Terry Collins, who resigned as Mets manager after the final game of the season on Sunday in Philadelphia, has accepted the position of Special Assistant to GM Sandy Alderson, the team announced on Tuesday.
"I would expect that a lot of his area of responsibility and consultation will be in the area of player development," Mets GM Sandy Alderson said about Collins' new role. "I was disappointed with the performance of some of those players (who were called up this season) and their preparation for playing at the major league level."
Collins' tenure as manager had been expected to end after the season, according to multiple reports.
Over a dozen team sources -- including players -- criticized Collins to Marc Carig of Newsday earlier this week. In Carig's report, it was written that Collins had a fractured relationship with many players and had been ignoring directives from the front office -- specifically related to how they wanted him to run the bullpen.
One anonymous Met told Carig that Collins "has always been difficult to communicate with," with another Met telling Carig "we were all miserable."
It was also reported by Carig that Mets owner Fred Wilpon shielded Collins from being fired on numerous ocassions during his tenure.
Collins responded to part of the report on Friday, saying the front office never took issue with his bullpen usage.
Additionally, a report from Mike Puma of the NY Post cited a belief in the organization that Collins' usage of Jeurys Familia "might have led directly" to Familia's blood clot and shoulder surgery this season -- which Collins was incredulous about.
"Seriously? Seriously? With the WBC and all of the other factors, I'm the factor? OK, I'll take it", Collins said. "I'm the manager."
Mets Captain David Wright came to Collins' defense on Friday, telling The Record that his teammates commenting anonymously about Collins was "cowardly."
"That's a real cowardly thing to do," Wright said. "I've been around Terry for seven years. A lot of these guys have been around him for a number of years, some guys dating to the minors. I'm not here to sit and blindly defend every move that Terry has made over the last seven years. We've all made mistakes and done things that we wish we could go back and do differently."
"For a player to not put his name on the quote and to bash Terry, who has a lot of success for taking us to the playoffs in back-to-back years, in my opinion, that is cowardly and lazy," Wright added. "The man sits 10 feet from you. Go walk in there and say your gripes. Terry has treated us like men and adults."
Mets GM Sandy Alderson expressed his anger on Saturday over the anonymous team sources criticizing Collins, saying "If I knew who it was, they would be terminated."
Collins was hired by Alderson prior to the 2011 season, amassing the second-most wins by a manager in team history.
Matthew Cerrone (Twitter | Instagram | About Me): Terry is an amazing man and I wish him nothing but success, be it assisting with the front office or in his personal life. Baseball aside, I've been fortunate enough to meet him, talk life, careers, , and family with Terry, and I know him to be nothing short of a stand up, energetic, fun-loving guy.
In-game tactics, bullpen usage, resting or not resting pitchers, whatever... In the end, he's won the second-most games ever leading this franchise, and gave us 18 of the most thrilling months in the team's history, including 15 postseason games and one National League pennant.
He was the organization's minor-league coordinator (by way of Omar Minaya) prior to being hired as manager. He enjoyed the job and genuinely loves helping prospects assimilate in to professional baseball. Terry has experienced everything there is to experience in baseball and I'm thankful he will be remaining in the organization to help continue establishing a Mets Way of business, baseball, and conduct.
That said, it's the right time to bring in a new manager. It's nothing against Terry, who did a great job and was exactly what the Mets needed when he was hired seven years ago. Terry wasn't tasked with winning a World Series in his first season, which followed a 92-loss season and a complete breakdown of Minaya's roster. Instead, Sandy Alderson asked Collins take the helm, change the team's culture and identity, and oversee the big-league development of a new of homegrown talent.
In the days after TC was hired, the buzz from Citi Field indicated that -- when the Mets eventually got back to the postseason -- it would likely be with a manager other than Collins, who was in place to essentially be a bridge between Omar and Alderson. Alderson already preferred to have a manager that is essentially an extension of the front office. I don't think he wants a manager with a business or law degree. But, it's fairly clear from interviews and past precedent that he'd rather work with someone more in-tune with his thinking. But, before he could make a change in the dugout, 2015 happened.
The reality is that Alderson considered replacing Collins before 2015 and during 2015, according to his own words and retelling of that season in multiple print publications. However, Alderson kept Terry in his position, the Mets added Yoenis Cespedes, got players back from injury, the team caught fire, won the NL East, crushed the NL playoffs and got to their first World Series in more than a decade.
Despite the previous season's success, Collins was nearly fired again during the summer of 2016. Thankfully for him, the team won a crucial summer series, went on a winning streak, and zoomed back in to playoff contention, so Terry again stayed on, sources told the Bergen Record's Bob Klapisch. Naturally, after overcoming incredible odds to win a spot in the NL Wild Card game, Collins was given another chance in 2017.
This past season was a disaster, though. By summer, the Mets were deep under .500, thanks in large part to a dump-truck full of injuries. The playoffs were never in reach, so Alderson traded Terry's veteran players for young pitching, promoted prospects, and rounded out the roster with journeymen. The losses mounted, just as TC's contract was about to run out, which created the perfect time for Alderson to bring in a new manager more in tune with the roster he intends to put in play.
In the end, like divorce, this is most likely best for everyone. I don't see it as a setback. I see it as an opportunity to take a breath, exhale, restructure around the team's strengths (research, statistical analysis, pitching), and leave 2017 in our collective rearview mirror.