On Tuesday, this space wrote if the Mets are going to not renew Terry Collins as manager, they owe to him not to let him twist in the wind.
Well, so much for that.
Instead of doing it the right way – or at least the classy way – the Mets did it the way they have done it in the past, through anonymous quotes and character assassinations.
All you can say is that’s the Mets for you.
No matter how you feel about Collins and no matter how you feel about his future in the Citi Field dugout, he deserves better than anonymous players blasting him and front office officials taking him down.
Look, there’s no effortless way on firing a manager, especially a guy like Collins. He’s a very pleasant person to deal with and by most accounts, a decent person. That said it’s probably time to move on. Managers have finite and the shelf life for Collins is up. Gone are the days of Walter Alston and Tommy Lasorda, no matter how much Fred Wilpon wants to imitate the Dodgers.
And no one should shed a tear for Collins, because in his seven years as Mets manager, he made more money than most people do in their lifetimes. He has many friends in baseball and don’t be surprised if he pops up somewhere next year as a coach or in some system.
So, Collins will be fine, but what about the Mets? Yes, they will have someone as manager next year, but will some of the top candidates shy away from Citi Field in favor of other jobs. Think about it, what job looks better now? The Phillies gig with the way they treated Pete Mackanin or the Mets with a chance to be tossed under the bus?
General manager Sandy Alderson tried to do some damage control yesterday by saying he would fire the front office person who leaked the info to the press, but it’s just too little, too late and frankly, the Mets didn’t run the tightest ship in this department in the past.
They botched the Willie Randolph firing by making him fly to California, manage a game and then announce it at 12 am pacific time, meaning we got the news in New York at 3 am. Again, I don’t shed any tears for Randolph, because he brought the firing on himself, but the timing of it made you go hmmm.
And then there was Bobby Valentine getting the bullet after the 2002 season, when Steve Phillips, who built those teams, kept his job. Although Valentine had a way about him, which could grate on you, he became a symbol of the Mets and was the personification of the fan’s feelings in a time dominated by the Yankees.
Then to add insult to injury, they made it a point to have free agent signees Tom Glavine and Cliff Floyd say they wouldn’t have signed here if Valentine was still the manager.
What the Mets don’t get is these character assassinations proceed to make the former managers in victims and no matter how deserving the firings and the fact change had to happen, the Mets ended up looking like the villain in all these situations.
Alderson was supposed to be the end of that. He was supposed to be the adult in the room, who ended the anonymous stories and organizational disfunction.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Another managerial change and another botched job.
Good luck to Collins’s successor.