The New York Mets and manager Terry Collins will likely go their separate ways this offseason, given that the wheels have come off of the Mets this season and that Collins’ contract is up. Despite the Mets 2015 NL pennant and 2016 NL Wild Card, many Mets fans have clamored for Collins to be dismissed for years, and a report on Thursday indicated that team COO Jeff Wilpon and GM Sandy Alderson were prevented from firing Collins by none other than team owner Fred Wilpon, the father of the club’s COO.
Newsday took a deep dive into Collins’ erratic tenure at the helm of the team, revealing plenty of juicy nuggets about his relationship with the front office and Mets ownership.
Fred Wilpon denied the claims of meddling.
Despite what the front office perceived as Collins’ constant tactical blunders and concerns about Collins’ relationships with the players, sources said efforts to seriously explore a change were thwarted by the elder Wilpon.
“I don’t interfere,” Fred Wilpon said while declining an interview request earlier this season.
One Mets source claimed that Wilpon was “too chummy” with Collins, and another said that the 68-year old manager has “no allies in the front office”.
A popular battleground topic between the front office and Collins was bullpen usage. The Mets bullpen came into Thursday with an NL-worst 4.74 ERA, and their relievers have worked in abck to back games an MLB-high 126 times.
Collins increasingly resisted input, several Mets officials said, a stark departure from his earlier years with the Mets. Bullpen management became a constant battleground, with Collins facing criticism for overusing his most trusted arms as the Mets staggered at the start of the season.
“Once he falls in love with you, he abuses you,” one official said. “He has run players into the ground. He has no idea about resting players. Even when you tell him, he doesn’t listen.”
An anonymous player said that he and his teammates were all “miserable,” and another complained about Collins’ poor communication skills.
“He has always been difficult to communicate with,” one Met said. “It would be a surprise if he said ‘hey’ to you when you passed each other in the hallway if your name wasn’t [Matt] Harvey or [Yoenis] Cespedes. It’s always been those couple things along with some of the in-game decisions he makes.”
The entire piece, written by Marc Carig, is worth a read. It shows what the Mets, in the midst of their first 90-loss season since 2009, have been going through and what a dysfunctional atmosphere their next manager will be walking into. After committing a franchise-record $154 million to their payroll this season, the team has just $58 million committed to their 2018 payroll, $20 million of which is going to third baseman David Wright, who has played just 75 games in the majors over the last three seasons (including zero in 2017).
Good luck, Mets fans. You’re going to need it.