Reese Kaplan -- The Time is Nigh

9 years ago the Mets engaged in perhaps their darkest hour as an organization when, after a late night victory over the Angels by the score of 9-6, the team committed its infamous 3:00 AM massacre (well, 3:11 AM to be precise) and fired embattled manager Willie Randolph.  At the time of the incident he sported a 34-35 record, trailing the first place Philadelphia Phillies by 6.5 games.  Ironically they had just won two in a row and were on the first game of a west coast trip which made the timing of the firing bizarre, not to mention waiting until 2 hours after game time when they perhaps mistakenly thought it could somehow slide under the radar of the east coast-based media.

Fast forward to present day and things are eerily similar.  The Mets have been underachieving which emphasized the already highly questionable decision making by the man who two managers later replaced Willie Randolph, Terry Collins.  The team stands with a 14-15 record, also one game under .500.  They too have recently had a winning period.  They also stand 6.5 games out of first place.  The parallels are there.

The difference now is that it appears Terry Collins has lost the clubhouse.  They’re winning in spite of him, not because of him.  We have players making their own healthcare decisions.  We have the recent photo tweeted showing a rather large sex toy in Kevin Plawecki’s locker when T.J. Rivera celebrated his “crowning” as player of the game.  Now we have the suspension of star pitcher Matt Harvey for violating team rules.

I actually applaud the front office for holding the player accountable (for once) but the man they pay to do just that is flailing helplessly as the team seems to function without direction, motivation or discipline.  They’re doing the right thing by making an example of Matt Harvey to let him know that a careless disregard for the rules won’t be tolerated.

The question now is why did the front office have to do that and why wasn’t the man in charge of the clubhouse able to engender enough respect from his players that following rules was regarded with the same level of respect most people give posted speed limits.

The Mets have the unique opportunity to right a PR wrong they made many years ago by planning properly and replacing Terry Collins in New York with a full complement of press available and all questions answered.  Oh, and it may result in actually winning, something Mr. Collins has still not been able to do in his NY tenure.  His current record stands at 495-506.  People say the reason he keeps his job despite that level of mediocrity is his ability in the clubhouse.  Now he’s lost that as well.  It’s time for him to go.  Make it happen.


Adam Smith said...

Barring a major scandal (more than what's currently going on) there is just no way that they fire Collins unless they are way, way out of it in the second half. And even then, they'd presumably let him ride it out unless their next managerial choice is someone within the organization (Pedro Lopez) who they want to give a little on the job training in advance of next season. If they are hoping to go outside the org for a replacement, it's unlikely that that person would be unemployed and available mid-season, so rather than go interim, they'd likely let TC fulfill his contract.

I'd have gotten rid of him a long time ago. But that's just me. Or, you know, me and anyone else who's been paying attention.

Anonymous said...

Dark Knight my ass........whether it was injuries, attitude, fitness or some beginner' s good fortune, Matt Harvey hasnt come close to earning the level of respect that he feels he is entitled to since his first half of a season. Perhaps his jack ass agent is to blame, but I see someone who does not want to work as hard as he should and someone who wants OUT of this franchise in the worst way.

They should try to move him in the coming months, IMO.

This season is also starting to spiral out of control, so why not clean house? I'd start with TC and his subpar coaching staff......Mike

David Rubin said...

I went to those games in Anaheim out here, and as much as I wanted Willie fired, I was incredibly embarrassed as to how it went down. And their replacement wasn't exactly the choice that should have been made, so it compounded a horrible situation.

In the past 10 days, I have spoken with someone who knows Terry & the front office situation quite well, and another person who covered Terry in the media while he was with both the Astros and Angels.

Terry used to be known as a hardass, as most know, but a good baseball strategist. One of his influences back then was Tom Lasorda. He lost the clubhouse twice, mellowed out, and seemingly lost touch with strategy. He was never a great "pitcher's manager" and that has gotten worse during his tenure with us. Also, the front office pulls WAY more of the day-to-day strings for the manager then anyone really knows, and things like line-up changes, switches, etc, are being called for from above his pay-grade. Firing Terry is one good start, but there are other deeper things that need to change before we will see the progress that we all want.

Start with promoting Frank Viola to assistant Pitching coach and then at the end of the season give Dan Warthen a gold watch and let him work with minor league pitchers in Florida. Give Terry the boot (because as much as we want it to happen now, it won't due to $$$).

And the team's excuse for not firing him will remain "he's not the one on the field pitching poorly and having cold streaks at bat and making boneheaded plays in the field." Our response is "get someone who teaches and or scares the players into reaching their potential.

Either way, we can almost write the coda to this season already...

Thomas Brennan said...

Anyone see Bret Saberhagen or Bobby Bonilla's ghost floating around.

And speaking of a pitcher's manager, Paul Sewald did great for the second straight game - just hope his arm does not fall off after 84 pitches in under 18 hours.

If he comes out unscathed, let him join the rotation - he's already been stretched out,

Gary Seagren said...

The thing that burn's my butt more than anything is loving a franchise for over a half century that has so often been made to look like the village idiot with example's to numerous to mention with the latest Harvey mess just another in a long line of mistakes and we also know this has only just begun. Monday morning should be a doosy around here. So my friends where do we go from here?

Gary Seagren said...

Oh and the latest news is Cabrera's injury looks better than expected so we can expect to be short handed for the next week as we all know the FO will wait before using the DL and the wheel just keeps turning folks.

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