In the wake of the Mets’ come-from-behind, 7-6 win in Miami this afternoon, Metsradamus hails Jordanny Valdespin’s 3-run blast and argues, “maybe it’s high time to reward him with more at-bats” (“who else is going to get the at-bats … Mike Baxter?…get Valdespin in there and let him take selfies and put his finger in the air like he just don’t care”). Said constructive suggest comes hours after the Bergen Record’s Bob Klapisch dubbed manager Terry Collins, “an honest guy, good with people” but not quite, “a master tactician.”
Collins, no dummy, knows he would’ve already received a vote of confidence, even in private, if Alderson and Jeff Wilpon were entirely sold on his body of work. Both men know what job security — or its absence — does to a manager’s standing in the clubhouse. Without a commitment from ownership, Collins looks like a short-timer on a bad team, a latter-day George Bamberger. The current six-game losing streak, including embarrassing back-to-back losses to the Marlins, doesn’t help his cause, either.
So what’ll it take for Collins to avoid being fired, even before the end of the season? A more robust roster would help, obviously. In the meantime, he has to prove to the front office that the Mets are listening to him, and that he’s relevant enough to relate to the next wave of stars — particularly Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Travis D’Arnaud.
Collins’ relationship with David Wright is solid, as it should be. But just as Davey Johnson had built-in ties with Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry and Ron Darling, among others, in 1984, it’s Wally Backman, not Collins, who has a head start with the 20-somethings who’ll be at Citi for the rest of the decade.