Collins reflects after winning likely last home game as Mets manager

0
23


The longest-tenured manager in Mets history faced his likely home finale Wednesday night, concealing any emotions that might have diverted his attention.

Terry Collins was camped in the first-base dugout at Citi Field for nine innings, well aware it could have been his last adventure from that spot.

“This past week, only because all of the questions, has it been hard to deal with,” Collins said after the Mets beat the Braves 7-1. “My focus is trying to get the team ready and every day it is something else about me not being here.”

Barring a late change of heart by co-owner Fred Wilpon — which sources say is unlikely — the Mets are ready to announce next week that Collins will not return as manager in 2018. In addition, pitching coach Dan Warthen is expected to be replaced.

A few signs of support for Collins were visible in the ballpark and a faint “Ter-ry Coll-ins” chant was audible briefly in the ninth inning, but otherwise the probable home finale for the manager was uneventful.

“He is like my second father,” Jose Reyes said. “That is how much love I have for him and he has for me. The communication that he had with me since 2011 when I met him was unbelievable. I don’t know what the future holds for him, but I wish him all the best.”

Before the game, the 68-year-old Collins was asked which of the games he had managed at Citi Field during his seven seasons were the most memorable.

Collins pointed to his first home game, April 8, 2011 against the Nationals and Game 5 of the 2015 World Series against the Royals.
In the latter, Collins sent Matt Harvey back to the mound for the ninth inning with a lead, but his ace never escaped — the Royals tied the game before winning in the 12th inning to clinch the series.

A fan holds up a thank you sign to Terry Collins, who likely managed his last game as a Met.SNY

“My first game in New York, how exciting it was to be back managing again and the elation of being back in that dugout and the competition,” Collins said, referring to his 12-year gap between managing the Angels in 1999 and taking the Mets job. “And obviously Game 5 will be with me forever: the frustration, the tremendous excitement that was in the air here, I will remember those.”

Warthen, according to sources, will take the fall for the team’s dismal pitching performance this season. The Mets entered play with a 5.01 ERA that ranked next-to-last in the National League, in a season in which the rotation has been decimated by injuries and underperformance.
The top candidates to replace Warthen, according to sources, are Mets bullpen coach Ricky Bones and minor league pitching coordinator Ron Romanick.

“[Warthen] puts his heart and soul into this job and this has been a rough year when you look at your pitchers,” Collins said. “They have come up with a variety of injuries, and it’s not just one thing. Dan does a good job. Guys get better, I have seen them up close get better and he’s done a great job.”

Collins pointed to the improvement of right-hander Rafael Montero, who emerged from the scrap heap into a serviceable back-of-the-rotation pitcher in the second half of the season.

“Dan needs to get a little pat on the back for that,” Collins said. “In this market everybody is looking to blame somebody. Every once in awhile somebody gets a pat on the back and Dan Warthen has done a nice job with some of these young pitchers.”

Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo all spent significant time on the disabled list this season and Robert Gsellman regressed from his 2016 level, dooming the Mets.

“When you enter the season, when you are the pitching coach with arguably one of the best rotations in the history of the New York Mets, who have been pitching-rich forever and not to be able to work with those guys you start the season with, yeah it’s pretty frustrating,” Collins said.



This News Credit Goes To >> Source link

Comments

comments