosophy when it comes to the lineup, getting bench players overexposed. Ultimately, in fairness, he does not have a lot to work with in either regard. Also most managers are old school “feel” guys as opposed to numbers oriented. The verdict is, I would fire him right now if a more calculated and intelligent manager were available to be hired in season. If not I would wait till the off season, either way Collins has to go.
Tejesh Patel (@metsprospecthub): I’m not a fan of Terry Collins at all, I think he’s an absolute dope, but lets be honest, the potential replacement (Wally Backman) is not, absolutely NOT going to be any better. He does the same sort of stupid bunts/bullpen maneuvers Terry/Jerry/every other MLB manager does. I don’t see any reason to fire Terry Collins because it won’t get better. That said, if there were a good candidate available, I’d fire Terry yesterday. Just not for Wally Backman.
Ben Black (@BenBlack105): At this point I don’t see any reason why the Mets should continue to keep him on as manager. He has been a guy that time and time again makes moves with this young team that leaves you scratching your head. His bullpen moves have been terrible, he makes lineup decisions as if each and every game means making or missing the playoffs instead of letting the young players figure it out for themselves. It at times seems like he is managing for the short term while the front office has given him talent that is meant to be managed for the long term. That kind of rift between how the roster is constructed and how it is managed makes no sense to me. Since the front office and players aren’t going anywhere from what I see, I think it is time that Collins is fired and they bring in someone else who fits the system better.
Meriwyn Travisano (@meriwyn): I have always been of the mind that Terry can only do so much with what he has to work with. There is no doubt he inspires love and loyalty from his players, and is usually willing to take a proverbial bullet for any one of them. With that said, I have to seriously question his recent decisions in regards to managing the pitching staff. Leaving struggling guys in to “figure it out” doesn’t seem to be working all that well and has cost the Mets a few games they should have handily won. Do I think he should be fired? Not yet, but it’s getting close.
Tyler Siminski (@tysim19): I would like to begin by saying that Collins is not my type of manager. Terry likes to go by “the book” on many decisions, and it often comes back to bite him and the team. In addition, some of his decisions are just plain stupid. Terry is weak in terms of bullpen management and lineup construction in my eyes. Staying with relievers too long, benching players on hot streaks… Overall I do not agree with his thought process most of the time. I would prefer that the Mets found a manager with a more forward thinking and analytical mind, such as someone similar to Joe Maddon or Bob Melvin (who the Mets passed over when Collins was hired). But let’s not forget that Terry Collins is a solid motivator and I like his energy, and he seems to have decent relationships with the players. I just simply prefer a tactician to a motivator.
With all this being said, I do not believe it is fair to fire Terry at this stage in the game. He truly has never gotten a team with talent to manage, so it is tough to gauge his true ability. The season is young and the team is playing relatively well, but I would prefer the front office’s leash on Terry to be shorter than most.
Earl (@EarlTSB): I’ve never been a fan of making change for the sake of making change. Collins seems like he can get guys to run through walls for him. I was specifically told last August that this team quit on him. I hate being lied to.
That being said, he’s probably bottom five in baseball as far as bullpen management. But that doesn’t solely rest on his shoulders. Dan Warthen gets on the phone and has Scott Rice and Carlos Torres throw approximately 50 pitches every single day in that bullpen between the 6th and 9th inning. No matter if the game is close, or one sided. It’s like they are his binky. Warthen has one job. Manage the pitching staff. It seems as if he just tells Collins that everyone is ready every day.
I’m sure there will be an infusion of young arms into the pen as the season progresses. I can see Valverde getting DFA’d soon, and if you have ever listened to me on Stache Radio (Editors Note: The next episode is Thursday at 9 pm), you know my feelings on Familia. So there are two potential spots that may open soon.
I actually don’t mind Terry’s lineup changes that much. I understand that he has no everyday SS, and basically has 4 everyday outfielders. Yes I know, EYJr isn’t a starting OF… He keeps players as fresh as possible and I think it’s good for guys like Recker, Abreu, and EYJr.
The manager of an MLB team has the least effect on his team than probably any other sport. Like I said, I’m not a fan of making change for the sake of making change. Especially on an overachieving team.
Rich MacLeod (@richmacleod): No. Many have criticized Terry Collins for his poor management of the bullpen at times, and those notes are just, but I generally believe that managers are by and large overrated. Managers are criticized throughout the sports world by their fans, including many who have championship rings with said team. It’s about talent. Good talent can make up for shaky managing, rarely does that happen the other way around.
Eddie Adlman (@xtomatoez): Yes. He’s cost us several games this year with terrible bullpen management.
A mixed answer from us here at the Stache as some are ready to move on from the Terry Collins era but some are not.
Tell us what you think, should the Mets fire Terry Collins?, in the comment section below.