Terry Collins removed Duda from the game for not hustling, but after the bottom of the second inning.
"I was frustrated and I didn't bust down the line and Terry pulled me out," Duda said, according to WFUV's Nick Logerfo. "That's pretty much how it is. I would have done the same thing. I mean, I didn't run. That's part of the game. You've got to play the game hard. And I didn't run."
Collins realized Duda didn't do what he did intentionally, saying "Tom Goodwin said he came right back to first base and said, 'Tommy, I'm sorry. I messed up.' He knew it."
However, Collins added "we've made a statement here that we're not going to play the game like that, especially right now. Had we won 10 of the last 12, or 15 of the last 20, you can kind of turn your head. But I couldn't turn my head tonight. ... after what's happened last night and what's happened in the last six weeks, something had to be done."
Good for Terry. Too many times players on this team have not hustled in one form or another in the second half, their play has been lackluster when it's been at it's best, and the execution has suffered all around as a result. I hope the last couple of days has served as a wakeup call and they can at least show some kind of spark and energy over the next couple of weeks.
Terry's right - something had to be done, and I don't think the players have any leverage if they're upset with what Terry has said and done over the last couple of days either. But, something needed to be done before last night (and after the first inning as opposed to the second inning with Duda in particular), and not with 12 irrelevant games left on the schedule. I think it's one thing to just be terrible, but they've beaten themselves over the last eight weeks or so and, as I said, these kinds of things have been going on for far too long. This style of play should never be acceptable, whether they've won ten of 12 or lost ten of 12, as he put it.
What's worse is, up until yesterday, I just feel Terry has been making excuses and coming up with reasons for all of this, rather than being accountable and accepting nothing less than "playing the game the right way," as he's said so many times in the last two years. Of course what happens behind closed doors might be another story, but it also might not, especially since the lackluster play has gotten worse with time.
Yes, the Mets need better players - this failure in the second half mostly boils down to a lack of talent on the roster. And, losing certainly breeds bad habits, players trying to do too much, and so on. But the Mets also need a consistent message from Terry and the coaching staff. After all, he is the manager, he is in charge, and so there should only be one way, and that's his way.
As Terry has said before, perception is reality...