Why Terry Collins Won’t Be Fired

So, when we were told that Terry Collins was “Sandy’s choice” for manager after the 2010 season, we weren’t being lied to — we had wrongly assumed that “Sandy” referred to “Alderson” rather than “Koufax.”

As the Mets’ season slips away, some assume Collins’ seat is sizzling. But if there’s heat, Terry’s not feeling it.

Kristie Ackert of The Daily News checked with her sources, and found that the Mets brass has no intention of holding Collins responsible for the team’s current misfortunes. Mike Puma of The New York Post reported the same thing.

Though, two things about that Post article jump out. First, there wasn’t much of an endorsement from The Captain David Wright. From the story:

But Wright also only gave Collins a lukewarm endorsement when asked if the manager is doing a good job.

“What he’s done with our minor league system, he knows a lot of these guys,” Wright said. “And it’s the same thing when we were talking about [Hudgens]: He is not up there with a bat in his hands and making pitches and there is only so much a manager can do to help the outcome of games.”

Diplomatic, and Jeteresque. But not exactly supportive. Nothing like, “I’d run through a wall for Terry Collins,” for example — though, I wouldn’t expect that, either. It would have been nice to get something in between, though.

Perhaps more striking was this part of Puma’s piece:

Alderson would almost certainly need the blessing of the Wilpon family to fire Collins. Not only is Collins well-liked by the Wilpons for his no-nonsense approach to the job, but he is tight with Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax. An industry source indicated that firing Collins could create an uncomfortable situation for owner Fred Wilpon, who is tight with Koufax from their days growing up together in Brooklyn.

Wait, what? If that’s true, then it stands to reason that the Collins hiring in the first place was influenced more by Sandy Koufax than Sandy Alderson — wouldn’t you think? If Koufax recommended Collins to his longtime pal Fred Wilpon, then the charade of considering and/or interviewing Clint Hurdle, DeMarlo Hale, Wally Backman, Bob Melvin, Chip Hale, Don Wakamatsu, Ken Oberkfell, Lee Mazzilli, Tim Teufel, etc., was just that — a charade. That the decision was made prior to the interviews my partially explain why Hurdle removed his hat from the table and jumped at the chance to manage the Pirates — even though the Pirates were in the midst of a nearly two-decade streak of losing seasons, with no end in sight. We were told that former Dodgers GM Paul DePodesta was the main guy in Collins’ corner, but it was also mildly suggested that Koufax had something to do with the decision as well.

So there you have it — Terry Collins may have become the Mets manager because he was Sandy’s (Koufax) choice, and he likely will remain on board, through thick and thin, so that the kinship between Koufax and Fred Wilpon is not tarnished. Fred already was forced to cut ties with dear friend Bernie Madoff a few years ago — does he want to lose another valued comrade?

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. DaveSchneck June 10, 2014 at 6:32 pm
    Collins has been less than stellar but the problem is the players snd their in game execution or lack there of.
    • Victor Chu June 11, 2014 at 2:15 pm
      Dave … are you the same Dave Schneck that played for the Mets in the 1970’s?
    • Tony June 11, 2014 at 2:52 pm
      It is Collins fault when the Mets lose nearly every game by 1 or 2 runs that could have been avoided if he would have made the proper managerial decisions in terms of who is pitching out of the pen, or when to bring someone in, or leave a pitcher in….or when not to use a defensive replacement (i.e. bringing in Chris Young that game he dropped the ball), and so on. The Mets have lost the most games this year after they have had the lead (over 20), and the most 1 and 2 run games as well. This is a bit due to their untimely hitting, but more to do with the fact that their manager does not help them win ballgames.

      If we had Bobby V, or someone else that is competent and not just an old fart in the dugout, we would be in first place….you may think I am joking, but the Mets are literally just a few moves away from being in first — had they just won those few games they should have won…

  2. Eric June 10, 2014 at 9:09 pm
    When the history of this whole crummy era is over, the story is going to be about a lightweight rich man whose gift to himself was trying to recreate his boyhood love for the Brooklyn Dodgers. So we get a ballpark with blind seats in most of left field that reminds him of Ebbets Field, and we get a second-rate manager who helps cement his starry-eyed relationship with Sandy Koufax.
  3. DanB June 10, 2014 at 9:42 pm
    I wonder how Koufax felt about Wilpon when Koufax lost money with Madoff? At some point Collins has to go because if he doesn’t go, then the Mets are admitting that they have provided Collins with teams that were no good and Collins is doing the best he can with garbage. But if they are admitting the team is garbaged, doesn’t that mean it is the front office’s fault? Four years is a long time to rebuild with no improvement. And if it is not the front office, aren’t the Mets admitting they are severly underfunded and their front office has their hands tied and the owners are incapable? At some point, somebody has to take the blame.
    • Dan42 June 11, 2014 at 7:53 am
      With Selig on his way out, and Katz worrying about his fortune, there may be a gleam light at the end of the tunnel.
      • Victor Chu June 11, 2014 at 2:17 pm
        I hope you’re right!!!
  4. Bat June 11, 2014 at 10:05 am
    Being a Mets fan is really discouraging.

    What does Puma’s article mean? The Mets can never fire Collins? Or that they can fire him only if he engages in some act of moral turpitude or something like that?Because as I’ve said previously on this blog, I don’t think Collins has done a very good job this year. But yet the Wilpons won’t fire him because it will get them in trouble with…Sandy freaking Koufax?

    I have felt like an apologist for the Wilpons for such a long time because I am always playing devil’s advocate and defending them when everyone else is ripping them, but honestly if Saul Katz decided to sell which directly or indirectly forced Fred Wilpon to sell, I think I would throw a huge party. I simply cannot imagine a worse ownership group in New York other than these guys. Yes, Jeffrey Loria is worse but that is Miami and it is different. Miami is certainly not a small market, but they probably never should have put a baseball team down there to begin with. Loria should be run out of baseball – the other owners should be much, much harder on him and where is the union and why don’t they make a bigger deal about this paltry payroll – but this is New York!

    New York is a baseball haven and the media capital of the world! At least James Dolan – an absurdly awful owner – can claim that he is spending to win. Spending stupidly often, and no excuse in this world for the atrocious Isaiah Thomas regime, but at least he is spending.

    The way the Wilpons run a New York MLB team is downright embarrassing.

  5. Garett June 16, 2014 at 4:44 pm
    Collins won’t be our manager in 2016. He’s going to maybe sneak into playoffs in 2015 but that’ll be it for ole TC… Koufax bs or not