Sandy Alderson has no plans to make a change at manager, despite the team's poor play one year after getting to the World Series, he told two reporters Thursday in San Francisco.
"I don't expect any change," Alderson told Newsday's Marc Carig.
"There are no present plans to make any changes," he also told ESPN.com's Adam Rubin.
"The short answer is he is staying, because we think that it's in the best interest of the organization," he concluded, talking to Carig.
The Mets, who are 13-19 since the All Star break, enter play Friday at 60-61, 4 1/2 games out of the second wild-card spot, while trailing the Nationals by 11 games in the NL East.
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First off all, Sandy is always smart to talk in the present, and the above quotes are no different. However, while he can say whatever he has to say today, no one will convince me Terry's job isn't on the line. It has to be. And, frankly, it better be.
I don't expect anyone to get fired during the season, no matter how had things get. But, if the Mets fail to get to the postseason a year after making the World Series, I think it's very possible Collins is replaced, despite what Sandy is saying right now.
The fact is, Alderson nearly fired Collins after 2014, but ownership stepped in to stop him, the GM admitted in his book last winter. Basically, according to Alderson's text, Terry needed to get to the postseason to survive 2015. He did, so he stayed. But, now what? What happens if he fails to get to the postseason this year?
Terry no longer has Paul DePodesta to argue in his favor, as he did in previous seasons. And, I bet ownership's position will change when they see how people react to them not making the playoffs.
In talking to people on the ground floor, the players and coaching staff still have a lot of respect for Terry, despite a lot of bizarre decisions this season. But, he also went on a tirade to reporters recently, essentially calling out his players for not having enough passion and professionalism.
I always assumed Dick Scott would eventually get Terry's job, but that was if the team was winning and in need of a seamless transition. However, in the event things are going the wrong way, my hunch is Alderson will want a fresh start with new people.
As long as Alderson is GM, I'm pretty sure I have a better chance of managing the Mets than Triple-A manager Wally Backman -- so you can get that thought out of your head right now. Similarly, I'm told not to expect much interest from Alderson in Mike Scioscia. Instead, a more studious, quiet, middle-management, suit-and-tie type is likely to take over, such as free-agent Bud Black. Or Scott, who was Director of Player Development for Alderson in New York and Oakland.
For what it's worth, back in 2007, Alderson replaced Bruce Bochy with Black in San Diego, where he went on to be named National League Manager of the Year in 2010. Black has been a pitching coach, player, manager and assistant to the GM. Frankly, like Scott, he fits Sandy's model to a T.
My read here is that Terry is being watched like a hawk. If the Mets catch fire and get to October, I think this is a non issue. Terry will be back. However, if they don't, it's not going to be a black-and-white choice for Alderson, who rarely makes unilateral decisions in a vacuum. Instead, it's going to be a qualitative decision with input from all sides.
For instance, if the Mets mount a surge, show more focus and fight, but still miss the playoffs, I think Collins could be back. But, it will likely come down to the level of support Alderson gauges for Collins from players and ownership. Also, if he returns, he'll immediately be on the hot seat when next season begins. There will be very little room for error on his part.
On the other hand, if the Mets keep stumbling in 2016, especially when Yoenis Cespedes is back, and if they finish out of the playoffs having played .480 baseball for six months, I can't see how Collins returns, despite him having another full year on his contract.