Terry Collins Throws Sandy Alderson Under the Bus

Forgive me for taking a while to realize it — in my old age, I’m not as quick as I once was. After reading Terry Collins‘ post-game comments, it became plain as day: Collins is blaming Sandy Alderson for the Mets’ recent woes.

All quotes lifted from Adam Rubin’s blog on ESPN:

“We’re going to have a little get-together tomorrow,” Collins said. “But who do you want me to yell at — the nine rookies? Huh? The veterans that play as hard as any veteran in this league, that play the game the right way? There’s nobody to yell at. It’s about going out there and getting the job done. They’re major league players. Have some confidence. If there was a lack of hustle, lack of preparation, then there’s something to yell about. But that’s not out there. We’re just not executing the way we should be. We should be able to at this level.”

So, rookies are exempt from criticism because, you know, they’re rookies. There are nine of them, as Collins points out. That’s more than one-third of the roster that is blameless. Who’s fault is it that there are nine rookies on Terry’s watch? That would be whomever promoted those rookies — i.e., the front office / Sandy Alderson.

Further, Collins explains that the team is hustling and prepared, but not executing “the way we should be.” This seems like an oxymoron of sorts, because generally, if one isn’t executing it’s due to preparation — or lack of talent. Methinks Terry is referring to the latter, based on other comments made that we’ll get to shortly. B

But first, on the Mets’ lack of hitting …

“We’ve tried a lot of things. We hit early today. We hit in the cages. We hit before the games. We hit after the games. We’ve got scouting reports that won’t quit. We’ve got to go execute. … You just hope you start to see a better application of what they’re being told — what [hitting coach] Kevin [Long] bring up. You start seeing balls out of the zone that are swung at, that’s the part that gets to be tough. In this league, you’ve got to make pitchers throw strikes, because if you don’t, they aren’t going to throw any.”

Gee whiz, it sounds like Collins and the coaching staff has tried everything, and exhausted every single resource available to them to jump-start the offense. If there isn’t any more they can do, then what’s left? What’s the problem? Could it be a lack of offensive talent on the roster?

“This team is pretty much built on some power. We’ve got to get out of our heads the home run right now. We’ve got to get contact inside and start applying that a little bit more — using the field to hit. A lot of our fly balls are routine fly balls. We’re not driving anything. We’re not using the field. We’re getting ourselves out.”

Oh dear. Before, Collins was merely hinting at the issue; the bus’ diesel engine was merely warming up. With this, the bus was placed into gear and began rolling. This team is pretty much built on power. Who “built” the team on power? Not Terry Collins, that’s for sure. And now, since the plan of an offense built on power is not working, Collins recommends that the players begin playing “small ball” of sorts — couldn’t this be considered disobeying orders? Can you foresee a clash between Collins and his boss (or bosses) — the people who built this team on power?

Then there is this little nugget, in reference to the second bunt in four days flubbed by Ruben Tejada, as relayed by The New York Post:

“It was a real good bunt, but one thing when you’re playing third, we’ve got to get an out there,” Collins said, noting Tejada’s limited experience at third base. “Jon had to go a long way. Ruben, when he saw Jon, he thought he was going to get a play at third and we didn’t make the right judgment. It’s nobody’s fault. We’re playing some guys where they don’t belong.”

Why are the Mets “playing some guys where they don’t belong”? For example, why is Wilmer Flores playing shortstop instead of 3B? Tejada 3B instead of shortstop? Why don’t the Mets have sufficient depth to cover injuries that have occurred? Again, this is a not-so-veiled attack on the makeup of the team, of how it was assembled. Who assembled it? Not Collins.

While that bus is lurching forward, Collins might want to grind it back into reverse, before his boss recognizes these comments as insubordination — which in some troops, is a fireable offense.

What do you think? Are the Mets 21-31 over the last 52 games because the roster wasn’t properly built and/or maintained? Does Collins have a gripe? Will his not-so-secret pleas to Sandy Alderson fall on deaf ears — or result in termination? Post your thoughts in the comments.

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. david June 24, 2015 at 8:16 pm
    The most fun game Mets fans are playing today is who is to blame for the woeful baseball that we are being grudgingly forced to watch – and lets absolve ourselves of fault since if any of us had better judgment we’d be Yankees fans. But I digress.

    The candidates in no particualr order are Alderson, Collins or ‘the Wilpons’. I am in the camp that lays the blame at the feet of the Wilpons, and more particularly Jeffrey although its not really fair to him since all parents know that they are responsible for their children’s character flaws, at least on some level.

    A fish rots from the head, as they say, and the head of our fish is really rotten and smelly. Of course, reasonable minds can differ and there is plenty of blame to go around for what we are currently witnessing. However, I am sorry to inform you that – as has been publicized – no help is on the way because the Wilpons aren’t selling this team any time soon.

    A midnight massacre where Alderson and/or Collins are fired might feel good for a little while, and may even spark the team a bit. However, I think this team will never be a first class franchise while we have 3rd class owners like the Wilpons. And that is where I think the blame must ultimately lie.

    • Dan B June 24, 2015 at 10:20 pm
      As I said before, the Mets will never succeed with Jeff Wilpon running the team. And the Wilpons will never sell as long as they view CitiField as a real estate development site where a ball team plays.
  2. argonbunnies June 24, 2015 at 9:50 pm
    I think Collins drank the kool-aid that these Mets were good enough to win, and now he’s really frustrated that they aren’t. I’m sure he’s not thrilled with Sandy, but at the same time, he’s also blamed injuries as much as he could without sounding like a “poor us” whiner.

    As for switching positions with Ruben and Wilmer, I imagine that’s at least partly Collins’ decision, but if not — if Alderson has really said “I’m gonna make believe that Wright will be back soon, so you’re not allowed to move Wilmer around” — then yeah, Collins is probably irate with Sandy right now.

    As a master spin doctor, I think Alderson should respect the fact that Collins didn’t actually say “I blame this awful roster construction” in any clear fashion. Terry’s job is safe until he starts saying stuff that isn’t open to interpretation.

  3. Dan42 June 25, 2015 at 9:27 am
    Collins probably feels that he has to air things now, since when he gets canned for lousy performance the same will sound like sour grapes.

    As for Alderson, since Selig rode off into the sunset he may be on the hot seat for spending valuable capital on the likes of Granderson, Cuddyer and even Wright’s extension in spite of being partially covered by insurance.

  4. Quinn June 25, 2015 at 9:50 am
    I agree entirely with Collins, and while some of his moves are curious,with the roster he had been given to manage he had to be creative. Alderson has done a horrific job during his entire tenure and it would seem dictated some of Collins moves. Seeing that this ours Collins last chance to manage I understand why he is frustrated. As for the Wilpons yes they are poor owners but there are other small market teams with money first owners that compete because they have a competent gm