Terry Collins has “resigned” after seven years of managing the Mets, and will transition into a front office position. I use the word resigned loosely, because it became obvious that he was no longer wanted by the powers-that-be.
This all didn’t exactly go down smoothly. Does it ever with the Mets? The sources in Marc Carig’s report last week cast Terry in the harshest light on his way out the door. And in spite of it all, it’s clear that ownership wants to find a graceful landing spot for Collins rather than firing him.
But while I may not be a huge fan, Terry’s tenure deserves to be remembered favorably.
Terry always felt like a placeholder to get us through the lean, rebuilding years. But he was a survivor. He probably doesn’t get the credit he deserves for steering the ship during the 2015 World Series run, even if he didn’t manage well in that series. (his use of Familia, Clippard’s long leash in Game 4 and Harvey in Game 5…ugh, the nightmares are returning). But he should be praised for that second-half resurgence, and outlasting the Dodgers in a memorable five-game set before cruising past the Cubs in the NLCS.
For me, the highlight of the Collins era is 2016. Yes, the season ended with a heart-breaking loss in the Wild Card Game, but the fact that the Mets even got there amid all the injuries was a great accomplishment by Collins. Look back on that roster down the stretch and see for yourself what Collins pieced together in September. That was his finest work in Queens.
Off the field, Collins took the brunt of the blame for the franchise far more than he should have. I know that comes with the territory, but what he went through with covering for injuries and front office miscommunications was above and beyond for a manager. Sure, Collins deserves blame for the team’s on-field shortcomings. But does that blame also belong to several others within the organization? No doubt about it.
Terry probably isn’t going to be remembered as fondly as Gil Hodges, Davey Johnson, or even Bobby Valentine. But he was a capable manager who saw the Mets through a dark period, and was rewarded with two runs to the postseason.
So long, Terry. Even though you fell short, you proved to be far more than a placeholder.