September 30, 2013

Terry Stay or Terry Go?

Earlier today, the Mets announced they have signed manager Terry Collins to a 2 year extension with a team option for the 2016 season.  This comes on the heels of the Mets second straight 74-88 season and the third straight losing season under Terry Collins since he took over the manager's job for the 2011 season. He has a 225-261 (.462) overall record as manager of the Mets.

At first glance it seems odd to re-up a manager with such a dismal record and no season that even sniffed the post-season. However, I am on board with Terry receiving this extension. Some argue that Terry will be a placeholder for the manager who actually takes the Mets into the post-season. We can call that the "Buck Showalter". Buck has a history of being great with young talented players, teaching them the game, crafting them into actual major leaguers, but lacks the skills to take a team deep into the, a team usually replaces Buck just as the team he manages gets good enough to contend for a championship.  I don't see this in Terry Collins.

Yes, he is very good with young players and does take on the role of teaching the young players what they need to know. However, I think that has more to do with his history as a member of the Mets minor league system, which gave him a relationship with many of the players he is managing today. I don't think this necessarily pigeon-holes Terry as a "teaching manager" instead of a "championship manager". Yes, he is clearly a teaching manager...but that doesn't preclude him from also being the championship manager. You can be both a Buck Showalter as well as a Joe Girardi/Bob Brenly.  A championship manager still needs to teach the game and will have to get more out of role players/young players than he should be able to in order to win. If there is anything Terry has proven in the last three years, it is that he is capable of getting blood from a stone.

The record over the last three years is bad.  However, look at the talent he has been working with. In those three years he lost his ace twice (Johan and Harvey). He's had what feels like 83 different outfielders in his lineup. He has had a front office looking to shrink payroll. He has had owners we don't even need to talk about.

We have finally started to surround him with major league talent. This is the off-season we are supposed to begin adding more. Why cut him loose now? He has shown he can handle youth and I believe he derserves the chance to take the next step.  And hey, even if he does end up being the Buck Showalter to someone else...that worked for the Yankees and Diamondbacks, didn't it?

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