To go on record, I don’t want to see Terry Collins get fired. He is a good manager, who did a great job last season, getting the Mets to the World Series.
It was his calls in Game 5 against the Dodgers that won the Mets the game.
However, it’s coming clearer and clearer that he may lose his job.
The Mets are now just a game over .500 after they lost again to the woeful Diamondbacks, 3-2, in 11 innings. And much like yesterday, a dramatic home run brought the Mets back into this game.
This time it was Kelly Johnson pinch hitting a one-out, two-run homer in the ninth tie the game at two. And then with Neil Walker on second as the winning run, Wilmer Flores couldn’t bring him in.
“I thought we would win there in the ninth,” the manager said, but it just didn’t happen and in the 11th, Oscar Hernandez, the Arizona backup catcher, was able to park one against Jerry Blevins to end the affair.
Was it Collins’s fault tonight? No. The Mets didn’t execute, but that doesn’t mean Collins may go.
Over the past few weeks, you have seen some strange decisions from the Mets manager, which came to a head last Saturday in Detroit, when he failed to challenge the final play. It reportedly enraged general manager Sandy Alderson, who was one of Collins biggest champions.
If Collins loses Alderson, then it’s game over.
And consider this: If the Mets lose Thursday’s day game, with Noah Syndergaard on the mound, they will fall to .500. Getting swept by the Diamondbacks, which was considered the easy part of the schedule, may be enough to get Alderson to pull the trigger.
Remember, Alderson went on a shopping spree last week, bringing in Jay Bruce and ridding the club of Antonio Bastardo, while reimporting Jon Niese. He’s also making waiver claims trying to still work trades. The Mets are betting on this season and don’t want to wash away the goodwill that was produced in 2015. So firing Collins is the next logical step if Alderson wants to save the season.
And there’s an opportunity this weekend.
Historically, the Mets like to do their managerial firings on the road, which keeps a bulk of the local media away. They also like to do them on a Friday, since it’s typically a slow news day in the Saturday editions of the newspapers.
Remember when Willie Randolph got canned in 2008 and the Mets took some real criticism by doing it in California after he took the long plane flight? Alderson wasn’t here for that, but Jeff Wilpon was around, and any firing will have to come with his blessing.
The Mets have a perfect storm on Friday, even though they have three at home against the Padres. With the eyes of the world on one Mr. Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez in the Bronx, Alderson could replace the manager with not that much fanfare.
But before the #FireTerry contingent gets their pitchforks and torches out to march to Flushing on Friday, there are a few things to consider.
First, if you fire Collins, you need someone to replace him. Forget Wally Backman. It’s not going to happen, but Dick Scott or Tim Teufel may get a shot to get this team into the playoffs.
Or Alderson could call Bud Black and have him in place for Friday, but that may cost a pretty penny or two. Last winter, the former Padres manager turned down a chance to manage the Nationals because of both sides couldn’t agree on a contract.
And speaking of cash, there’s a little matter of Collins’s contract. The two-year extension he signed last winter is worth about $3 million and the Mets don’t like to eat money. But eating less than $2 million is certainly better than some of the swallowing the club had to do over the past few seasons (See Chris Young and John Mayberry, Jr.) and it’s chump change when you consider the money the club makes in the postseason.
Again, I don’t want to see Collins lose his job, but the Mets have a ton invested in this season. With so many injuries, it’s a miracle they still are in the race.
But the Mets can’t fire the players for not hitting.
That means, Collins could get fired and it may be as soon as this Friday.