Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard and catcher Travis d'Arnaud viewed former Mets manager Terry Collins as a mentor to them as they made their MLB debuts under his reign.
Both Syndergaard, 25, and d'Arnaud, 28, reflected on their times spent with Collins, who resigned as Mets manager after Sunday's season-ending loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
"Ever since I've been in the big leagues, he's been my manager, so he's done nothing but great things for me," d'Arnaud said about Collins, 68, who went 551-582 as Mets manager since his first season in 2011. "We've had two hells of a season together, making it all the way to the World Series -- which I still can't believe that happened, what a crazy run -- and even last year, making it back to the postseason was incredible. We've been through the thick and thin."
Syndergaard said it would have been a "good idea" to retain Collins as manager and said any uncertainty surrounding pitching coach Dan Warthen is "bulls--t," however added that those decisions are "not up to me."
Syndergaard, who debuted in 2015, was limited to just 30 1/3 innings in seven games this season due to a lat injury. He and fellow starting pitchers Matt Harvey, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler each spent extended time on the disabled list this season, which he does not think Collins, whom some teammates anonymously ripped, should be blamed for.
"I think Terry Collins has the hardest job, second to being the president of the United States," Syndergaard said. "I think it's kind of unfair what Terry and Dan are going through just because I'm the kind of guy that if I have a problem with somebody, I'm not going to talk behind their back; I'm going to talk to them face-to-face and get it resolved."
D'Arnaud made his debut in 2013 and has had an up-and-down career, spending time on the disabled list and being demoted to the minors on multiple occasions. He said Collins was a big proponent in how he was able to return from such ordeals.
"Last year, the struggles that I had, he stuck by my side," d'Arnaud said. "Same thing in 2014 when I struggled to start, he called me into his office and gave me a really big heart-to-heart, and I came back and became the player that I was."
Collins managed the Mets to sub-.500 records in each of his first four seasons, but led the Mets to the World Series in 2015. Last season, the Mets finished 87-75 and advanced to the NL wild-card game. This season, the Mets couldn't live up to their high expectations, as they fell 10 games back in the division in early June and were eight games under .500 at the All-Star break.
"It's been a blast," Collins said. "But it's time."
"There's a lot of emotion that is attached ... and it's sad to see," Syndergaard said. "I'm kind of hurting for him. I know that this was a huge part of his game. Being a Met, being part of the Mets family was really important to him. It's a bittersweet moment."