On August 13th, Terry Collins reportedly had a 50-50 chance of retaining his role as manager of the New York Mets. After a stretch of 12 losses in 16 games, ending with an embarrassing sweep at the hands of the Diamondbacks, the Mets’ front office was prepared to install a new manager, according to Bob Klapisch.
Given that New York made it all the way to Game 5 of the World Series in 2015, it’s somewhat surprising to hear that Collins’ job was in jeopardy less than a year later. While he hasn’t had the smoothest tenure with the Mets, one would imagine that a manager coming off a World Series appearance would be given the benefit of the doubt.
Perhaps most surprising is the fact that his future with the Mets seemingly hinged on a single game. Installing a new manager is no small task, and that’s especially true during a season. A decision like that requires significant thought and planning so that day-to-day operations don’t fall apart in the course of the transition.
Given these requirements, it’s fair to question why the outcome of one contest would have mattered. If the Mets had played a great game, and simply lost 3-2, could Collins truly have been blamed for it? The answer to that question is likely no, which is worrying.
There are 162 games in a regular season, and to make a decision about the future of a manager based on just one of them is misguided. If Sandy Alderson thought that the Mets would have been better off without Collins, he should have acted. Instead, Alderson left that decision to the baseball gods, who chose to spare the Mets manager for the time being.
Collins’ saving grace, as it turns out, might have ultimately been his ability to communicate with his players.
As the Mets begin their postseason march, Collins’ job appears safe for the moment; although given that the Wild Card round is just one-game, his future could depend on his team figuring out Madison Bumgarner.