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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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The Other Foot

The Tigers lost a tough one on Sunday. Anibal Sanchez’s eight sterling innings went to waste, Francisco Rodriguez couldn’t maintain a ninth-inning tie, J.D. Martinez couldn’t unwrap a gift run in the eighth and the failure to cash in opportunity after opportunity was galling: three double plays in the first four innings and ten men left on base overall. How does a team go 3-for-8 with runners in scoring position and come up with only one run? When you have so many chances against a pitcher like Jacob deGrom, how do you let him off the hook? What’s wrong with the Tigers? Does Brad Ausmus even have a clue?

We don’t care about this angle, of course, but it’s easy to see how the “shoot!” lands on the other foot sometimes. Saturday night, the Mets wore it worst. Sunday afternoon, it was the Tigers’ turn. Both games could have gone either way. The latter went ours. We’ll take it.

All of what bugged Detroit satisfied us. We indeed outlasted Sanchez’s excellence, having only an extraordinarily welcome Michael Conforto opposite-field homer from the seventh to our credit after his eight innings on the Comerica mound. Perhaps Anibal was just that good. Perhaps the Met offense was just that bad. Perhaps, as Howie Rose suggested (once I had the sense to take refuge on radio from fill-in TV play-by-play), the mandated lack of amphetamines in baseball automatically saps the life from day games after night games.

DeGrom was doing his part splendidly enough, wriggling out of trouble and holding that Tiger attack to no runs until he was replaced by Jerry Blevins in the seventh, and Blevins let one of his three runners score. Jake’s pitch count and fastball were both rising and Blevins, the scouting report emphasizes, isn’t chopped liver. Nothing damaging was hit particularly hard, including the Ian Kinsler infield single that brought in the run that no-decisioned deGrom. Sometimes it’s just one of those things that gets you.

Another of those things seemed prepared to devour the Mets’ luck in the eighth when, with two on and two out, Casey McGehee — he’s played everywhere, man — grounded just enough out of range of James Loney’s grasp and Neil Walker’s glove to send a ball trickling into short right. Martinez, the man on second, was obviously going to trundle home. I could see it, you could see it, the only person who couldn’t see it was Martinez himself, who held up at third, either because he thought the ground ball was already corralled or he misread third base coach Dave Clark’s traffic signals. Clark seemed to want Martinez to keep going toward home and trail runner Justin Upton to stop at second. It was all hard to tell.

The only Tiger with a handle on the developing situation was a former one, right fielder Curtis Granderson. The third defender on the play was the one who picked up the ball and ran it in to the infield, effecting the rundown that nailed Martinez and kept the Tigers from taking the lead off Addison Reed. Surely the Mets were on the verge of being nicked to death, yet just as surely they escaped the blade.

See? It doesn’t only happen to us.

Rodriguez was asked to preserve a ninth-inning deadlock after not seamlessly closing out the two previous games. Ausmus loves his well, but it might’ve been dry. K-Rod hit leadoff man Alejandro De Aza on the arm on an oh-two count. Alejandro crumpled in pain. Terry Collins rushed out to ask a) if he was OK and b) if he was faster than Brandon Nimmo; Terry truly doesn’t know. De Aza answered affirmative to both of the above. Frankie stood on the mound during those several minutes of Met Q&A. Maybe it affected him. He threw ball one to the next batter, Walker, then a strike that was shipped directly out of the park. Neil sure loves a good Sunday pitch. The Mets led, 3-1, and didn’t give it back.

A superb win for the Mets. A better not-loss for the Mets. A terrible defeat for the Tigers in their quest to chase down the Indians, but we don’t see it that way. That’s fine, because we cultivate and nurture a myopic view of our games not to mention our world, but sometimes the most irritating setbacks irritate somebody else.

***

Hozzie update: He scratched at my elbow around 4:15 AM to wake me and get me to the kitchen for his desired feeding. Minutes later he scratched at my leg to let me know the transfer of food from can to plate to floor to him was taking too long. I instinctively kicked him away. This is the kind of theater we’ve rehearsed nightly for ages. It had been missing. I’m glad it’s returning…except he didn’t actually eat anything. One miracle at a time, as I like to say.

***

Hoboken update: Come see me at Little City Books (100 Bloomfield Street, corner of 1st and Bloomfield, across from City Hall) tonight at 7. We’ll talk Amazin’ Again, glorious 2015 Mets, frustrating 2016 Mets, any and all Mets you like. I look forward to stepping right up and greeting you there.

42 comments to The Other Foot

  • Dave

    Always glad to see the occasional reminder that slapping one’s forehead and asking how on earth these things can happen is not purely the domain of Mets fans. Statisticians would call this regressing to the mean, I suppose, the mean being that the Mets suffer 90% of the bad luck instead of the recently observed 100%.

    Also glad to see Hozzie exhibiting normal early morning feline behavior. He’s obviously in cahoots with our Pandora, who started her gentle poking just a little later, but maybe that’s just the time difference between Long Island and Jersey.

    See you in Hoboken tonight…and for the uninitiated, that is a trip best made by mass transit. Your chances of finding a place to park in downtown Hoboken is akin to the Mets BA with RISP.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Hoboken is known as “The Most Walkable City in America”. Maybe so, but I’ll add it also has “The Most Convoluted Parking Rules in America”. If you drive in, read the signs, diagram them, parse them, analyze them, then if it still seems OK, park and keep your fingers crossed.

    Ok, back to topic.

  • Eric

    I marvel that the Mets with all their struggles are yet only 2 games out of the WC.

  • Sophomoric Commenter

    A nice win and great to see another team grasp defeat from the jaws of victory. K-Rod finally completed the meltdown he attempted on Friday and Saturday.

    A shame two batted balls that went a combined 100 feet cost deGrom a win he deserved. But nothing you can do when pitcher buries the hitter but gets unlucky.

    With the next nine games against AZ (6) and SD (3) it would be a good time for this team to run off a streak and get ahead in the WC race.

  • Reyes' Oblique

    Just a quick note for those who felt it was no big deal for TC not to challenge the final out on Saturday and who feel we need to trust those in charge because they know more…Collins admitted his mistake and Alderson was so furious at him they had a conversation before and after the postgame press conference.

    And for those who want to say the Mets are overachieving and proof is they are still in the WC race, feel free to read this column which points out the Mets are in the race because the rest of the NL WC contenders have been lousy.
    http://nypost.com/2016/08/07/mets-contending-because-rest-of-nl-is-playing-down-to-their-level/

    • Dennis

      Doesn’t matter to me if they’re in the race because the other WC contenders are not playing well either. A total non issue. If they get in the WC game by playing slightly less shittier than the other teams, then I say good for them and I’ll look forward to watching that game.

  • Matt in Richmond

    1. I will never understand such hoopla over not challenging a call that was clearly correct. It is simply bizarre

    2 My understanding (please correct me if I’m wrong) is that it isn’t the manager’s job to challenge calls. That he does so after being told to by a replay coordinator

    3. I’m not sure what that article is supposed to illuminate other than exactly what I keep saying. That it is impressive how they’ve managed to stay in contention despite horrible, nearly unprecedented luck, particularly with injuries. In my book, much credit should go to the players and management. Many teams would have dropped well below .500 and would have had a built in excuse.

    4.eric1973, if you’ll indulge me. Since in your view manager’s do play such a vital role in a team’s success or failure, and since you seem to feel Collins makes horrible decisions on a nearly daily basis, can you explain how this team came so close to winning the World Series last year? Can you explain how it has stayed in contention this year, considering the numerous players that have underperformed and the horrible rash of injuries? I don’t see how these views compute.

  • BlondiesJake

    I’m not eric1973 but I would like to respond if I may.

    As one of the injured body parts said previously, the team went on a fantastic run last year thanks to Cespedes’ arrival and the return of some bats and the continued spectacular pitching. That was what kept the team afloat prior to that point.

    To illustrate my point, after the 11-game win streak in April, the team played almost as poorly as the worst teams in the league were playing, despite having 3 aces in the rotation and solid bullpen work anchored by Familia. The team didn’t overachieve during that time, it stunk and was 40-47. By comparison, the Phillies had crappy pitching and hitting and I believe the manager resigned during that time and yet they went 35-54. That’s a mere 6-game difference yet the Mets pitching staff was far superior and the Phillies offense was the same brand of awful. Exactly what did Collins do that is deserving of praise?

    In the playoffs the bats hit a ton of home runs and scraped past a Dodgers team with two stud pitchers but little offense, then blew away the Cubs with offense and pitching. TC used Syndergaard nicely out of the pen and allowed his team to thrive.

    In the World Series, he let Harvey talk him out of removing him and we all know how that turned out. Certainly the World Series loss wasn’t all or even mostly on Collins, but I won’t say he helped in any key spots.

    The season this year has been pretty similar to last year. I just don’t see how the team playing under .500 baseball should be a testament to a manager who it is EASY to find fault with on a regular basis WITHOUT having to second guess.

  • Matt in Richmond

    I see. It’s quite simple. When the team does well he deserves no credit, but when they don’t perform well it’s because of him. Kind of like politics. When something bad happens in America it’s the president’s fault. When something good happens it has nothing to do with him.

  • Paul Schwartz

    If we end up a game short then maybe TC deserves the blame but every manager has ups,and downs as Greg aptly points out here.
    This,is a flawed club with or without injuries.
    Perhaps the biggest mistake made was not planning for the inevitable David Wright absence. Like Mark Teixeira wrights body is betraying him and it wouldn’t shock me if,wright’s conclusion next year is similar to Teixeira ‘ s on Friday.
    Our pitching is solid not sensational . Maybe Harvey returns to where he,was maybe not. Degrom is clearly an ace. Noah has had some setbacks but will be more consistent next year, Matz still is a rookie,and is learning and Colon is a wonder.
    This may be the best bullpen we’ve had since 1986. Reed is spectacular. Blevins and Robles dependable and familia is as good a closer as there is right now and clearly can get even better.
    Loney has been solid.
    Walker is better defensively than Murph ever was and his offense is as good as pre September 2015 murph
    Cabrera is a solid shortstop whose struggles with RISP is not his history.
    Flores is a good offensive player and is versatile in the field although below average.
    Yo is what he is,and,I think a rollover for a third,year will keep him. Conforto has had a rough year but,will improve. Nimmo looks like a 4th outfielder with enthusiasm.
    Bruce is,better than grandy although we’re stuck with both and Lagares if healthy is,also a keeper.
    Surprisingly our weakness is behind the plate where TD A is a huge disappointment. Thats,where our offseason need is greatest.
    If this,team is moderately healthy next year (a la Cubs,and Nats this,year) they’re a 90+ won team.
    Think this,year is,similar to 1987. I’ll take 1988 sans Scio scia and Orel right now. Wouldn’t you.
    And,suppose this,year is 1973 ?

  • Mikey

    I think Terry is decent enough. But like Tom Coughlin with the Giants, he’s not completely keeping up with the times as the game is changing. he does a lot of things right, but he does some confounding things too…like using his backup catcher with the shitty batting average as a DH. as for the play at the plate Saturday…since Terry admitted he messed up, he should have at least challenged on principle, because he had nothing to lose whatsoever, besides his eardrums hearing Tigers fans moan about a delay to end the game. They probably let the call stand, but who knows?

    they are decimated by injuries, sure….and TC does not have the best current roster ever assembled. but if he’s even cost us 1-2 more games than he helped us directly win, that’s the difference potentially in being a wild card or not.

    on the flip side, Greg you did a great job of pointing out that other teams have flaws and games like yesterday. I was following the game on my phone and noticed DET had 10 LOB and we had like 2. it felt good to see the shoe on the other foot.

    • Rob E.

      Regarding using Rivera as the DH on Saturday…they were facing a lefty with a big lefty/righty split (.194/.262). They already had three left-handed batters in the lineup. The other options to DH were Conforto, de Aza, and Loney. Conforto and Loney suck vs. lefties. de Aza is Ok (.250) in a small sample, if you want to take up that argument. Rivera was hitting .360 vs. lefties. Terry Collins has all this information that most people don’t.

      Most managers would not use the backup catcher as a DH, but it was hardly confounding, especially considering the situation.

  • eric1973

    Until this recent spate, TC was doing fine, letting Reed pitch the WHOLE 8th inning, not using Rivera as the DH, no Ces/Golf situations since the WS, NOT not challenging important calls at end of games, etc.

    I had kept my dumb mouth shut for most of the year, I thought. Then all these *strange* things started happening on a daily basis, giving TC the starring role in ‘How to Invite Criticism Without Really Trying.’

    Just trending toward the norm, I guess.

    • Matt in Richmond

      Cespedes/golf—total non issue (other than pr)

      Reed pitching the whole 8th…debatable at best. If you have a lefty specialist, and the other team’s lineup is shaping up a certain way, it makes perfect sense to use him.

      Riviera DH, It seems like they’ve decided to matchup the pitchers and catchers. Riviera catches Noah and Steven, Travis catches Logan/Bart/Jake. As for not having a better offensive option, that’s hardly his fault.

      All three of these are either total non issues or 50/50 tossup calls. No evidence of managerial misconduct whatsoever.

  • Bob

    My fellow Met Fans-
    Thank you for letting me know it was Gary Apple sitting in for Gary Cohen–my Padre pal in San Diego was not very happy–he likes Gary Cohen–perhaps hanging around this Met fan for 40 years has rubbed off!
    Happy game yesterday!
    AND to Hozzie from my 16-year old German Shepherd/Akita Met dog–he said ARF, ARF–“Dude, Manga, Manga- eat your comida” a little LA-speak & Nassau County-speak!
    Let’s Go Mets!
    Met Fan since Polo Grounds-1963

  • Rob E.

    If the Mets lose by one game — and that is a definite possibility — we will look back at a ridiculously low batting average with RISP and awful performance with guys on third and less than two out. There have been countless games where they left easy runs on the bases and it came back to bite them. This is NOT Terry Collins’ doing.

    One small step behind that are the injuries to Harvey and Duda, and Cespedes’ numerous nicks. Also not Terry Collins’ doing. After that would be the regression of Conforto, d’Arnaud, and Matz. Also not Terry Collins’ doing. I don’t think it can be argued that ALL of those things have cost the Mets in 2016.

    Much like last year the Body Parts, et al, are completely discounting the effect of injuries on this team. I think they have underperformed because the opportunity has been there, and they are in it because none of the mediocre teams have been able to jump ahead. I don’t see how Terry Collins is responsible for this. Nobody has quit on him, there has been no clubhouse drama, no media embarrassments, he rarely gets criticized or second-guessed by the announcers…I don’t see where all these glaring mistakes are. We basically have a banged up team that hasn’t performed well in key offensive situations. And it’s been pretty much EVERYBODY.

    • Dave

      Bingo. Right now it could be argued that the Mets lineup that’s on the DL is better than the one that’s on the field; only drawback is that there’s no catcher on the DL. Then again, maybe that’s a wash. But anyway, that the team is still in it after this level of injuries, almost no player exceeding expectations and a few falling far short of them, is a tribute to perhaps the entire organization. We’ve all seen Mets teams that rolled over and played dead in what were probably less taxing conditions than this.

  • BlondiesJake

    Matt in Richmond, you were being sarcastic but actually almost nailed it. My point is when the offense is in a groove, he doesn’t have to make many tough decisions and so doesn’t generally make glaring errors. When the bats are quiet and every move matters, his strategic shortcomings are exposed. Giving a lot of weight to “keeping things together” I find to be not only a hard argument to make but one which my stats from above make even harder.

    As to Cespedes golfing, it shouldn’t have been such a tempest in a teapot but became one when Collins tried to condescendingly rebuke reporters doing their jobs (which he knows is what a manager deals with day in and day out no matter how ridiculous some of the media is). Attack those who buy ink by the barrel and be prepared to drown.

    Agreed on Rivera but again it was Collins comment about setting lineup because he was going to pinch hit for the DH and thereby lose his backup C was ridiculous and deserving of well, ridicule.

    I saved the best for last. In re: your comments about Reed, do you look at stats and/or watch the games? If so, you know Reed has been BETTER than Blevins against lefties (.197 BAA vs .208) and has been fantastic as the 8th inning setup man. In fact, Blevins could be considered a righty specialist as he has held them to a .161 BAA. But monkeying around with what has worked fantastically nearly all season with a move neither the eye test nor the stats back up is debatable at best? Really? REALLY?

    • Matt in Richmond

      I applauded TC for giving the reporters a hard time. We live in an age where people seem more concerned about appearances than reality. He righteously stated that he doesn’t care about perception, only what matters. I think it was a brave and correct position to take. Think how much better the world would be if faux scandals and insincere pandering went away.

      Reed/Blevins…I will simply restate that when you have a lefty specialist, you use him in late inning situations as appropriate. Calling him a righty specialist is a silly red herring…he faces far more lefties than righties and it is a one season statistical anomaly. Further and more important, Reed had been dealing with a heavy workload going into that game, and I’m assuming that Collins, using perfectly reasonable logic wanted to attempt to save him some pitches. That it didn’t work out that way is certainly not Collins’ fault. I remain baffled by those of you that jump up and down about that game, when it was Reed that gave up the 2 biggest hits.

      Lastly, I am seriously done. If you want to have the last word, feel free. Like I said yesterday, I doubt anyone is changing their mind. Some of you just don’t like Terry and it is all too easy with any manager or coach of any sport to find things to nitpick as supposed evidence of shortcomings. Ultimately, we want the team to win. It has done more winning than losing lately, and reached heights few Mets teams have even come close to. If you choose to give him zero credit for that and say it’s been in spite of him, that is your prerogative. Maybe someday you will have a job where anyone can second guess your every move and even when things go perfectly you are given zero credit.

  • BlondiesJake

    So now TC is not only a good manager but brave by speaking out against the hypocrisy of the media. Since I don’t like any of the current presidential candidates, perhaps I should write in Collins.

    You can simply restate what you wish but using a lefty specialist in place of the guy who has been a lockdown 8th inning guy that also has better numbers against lefties certainly opens a manager up to criticism, especially when the lefty specialist doesn’t get the lefthanders out but in fact WALKS the first one and sets the stage for the inning.

    Thanks for letting me have the last word.

    • Rob E.

      I’ll step in for Matt. Regarding your Blevins/Reed comment…you’re making a couple of assumptions that are just not accurate. The first is by comparing Blevins .207 vs lefties to Reed’s .197. Yes, Reed is “better,” but it is negligible. The difference between the two amounts to about 1 hit/100 ABs. And with those numbers, they are both VERY GOOD. Using only that statistic as the barometer to make that decision is meaningless.

      Secondly, you’re not taking into account other factors like the BATTERS’ L/R splits, or the fact that if the leadoff hitter got on, it’s much harder to steal vs. a lefty, or that lefty batters face way less left-handed pitching. There are other considerations than just batting average. By the numbers, Robles is better than BOTH of them, so maybe HE should be the lefty specialist. And both Blevins and Reed have better numbers than Familia, so maybe one of THEM should be closing.

      To say that that decision doesn’t hold up to the “eye test” or the “stats” is completely ignoring MANY of the variables that go into making those decisions. Also, all of these 2016 numbers are short samples…there are other factors that need to be considered.

  • eric1973

    I got a way to resolve all this:
    If it’s been working, and it makes sense, just stick with it, mind-numbing stats aside.

    If you don’t stick with it, and you want to be the smartest guy in the room, you need to expect criticism.

    Especially when most of your defense is ‘I don’t know,’ or ‘I didn’t know that.’

    So when we soon see Robles closing games, that’s ’50/50,’ too, I guess.

  • BlondiesJake

    Rob E.,

    So you want to say it’s statistically negligible then fine. Of course as you pointed out, they are small sample sizes. So if that’s the case you want to build off, then why even consider using the lefty specialist to get out lefties when the other pitcher WHO HAS BEEN PITCHING THE WHOLE 8TH INNING ALL THIS TIME is just as good.

    And don’t bother with the lefties hold runners on better argument because TC took Blevins out after he retired Ellsbury.

    However, he could’ve kept Blevins in to face Teixeira as a righty (he’s been killer on them as I pointed out and Teixeira has been miserable against lefties .225 this season with 9 RBIs in 90 ABs) and then also faced McCann and Gregorius as they are also lefties.

    Your Robles is better than all is just a joke argument, because he had already pitched the 7th, hasn’t been tried much at all in the 8th or 9th and isn’t nearly as dependable as Reed and Familia have proven to be. As I made it clear, there are more facets to the Reed argument beyond lefties BAA him.

    Even funnier was Matt’s contention that TC was trying to save Reed some pitches as his workload had been so heavy. Reed had pitched once in the previous three days and thrown 17 pitches, 13 for strikes as he struck out the side.

    The bottom line is you guys will probably get to defend him for another season even if the Mets miss this postseason. Enjoy him while you can, he’ll never be hired anywhere else by anybody else. The fact he was hired by the Mets is because as you know this franchise has almost always been run as a laughingstock. He was cheap and a yes man with no track record of being a quality manager and will remain that way until he’s done.

  • Matt in Richmond

    I’m really hoping we can move on to some more interesting topics at some point (like the playoff race!) but in the meantime I must correct one of your comments. Reed had pitched in 3 of the previous 5 games. That games made 4 out of 6. By any measure that’s a pretty heavy workload and it would be totally reasonable to try to save him some pitches.

    We are fortunate to have 4 relievers who have all performed so well. TC is in the best position to decide when to use them, and as long as they keep performing so well it seems weird to keep questioning his moves. If something wasn’t working then I could get it.

  • Harvey's Shoulder

    One final post from TWWANM.
    -Nobody who has talked about TC has said it’s all on him.
    -Nobody has said injuries and the hitting (or lack of it) with RISP aren’t the biggest factors in the Mets mediocrity.
    -Nobody has said the regressions of some hitters and pitchers aren’t also important factors.

    So why is it unfair to say the manager is also a factor?

    Since we all know he can’t hit or pitch or field for them, but he can put them in the best positions to succeed, and plenty of times hasn’t done that, why is he beyond criticism?

    I’d like to hear an honest answer about that from any of TC’s staunch defenders. Because I know here and other blogs and Facebook groups the other factors are also talked about and players are constantly criticized and nobody has a problem with it, but take TC to task and it’s like you’ve declared the world is flat.

    • Rob E.

      If he is a factor this year, then he was a factor LAST year, too. They went to the World Series last year, yet I didn’t see one positive post from the people who routinely rip him.

      Again, he’s not above criticism, no manager is, but at least be fair about it. The general takeaway here is that he has nothing to do with success — that’s all Cespedes and the the pitchers — but when they lose, it’s almost entirely because of Terry Collins’ mismanagement. It’s bullshit! It’s one thing having an opinion, it’s another thing having an agenda.

      If he was as consistently bad as you guys insist, he would be getting killed by the announcers, the media, the analytical books –SOMEBODY — and yet he is rarely criticized for his game management. He is SOMETIMES, but not every single decision that fails. It’s just not possible that he is that bad and the only people who see it are the TWWANM and the Body Parts. If you disagree with his decisions, that’s fine, you’re completely entitled, but there are two sides, and NO ONE else in baseball is disagreeing across-the-board like you guys do. Again, that doesn’t mean YOU have to agree, but at least acknowledge that people in the game who get paid to give opinions on this stuff are more or less OK with his thought process.

  • Somebody Said He Was Seriously Done

    Matt,

    I correctly stated he had pitched once in the last 3 days which was true. The arm needs days to rest, whether there are games or not. He hadn’t pitched two days prior and then pitched exactly what I stated, 17 pitches in striking out the side.

    To think that in a big game, because all the games are big when 6 teams are fighting for 3 playoff spots, I’m supposed to believe the man who allowed Familia to talk him into trying to save a day game after throwing 30+ pitches in the previous night’s fiasco was so concerned about his setup man having pitched a bunch of games the prior week he therefore brought in Blevins to save a few pitches?

    Besides, I thought he did it because it was a lefty specialist thing. Which moving target do I need to shoot at next?

  • open the gates

    Did someone rename this the “Faith and Fear in Terry Collins” blog while I wasn’t looking?

    Here’s the thing. For a while, I was president and CEO of the “We Want Wally Now” club. But I’ve come to realize something. The manager’s most important job is keeping the team in the game. All else is commentary. I’ve been a Met fan long enough to see some managers who have totally spit the bit and lost the room. A few names: Buddy Harrelson. Jeff Torborg. Dallas Green. Art Howe. Jerry Manuel. These are guys who are baseball lifers, a couple of whom (Jeff and Dallas, I’m talking to you) had a rep for being baseball geniuses before taking over the Mets. But the players simply stopped playing for them. Then you get a guy like Bobby Valentine, whose head scratch moments were legendary, and somehow he held it together. You look at a guy like Joe Torre, whose Met teams stunk, yet everyone was saying that if he ever got any decent players, look out. (see: Yankees, late ’90’s.) You get a guy like Davey Johnson, who did nothing but win with the Mets, yet the fans kept saying that it was ONLY because of his players, and every infrequent loss was because of him. And we could go on.

    I guess my point is – the manager is really more about big picture than nitty gritty. I certainly don’t think Terry is the best technical manager out there. To say the least. But he’s been given an awful hand this year, he’s got an entire major league roster on the DL (and once again, let’s hear a cheer for the trainers!), yet he’s kept the team in a positive state of mind and still in the race. I’ll take that.

  • eric1973

    I’ll take it, too.

    TC needs to step up his game, same as the players. This week has been a disaster for him, no 2 ways about it. Sandy is royally pissed at him right now, due to the Ces/Golf, and not challenging that play at the end of the game. No more kooky moves, and pay better attention to what is working and stick with it.

    I certainly want him to succeed.

  • Rob E.

    Good grief, man….just good grief.

    Does anyone think that the last play of EVERY game (where the team has a challenge available) should be challenged on the general “Why not? You have nothing to lose” principle? If the Mets should have challenged that play in Detroit because “tghey had nothing to lose,” then by the same logic, the last play of every single game should be challenged. That is basically the core of that line of thinking.

    I’ve never seen so much flack over a call that was 100% correct.

  • Matt in Richmond

    Well said open the gates. eric1973, repeating something over and over doesn’t make it true. The non challenge is a non issue, and the golf thing is so ridiculous I feel silly commenting on it. First of all, there is ZERO evidence to it being a factor in his going to the DL. Secondly, if there was, since when is it the field managers job to dictate what recreational activities his players engage in. If Sandy doesn’t want him to play golf he should get it in his contract. But I didn’t even hear any of that from Sandy. I think you’re inventing this rift. The only thing that Sandy said differently was that it was an optics problem. In other words, it didn’t look good. TC doesn’t care about optics, and good on him for that.

  • Matt in Richmond

    Nailed it Rob E.

  • eric1973

    What makes it bad optics is that it is bad, pure and simple.

    BTW, Sandy just told him not to play golf, bad optics or not. You do not need to have it in the contract.

    Proving it is not nothing.

  • eric1973

    Rob E ——- You bring up an interesting point about how far one should go when it appears that all is lost.

    Are you suggesting if a team has, say, a 10-15 run lead in the last inning, that you just give up and go home?

    After all, we have seen really bad replay calls where the result has just been plain wrong. I can remember an instance a couple of months ago where the Padres pitcher slid into home plate safely, against the Mets, only to be ‘replayed’ out. So you really never know.

    Also, should managers not argue near the end of games, when it appears that all is lost?

    The team needs to see that their leader will stand up for them in any game situation, and will do anything to win the game.

    This rubs off on players, shows them anything is possible, that all is never lost, and is the most important reason of all why the call needed to be challenged.

    • Matt in Richmond

      That analogy makes no sense. Nobody is supporting the notion of throwing in the towel because of a large deficit. I, and others, are saying it is bizarre to keep harping on the Mets not challenging a call that was clearly correct, simply because it was the final out. Rob asked those of you that are taking the “why not” position if you feel that all final out calls should be questioned. If an opponent challenged a similar call after a Mets victory, I would consider it bush league and tacky.

      By all means, I want the Mets to battle to the end. If a call is wrong, or even 50/50, then challenge it. If an argument is appropriate, then argue. Fight to the bitter end. That doesn’t mean engage in unsportsmanlike behavior like stalling, taunting or challenging clearly correct rulings.

  • eric1973

    Matt, you totally missed the point.

    This discussion cannot be debated with a calculator, but goes to the heart of what true leadership is all about.

    It’s ‘big picture’ stuff, the thing you say you care most about, yet you continue to reduce the discussion to a single play.

    You missed the point about the reasoning behind challenging the call.

  • Matt in Richmond

    Then explain it to me. I thought you were using it as an example of fighting until the bitter end no matter what. You asked Rob E if he’d support throwing in the towel if we were down 10-15 runs late in a game. Things is, there’s no conflation between our opinion on not challenging a clearly correct call that was never going to be overturned and not wanting to fight until the last out is recorded. But please, tell me what I’m missing.

  • Henderson's Bicep

    So if Blevins was the right move last week vs Yankees, are any members of the Cult of Collins upset at all that he wasn’t brought in to face Bourn in place of a struggling Robles?

  • Harvey's Shoulder

    Rob E.,

    You posted directly below me but seemingly either didn’t read what I wrote or decided to ignore me. It encapsulates what most of the Terry Haters believe.

    Also, BlondiesJake referenced how he guided the team through the playoffs nicely and used Thor out of the pen effectively. That sounds like praise to me.

    Further, you wrote about how nobody criticizes the manager and so we should heed those paid to comment on this stuff. And for the billionth time you insisted challenging was useless and made no sense. Last time I checked, Sandy Alderson is paid to comment on Collins and he was fuming and said it was a mistake and then Terry said it was a mistake. So your insistence it was unnecessary flies directly in the face of what the team’s GM said. Is he not somebody we should be concerned with what he says?

    Matt in Richmond,

    Weren’t you seriously done with all this a couple of days ago? You’re not very good at keeping your word.

  • eric1973

    Matt, ultimately, when you get right down to oit, challenging the call would have just been ‘for show,’ to show how you never give up.

    You can’t always be honest and practical. Need to show the team you always have to keep plugging away.