Peter Hyatt - Terry Collins Must Go


Terry Collins, by all measures, is a nice guy. 

He is also a terrible major league manager and should not be re-signed for next season. 


The New York Mets'  success in 2015 was in spite of Terry Collins. 

In 2015, the combination of an extreme hot streak by outfielder Yoenis Cespedes conspired with power pitching to catapult the Mets THISCLOSE to World Series treasure. 

We might have had reached this expulsion of the ghost of '86 had Collins not, as per usual, ceded leadership over to players, as seen when he came out to remove Matt Harvey to allow Familia to close out our win.  Harvey overruled Collins. 

Surprise, surprise. 

This was the same Harvey who talked of his love of the Yankees and how he may not even pitch in the post season until the fan base blew up.  

It is the perfect snapshot of what a void in leadership looks like. It was, in the words of Sandy Alderson, a "bad optic."  

There were many more "bad optics" to come in the leadership clubhouse.  

When Cespedes came in late 2015, he brought a tremendous hot streak along with his tremendous ego and selfish style; with the latter overshadowed by the former.  Yet even here, in the midst of the post season gold, Cespedes went unchecked by leadership and gave us the "I can golf 15 holes but I can't hustle for a fly ball" leg controversy.  

It was a sign of what was to come with the brooding star.  

The lack of leadership continued to 2016 where Spring Training outdid any Jackass Show on YouTube.  

With no real presence of David Wright, the 2016 Mets were leaderless and the tone was set:  We would ride horses, fancy cars and lead the league in women's hair styles, but not much more.  

We attempted entry to post season no-man's land of the wild card by the hair of our chinny-chin-chin and promptly went home. 

2017 picked up where we left off. 

In March, we watched in shock and horror as Cespedes did a locked leg press (not free weights) of 900lbs to show the world how strong he was.  The self-ordained "El Potentate" wanted more power, flexibility be damned, with the strength coach yelling encouragement, so that Cespedes could "show the world" how strong he was. (Was the "world" really watching, Yoenis?)   Mets PR even went as far to tell the fans that Cespedes was not out golfing but weight lifting...at 5 o'clock in the morning.  

Uh, yeah, sure. 

We had more leadership "optics" to follow, with players demands, pouting, no shows, head cases and finally, an in season version of Jackass Show with Matt Harvey sulking over his BFF not LOL'ing enough, working his rehab in the Hamptons, Noah Syndergaard refusing to MRI while scaring the daylights out of 70 year old Jay Horowitz.  If this wasn't enough, we had Cespedes popping up, refusing to run, only to learn the ball drops in and he had to do an immediate sprint injuring his over-hypertrophied legs. 

Yes, Cespedes caused his own injuries. 

Cespedes also rehabbed when, where and exactly how he demanded and the Mets could do nothing.  He went on to publicly insult Collins and attempted to influence a trade back to Oakland.  Insiders report that Cespedes' memories of his love affair with Oakland are not exactly how Oakland remembers them. 

Some brass wanted to accommodate him but it meant public humiliation for Alderson and a considerable eating of the massive contract for ownership.  

Ownership is very displeased about the return on their investment into Cespedes. 

Collins exercised a new styled version of abdication of leadership:  rather than the lack of leadership such we've seen, he literally handed over the reigns to vets. 

As the Mets fell quickly out of contention, Collins continued to yield to Cespedes' "suggestion" of the line up that included Jose Reyes and Astrubal Cabrera; two very selfish and past-their-prime players. 

They made up the league's worst defensive middle infield and a negative WAR in the first few months of the year that pushed us out of contention.  Collins went on to feel justified when both became very hot in...


But I digress.  Lets' get back to early May while Reyes was missing balls, getting picked off, and batting less than his weight.  

Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto 

Collins refused to give significant playing time to Michael Conforto.  

While Reyes was batting .170, Curtis Granderson was batting .171 and both played every day while Conforto was relegated to pinch hitting.  When he finally got the chance and shined, Collins embarrassingly said he was "surprised" that Conforto made the All Star Team. 

Terry Collins was surprised.  

This got under the skin of Keith Hernandez and quite a few twitter Mets fans. 

Please note that Conforto was picked, not by the loyal fans who may or may not know the game, but by the players:  the MLB players, themselves, knew Michael Conforto, while his manager did not.  

What surprised Terry Collins was routine to Conforto's peers.  

Collins was, however, not done with Michael Conforto. 

The 2017 Mets continued to falter and those who wanted to win, including Jay Bruce, lined up on one side, while the me-first selfish players lined up on the other side. The division was significant enough for Jay Bruce to speak up. 

Bruce's veteran voice was dismissed by Collins so Bruce did something that he had never done in his career.  He so longed for the hot streak that would allow them to get into the post season, and his frustration of watching what he considered needless losses built up, he took his message outside the clubhouse.  

Bruce could take no more  enough and gingerly went public asking for the kids to be given a chance over vets who were burying the team in both loses and malaise.  Because he got nowhere with Collins, he went, diplomatically and expressed his "hope" that the young kids would get a chance.  

This was not something Terry Collins appreciated.  

Jay Bruce is gone and if Collins is still here next year, he will not be coming back. 

Bruce wanted Rosario and Smith called up, and he wanted hungry kids, like Brandon Nimmo, to be given chances to play.  

Terry Collins, the weak leader, did not rebuke veteran Jay Bruce to his face, instead, opted for Bruce's protege, Michael Comforto.

Jay Bruce had taken Michael Conforto under his wing of whom Conforto credited with much.  

Terry Collins humiliated our lone All Star, Michael Conforto both privately and publicly by announcing to the press, "yes, I told him he is not a leader" after Jay Bruce was traded away. "You're not the leader here."  

It remains to be seen what impact this will have on Michael Conforto, perhaps the Mets most natural slugger, going forward.   

Conforto eats and sleeps baseball and even had to move out from rooming with the vaporous Noah Syndergaard, who believes his own "Thor" hype, and like Matt Harvey, has to struggle against alcohol and loss of sleep due to party central life style.  

Not known for his intellect, Syndergaard blamed the death and destruction of the hurricanes on the President of the United States' decision to not renew the Paris Agreement. 

It is not a smart move for one who's salary is paid for by fans  to politicize the death and loss of so many.  But this is the same guy who decided that adding "17 pounds" of off season muscle and "listening to my own body" led to missing most of the season.  

Looking forward to 20178, healthy, this 99mph fastball head case is going to need strong leadership. 

Kids Ride The Bench 

Gavin Cecchini, Matt Reynolds, Phil Evans, Travis Taijeeron and others , all had to sit and watch as Jose Reyes, waiver pick up Norichika Aoki, and Cabrera ate up the invaluable playing time in meaningless games. 

Even to the end of the season, our line up these excluded young players who desperately needed the playing time for us to learn if they could be part of the 2018 Mets.   Instead, Collins stubbornly refused to budge, just to keep his veterans happy.  He defended himself against the questioning press by declaring his philosophy   He said "it is not about development, but winning.  Winning is contagious" and that he even did this same thing in the minors. 

This as the Mets fell 25 games out of first place and more than 20 games under .500

Yet, when it came to appeasing Matt Harvey, who had long lost his spot, not only in the rotation, but on the team, with a more than 12 ERA since his return, Collins said it was "important" for the "development" of Matt Harvey.  

This same Harvey who did a no-show because his girlfriend did not "like" him on social media.  

A Met insider reported:  "this was not Harvey's first offense this season" with other troublesome selfish acts covered up by the Mets.  This, the insider said, contributed to the lawless and selfish clubhouse, and emboldened a few Mets including Cabrera, who expressed his anger about "not being informed" of the Mets' minor league player development plans.  

Some Met executives  are concerned about some of these head cases for 2018.  They sought to keep potential superstar Amed Rosario away from the poison of Cabrera, and have to find ways to get Cespedes to follow orders without sulking his way into questionable injuries.  Remember the extreme steps that Alderson took in trying to get Cespedes on the field?  He rolled the dice and told the press that no injury could be found. 

It was very risky.  

The Mets will need a very strong leader to take the helm in 2018 if they want to turn things around and unite the club house.   

This is a tall order.  Think of what is ahead. 

Besides the issues already mentioned, you must add in the loose cannon, loose tongued and intellectually challenged Noah Syndergaard, prima donna Page 6 Matt Harvey, and maybe even the camera -struck Reyes and the new manager will have to be Marine boot camp tough to try to pull this divided clubhouse together. 

On one side is the "me first" team that will shine one day, and phone it in the next, but will always do what's best for themselves first.  On the other side is those who respect the game, each other, and the fans and will give 100% game in and game out.  

The 2017 Mets led the league in dance celebrations, hair dye, jewelry and were at the top among pitchers in runs allowed, tops in infield errors, near the bottom  in bases stolen and a few other notables.  

They posed, they played nonchalant, they got picked off bases and they celebrated sub mediocre baseball.  

The 2018 Mets will need strong leadership to turn the culture of self-absorbed losing and specifically:

Play hard. 
Make the little plays. 
Hustle:  because hustle is contagious 
Give playing time to those who earn it.  

They will need to reign in Cespedes and if he pouts, he must be allowed to sit.  

As they learned:  if they cannot tell Cespedes when, where and how rehab is going to be, how can they tell others?

They will need to both make and keep team rules.  If someone's girlfriend doesn't give him his "lol" on Facebook, he will have to man up, shut up, show up, and play.    

They will have to hold players accountable.  

If a player walks to the dug out on a pop out, instead of running it out, he is to stay in the dug out until he learns to play baseball.  

If an outfield $millionaire  is going to watch a fly ball drop rather than hustle, they are going to have to have a man be the field manager, and may have to watch video of Gil Hodges...

if they want to win.  

The Mets still have the talent to do significant damage in the National League, in spite of injuries. 

Should some of the pitchers come back healthy, we could make a run for things, but it has to be under disciplined and a united atmosphere for winning.  


Reese Kaplan said...

The problem is that the names that are surfacing -- Bob Geren, Robin Ventura, etc. -- are people with losing records who were given a big "good riddance" upon their exit from previous managerial roles. We don't want a Terry Collins II. Hell, I didn't even want the original. It's time to go in an entirely new direction such as Joe McEwing, Gabe Kapler or any of the minor league managers I'd profiled a few months back.

Viper said...

Kudos Peter, loved this article. You can make an equal one for Sandy the Genius...NAH and his many mistakes in putting this team together and failing to sign team leader, clutch hitter Daniel Murphy because we had Herrera whom he traded later on anyway.

How Sandy said that defense wasn't that important and neither was speed.

Viper said...

Reese, all the managers in question are either 500 or below usually with a history of players not liking playing for them.

Ron Gardenhire, Tony Pena, Manny Acta and other good ones do not qualify.

Reese Kaplan said...

There's a middle ground between Dallas Green and Art Howe/Terry Collins. Nice guys finish last.

Anonymous said...

You are dead on Peter:

As I was reading this it made me feel really Shitty!
Years ago when Harvey got called up ,then Lagares won a Gold glove. The team was on the rise, Wheeler was next and some guy named Degrom!
Now it feels like starting over?
But we have the same GM?
The same Gm who had an enormous pitchers park, had 2 good hitters who used that park well for there skill set(reyes/pagan)
But instead of building a team around the nice new facility?
He decided to change the park to meet his demands of the way he wanted to construct the team?
I have been a long =time Mets fan.
The Mets franchise has been built on Pitching, always strong pitching! Not on the 3 run Homer
I believe the team needs to go back to the core,back to what winning teams do/have with strong fundamentals
Pitching and Defense 1st
Also by the way I want Brad Ausmus as the Manager

Anonymous said...

Another Day, another negative article by Reece or Peter. At least it is something that I can count on.

Viper said...

Does anyone else find the Crown and Cape thing stupid and childish? I can't even imagine the Yankees doing something like this.

Viper said...

I don't see it as negative when is true.If I say that the Mets should have a much better team after 7 years of Sandy, is that fact or being negative?

Anonymous said...

I don't think that it is a fair statement to say the Mets should be further along after 7 years. Sandy was brought in by MLB to clean up the mess that the team had become. It had the third highest payroll in baseball and was a .500 team. It took about 4 years let nature take it's coarse on a bloated team. The team has been terrible this year, but the injuries are beyond believe. Of the starting 5 rotation and 2 other starters that left spring training, only DeGrom has been on the team the whole year and not had to go on the DL for an extended time. Look at Arizona this year as compared to last year. People always criticize the manager, I have been on every teams message boards and each one bashes their own skipper. I think there are better managers (especially game decisions)and I think there are worse. But I think it does no purpose to bag on the manager or GM every chance someone gets. Connie Mack could not have won with the pitchers that we sent out there this year. Just my two cents.

Thomas Brennan said...

Connie Mack, no., But if it were Mack who runs this site? Mets win 100 games this year :)

I will say this...Terry shot them in the foot running Reyes and Grandy out there constantly in April. Grandy had a miserable April history. You dig a hole in April, all season you can be scrambling. And as soon as Familia and Thor went down in early May, Sandy should have done what it took to NOT rely on Josh Smoker and Tommy Milone types. They took the easy easy out. And as a result fell out of contention mighty early.

But the injuries were overwhelming, and in house alternatives not really there early in the season.

Viper said...

When I say further along I just don't mean at the ML level but at an organization level. There was a comparison here a few weeks back where they compared the Yankees and the Mets. The Yankees beat the Mets in all seven levels if I remember correctly. I wouldn't be surprised if every NL east team has a better record and better prospects at each level than the Mets.

Just look across town with the amount of prospects that have come up from within. Not the ones they traded for but from within and compare that to the chickens and goats the Mets have in the minors these days.

TexasGusCC said...

Three things:
1. Correction: Terry Collins MUST go!!
2. Collins is not a nice guy. He's a clown that puts on that "oh gosh" face he has perfected. He's a spineless piece of shit and treats his youth like crap.
3. Viper is right, but I want Pena! The Mets will win often with Pena. He's smart, experienced, and commands respect!

Mack's Mets © 2012