Give NY Mets Manager Terry Collins a break. He apologized Thursday afternoon about calling longtime Mets PR chief Jay Horwitz “The Puppy Dog” in his postgame press conference after his team defeated the Kansas City Royals at Citi Field Wednesday afternoon. And, by all means Horwitz is no puppy dog. Collins is to be forgiven.
It all stems from a manager who is frustrated about coming and leaving the ballpark about bad news and injuries to key players which are a part of a long baseball season. But these are the defending National League champions and anything that goes wrong for the Mets is not accepted.
That goes for the disappointment of Matt Harvey on the mound, the loss of Lucas Duda, Juan Lagares, the injury to Bartolo Colon, soreness in pitching arms and elbows of Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard, David Wright probably out for the season. And the Mets lack of hitting and scoring runs does not make Collins’ job any easier.
So the manager said, after Horwitz prodded him to comment about the elbow and possible injury to Noah Syndergaard: “Oh Jesus, The Puppy dog wants you guys to know that Noah Syndergaard is seeing the doctor. His elbow flared up on him. That’s why I took him out of the game.”
This reporter was there and made nothing of it. Collins seemed frustrated and Horwitz, who has tenure of senior public relations executive in all of baseball, walked away. He did his job overseeing media in the Mets clubhouse as he always does. Media there made no mention of the comments made by Collins.
If anything, Horwitz was doing what he always does best: Keeping guys like us all informed, because right now any sense of an issue with a Mets starting pitcher is as bad as a natural disaster.
It’s frustration, and anyone in the know will tell you that this Mets manager is dealing with a day-to-day situation.Collins said.”I’d rather have a normal day.” And these days is anything but normal for the Mets manager because his best hitter, Yoenis Cespedes, is also day-to-day with a bad wrist.
So Collins gave his apology. He is tired of talking about injuries everyday and he is at fault for storming off the podium and the culprit of his frustration went to the best PR man in the game of baseball.
To his credit, Horwitz said nothing, Normally he is quiet and stays in the background as reporters approach players and do their thing after a win or loss. This time, as Collins said, he wanted to enjoy the win and not discuss injuries.
But, he was also defending his players as he always does. The Syndergaard situation was going to be dealt with caution,, and Collins should have provided some type of update and did not. So, Horwitz did his job and in turn was put in a position of, do I or don’t I?
Horwitz did his job, Collins apologized for a mistake and life goes on. Mistakes happen on the field and off as well. The expectations of these Mets makes the job that more difficult for Collins and Horwitz when the team is losing. First thought is, this is so reminiscent of the Yankees and all the tremor they caused over the years when winning was always expected.
Collins will still have his job. The Mets hope to eventually get back to strength and get the ship right. Remember, this is a team manager and Jay Horwitz is the ultimate professional who could announce in a few days that Jose Reyes is back in town at Citi Field.
It was just another day at the office for the New York Mets. It’s a long season and winning is everything and the only thing.
Comment Rich Mancuso: [email protected] Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso