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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.

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Niese Is the Way We Are Feeling

Thirteen thoughts after staying up late with the Mets and watching alongside them as their opponents crossed the plate thirteen times.

1. Jon Niese, per the late Dennis Green, is who we expected him to be. Three fine innings against those poisonous Arizona Diamondbacks, a dreadful fourth, gone in the fifth. You can’t say he didn’t provide distance, to judge by how far Rickie Weeks and Yasmany Tomas hit their home runs off him. To be fair to Niese, he was pitching in an unfamiliar time zone, in uniform tops that are described as alternate, on a Wednesday, which is a day that only occurs once a week, so how was he supposed to get comfortable?

2. The Mets did not cream Zack Godley. Whereas Alibi Yikes’ earned run average drifted upward from 5.20 to 5.30, Godley’s seven-and-a-third effective (or effectively scheduled) innings yoinked his ERA down from 5.24 to 4.85. Real clash of the titans there, huh? Neither had started a game recently, but on this desert evening, Godleyness hovered far above Nieseness.

3. Anybody remember Niese shutting out the Mets for seven innings in June? He hasn’t been remotely as good, neither as a Pirate nor a Met, since. Godley, on the other hand, had never before taken a start into the eighth inning in his major league career, but he did against the Mets. Cripes.

4. There are two Met bullpens. There is the one that keeps the Mets in ballgames that often (or used to) become wins. Then there’s the Seth Lugo Brigade, which should be ushered onto the field by the nearest Sym-Phony. Lugo didn’t give up any runs last night, so he’s excused. His compadres gave up a ton of them. Josh Edgin, the pitcher who has made it back from a year-plus of rehab, is a ghost of his former self. I could swear Edgin was a fresh face five minutes ago, but it’s closer to five years; he’s been around so long that he — like mid-’90s stalwarts Josias Manzanillo and Pete Harnisch — can say he’s given up a home run to Chipper Jones. For all you kids out there, Chipper Jones was the Yasmany Tomas of his day. Gabriel Ynoa, we hardly Ynoa ye and probably won’t get the chance to familiarize ourselves further for a while. Erik Goeddel, also not executing his best work of late, I hope sticks around until next weekend to pitch to Tyler Goeddel when the Mets play the Phillies, just so Ken Burns can direct and David McCullough can narrate how “the battle had again come down to brother against brother”.

5. Curtis Granderson broke out of his 0-for-2016 slump with a home run in the ninth inning, perhaps the most useless home run in the history of home runs. If I may borrow the phrase my blogging partner enjoys trotting out for such occasions, even the pig was rejecting lipstick at that point, opting for the natural look (“it may not be glamorous, but at least it’s who I am”). The Mets were losing by eleven runs when Curtis struck. Of course, nobody was on base. Nobody ever is when Curtis connects. Pitching for the Diamondbacks was the 88th caller to K-WOW, Where the Valley of the Sun Comes to ROCK. It was such an innocuous home run that Curtis had to remove his own helmet when he reached the dugout. To his credit, Grandy — always a standup guy — called the press box and requested it not count in his statistics.

6. René Rivera also homered off the contest-winner, which accounted for how the game wound up 13-5, despite the experiential score of a kajillion to zilch.

7. Keith Hernandez repeatedly sounded the theme that no lead is safe at Chase Field. The Diamondback leads in this series couldn’t have been more secure had they been assigned a crack Secret Service detail. Also, there was a graphic that suggested Arizona is twenty games below .500. Gotta be a typo. That’s the best team I’ve seen all year. Nationals better watch out for them in the playoffs.

8. Now a dollop of praise dispensed from an eyedropper: Ty Kelly hustles. Inserted in a fifth-inning double-switch — the same one in which bourbon replaced coffee in Terry Collins’s cup — he strung together an infield single, a walk and a double and made a helluva throw from left to nail Jean Segura at the plate. He took Travis d’Arnaud to block and circle got the square. It was truly the Met highlight of the game. Kelly may not survive the restoration of Justin Ruggiano to his rightful place at the far end of the Met bench, but geez this guy hustles on everything. He’s not much of a hitter and doesn’t seem to have a grasp on a particular position, but in seasons that are going, going, gone to hell, watching a Kelly or an Alejandro De Aza even run everything out like they mean it is sort of rewarding unto itself, especially after midnight as your team is losing by a cascade of runs to theoretically abysmal opposition. If this were a more fruitful year, we’d be praising guys like these as the Rod Gaspar or Kirk Nieuwenhuis of their moment

9. This isn’t a more fruitful year and the moment we hoped we’d live in for a spell has pulled over to the shoulder of the road while it waits for the truck the auto club is sending to give it a jump. Three-quarters done and the Mets have won exactly as many as they have lost. If Pythagorean is your thing, the Mets have been outscored by six runs across 120 games. That’s right, the Mets are playing above their statistically anticipated level. Isn’t it great rooting for a bunch of overachievers?

10. The Mets are only four games out of that second Wild Card spot that we keep hearing so much about; we have to hear about it, because it’s getting harder and harder to see. Depending on your worldview, that’s either our saving grace or loathsome burden. As long as you’re sort of in it, you’re sort of in it, and if you’re sort of in it, I believe (though you don’t gotta) you have to treat that as something approaching legitimate. Then again, three nights in the desert can make a person prone to mirages.

11. Nine games against the Western Division dregs yielded three wins. Perhaps seven games against the two current National League Wild Card occupants — four versus the slumping Giants, then three at depleted St. Louis — will be the second cartoon conk on the head that revives the guy who’s out cold after the first blow left him with stars and such circling his noggin. Sure, why not? Jacob deGrom tonight, Madison Bumgarner notwithstanding, represents as good as a chance to zoom an entire game above .500 as there is.

12. Things weren’t exactly sizzling with Asdrubal Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes on board (plus Ruggiano, who you had no idea was here to begin with), but they’re good players and they’ll be playing this weekend, plus Michael Conforto is rumored to be scalding the ball in Nevada. Maybe he’ll be sprung from Las Vegas purgatory sooner than September 1, though I’d prefer he get everything out of his system before ascending to New York once and for all. I’m not selling this roster-reshaping as hope, simply possibility. It’s possible that more better players lead to more better games. Then again, I was kind of excited to get Jay Bruce…and not wholly discouraged when we got Justin Ruggiano.

13. For 42 more games, there’s Mets baseball. Do with that thought what you will.

74 comments to Niese Is the Way We Are Feeling

  • LeClerc

    The Mets have a day off between SF and St. Louis, and can skip the 5th starter spot.
    DeGrom can start both of the next two series.

    Let Curtis sit and marinate for awhile.
    Niese can be avoided until the second game of the Philadelphia series at Citi Field.

    Three of the four Wild Card opponents will be confronted in the next four series. We should know if the Mets can make the playoffs by the end of August.

  • Susan's SaranWrap

    This bunch has been Dead Team Walking since July 27/28 when Familia finally blew a save and then Totally Clueless let him blow another one the next afternoon. Of course the players are the biggest culprits but I enjoy people still chirping about how Terry Coddler is still holding the clubhouse together. Otherwise the team might keep losing and fall completely out of contention.

    Thankfully, that hasn’t happened. Because including those two games, the team is 7-14 in its last 21, playing at a .333 clip which is worse than the .367 the Braves, the worst team in baseball, are rolling along at for the season. I can’t imagine where this team might be without Terryble Terry.

    Never mind, Niese pitched great last night, Manager Moron said so. And if he says it, I believe it. Just like Conforto isn’t coming back up. Just like optics don’t matter. Just like it starts with him (while also starting with the players).

    I will sit back and wait for Rob E., Matt in Richmond and Dennis to tell me I’m too negative, I blame everything on Collins and no other manager could’ve done better. While they do, I’ll envision Kevin Bacon yelling, “All is well,” while getting trampled by the crowd at the end of Animal House.

    • Greg Mitchell

      Yeah, and as I wrote awhile back, sure is a good thing Sandy didn’t trade for a major league reliever at the deadline because you’d hate to break up the Edgin-Goeddel-Lugo-Ynoa-Niese bunch now. And I think Bruce, who has hit .225 the past three years except for a couple of misleading months earlier this year, did get a hit to boost his Mets average to .180. And I love people hailing the incredible comeback of Jose Reyes, who is hitting .250 with a .308 on base pct. out of the leadoff spot–possibly the lowest mark in the majors.

      Meanwhile, Lucroy hit another dinger as he continues his Cespedes 2015 imitation for his new team.

    • Dennis

      SaranWrap…….you’re too negative.

    • Rob E.

      You know, you are right Susan. I’ve had it with this team and you finally turned me. Yesterday the White Sox were losing to the Indians in the ninth inning, and Adam Eaton hit a grand slam to win the game. And then Robin Ventura brought in David Robertson, and he closed out the game. WHY DOESN’T TERRY COLLINS JUST DO THAT??? He never puts in guys to hit grand slams, he just puts in guys who suck with RISP!! I don’t get it! And yesterday he put in FOUR GUYS that each gave up at least three runs! What the hell, man?!? How can you win when you spot the other team 12 runs and never use your grand slam guys?!?! He should have put in pitchers that give up no runs!!

      Hey, just for kicks, why don’t you let us know what YOU would do tonight if YOU were managing, and then we can all laugh when Terry makes more stupid moves. I mean Bumgarner’s ERA has ballooned to 2.11 on the season…he’s pretty ripe for the pickin’. Terry should put in all the guys who can hit grand slams off him, but he’ll probably just put in the same losers like d’Arnaud, both Riveras, Loney, Flores, Walker, Cabrera, Reyes, Kelly, Johnson, Granderson, Bruce, de Aza. Guy’s an idiot.

      • Susan's SaranWrap

        Instead of losing your mind, how about noticing I said OF COURSE THE PLAYERS ARE THE BIGGEST CULPRITS.

        You also might wish to comment on your previous contention that TC continues to hold this team together when it is playing worse baseball than the worst team in the league. Are you trying to say the only reason the team has won 7 of the last 21 games is because of him?

        Finally, your example is ludicrous. For one, of course he should put in the Grand Slam guys and no runs allowed pitchers. More importantly and seriously, considering with the lousy lineup a bunch of games become ALMOST unwinnable regardless of who is on the bench, doesn’t that make the close ones even more important and therefore in need of a strong strategic manager, which most reasonable people will admit is not his strong suit? Isn’t that a reason to make a move with a playoff berth still a real possibility with 42 games left and a 4 game deficit?

        • Matt in Richmond

          This really isn’t that complicated. The team made the World Series last year, and nearly won. That would indicate that the manager is perhaps not an utter idiot. Maybe it doesn’t prove he’s a genius, but he’s not an idiot. Nor is the GM. Meanwhile, this year, we have lost half our opening day lineup, multiple pitchers, and have had numerous players perform below their career averages. Is it any wonder we are not in first place? Of course not. A legitimate argument could be made that at .500 we are slightly ahead of expectations all things considered. Susan, your 7-21 that you keep hyping on is relatively meaningless. I mean, it coincides with yet more injuries including our staring shortstop and best hitter, but every team goes through cold spells. This team isn’t any more a 7-21 team, than they are the team that dominated the early season. They are in between those 2 extremes.

          Greg, I’m not sure who has been touting Reyes as an All Star. I have mentioned what a pickup he has been, and accurately so. He has strengthened the infield defense, he has given us speed when we had none, he has stolen bases, gone first to third, scored on SF that no one else would have, and has I think 9-10 extra base hits in just over 80 ABs. And as he is just coming back from suspension and injury, logic would suggest that he will improve as he gets his rhythm back as Keith has pointed out multiple times. There have been games where he has been the only Mets offense. Crap on him if you want, but we would be even worse off without him, and the fact that Sandy gave up nothing to get him makes it a superb move. No idea what your obsession with Lucroy is. He is a nice player who hits for a better average than Bruce, but less power. They play totally different positions so it’s kind of a apples/oranges comparison in a lot of ways. Then when you factor in what we would have given up vs. what we did, I’m glad we went the Bruce route and still have Travis.

          • Susan's SaranWrap

            Matt, I’ll try to ignore your clear condescension and just stick to facts.

            Saying a team went to the World Series and nearly won it proves the manager isn’t an idiot is your opinion, NOT A FACT.

            Saying the team nearly won the World Series it lost 4 games to 1 is A MASSIVE STRETCH. If you want to claim could’ve won or say that a number of games were close and could’ve gone the Mets way, I can see that.

            Saying my 7-21 commentary is relatively meaningless would be fair if I was just throwing it out there. But what I used it for, quite clearly, was to argue against the claim that the man you insist isn’t an idiot was holding things together, when IJ FACT this team is quite clearly crumbling before our eyes. It matters not that this squad isn’t truly a 7-21 team, but does matter that playing .333 ball is not indicative of a team being held together.

            I suggest you argue with facts and stop being so condescending. I made a suggestion yesterday that you ignored. Perhaps today you will heed this one. If not, oh well.

          • Seth

            The problem is, this isn’t the same team that made the World Series last year. It ceased being that team when they let Murphy walk.

        • Rob E.

          You guys did this last year, too. If you are criticizing the players, fine. But you start off calling him Totally Clueless (among other disses) repeatedly and point out supposed mismanagement every single day. And then you back off it by saying you criticized the players, what’s the big deal?

          If the players suck, what do you expect the manager to do? Is the manager really responsible for abysmal performance with RISP and second- and third-line players that aren’t coming through? These losses are not due to strategic mismanagement. Look at the 2015 Nationals…when GOOD players go south and there’s a mutiny in the clubhouse and Papelbon chokes the soon-to-be MVP and you take the MVP out of the game, and come up with those clueless quotes to the media, THAT’S a bad manager. When Jon Niese gets torched and he’s in there only because he’s the only guy available (except for Ynoa, who also got torched), That’s not Terry Collins’ fault. When Familia blows a save, that’s not Terry Collins’ fault. When Granderson hits .120 with RISP, that’s not Terry Collins’ fault. Teams don’t skip over their closer or take out starting players because the going gets tough. That goes through all of baseball, not just the Mets. If you want to take baseball groupthink to task, again, FINE, but all managers use closers that sometimes blow saves and players that might be slumping. For all the criticism, I don’t see many alternatives here.

          7-21 doesn’t mean the team is not being held together….that could be the level of the team! How many times did we start Reynolds and Ty Kelly and de Aza (and sometimes all three)? And all that happened with Conforto and d’Arnaud and Granderson not doing much, and with Cespedes on the DL. ALL those guys underperformed because of Terry Collins?!??! Give me a break. You guys make it sound like the same team that was in the World Series has been on the field 120 times. It’s been nothing like that.

          • Matt in Richmond

            Yeah, most logical people would look at a manager that took a team with mild expectations at most to the WS as doing a good job. But fine, give him no credit. Then when basically everything that could go wrong does go wrong this year, blame him. It’s like the Obama phenomenon amongst people that watch only Fox News. Tornado in Kansas, “Thanks Obama”. Shark attack in NC, “Thanks Obama”. I don’t mind opinions, but I mind agendas. And anyone who can repeatedly call Collins clueless has an agenda. There is NO evidence to support such an extreme stance.

            And well said once again Rob E.

          • Bobby's Vees

            Rob E., as somebody who believed he was terrible last year, why would I change my tune this year? I know you believe in consistency and I remain steadfast in my belief this guy costs the team 5-10 games a year and that’s the difference between a bad manager (not necessarily the worst) and a good one (not necessarily the best). And I don’t want him at the controls in the playoffs when each move or non-move is magnified.

            And yes, just like the head coach in every sport, they get too much criticism when team loses and too much credit when team wins. Just because some of us aren’t interested in pointing out when he makes good moves that help (bringing in Reed in 7th on Tuesday) doesn’t mean we’re wrong when we bury him, tho of course at times it’s debatable.

            But for the life of me, I’ll never understand why TC is the head man you and others have hitched your wagon to and decided to defend at every turn. Never. NEVER.

  • Steve J

    Greg,

    In spite of the fact it is a recap of another horrific loss in a season full of them, I laughed hysterically throughout the column. From the headline to the final line, it’s brilliant.

    Thank You and Jason for your generosity in giving of your time and efforts to entertain us way more than the 2016 Mets have since Cespedes’ Silline in Spring Training.

  • Gary Arne

    Its time for Collins to sit Granderson and do what he said he would, put in players who produce. Met’s brass should have know that Jon Niese was not the Met’s solution for a fifth starter — he may be best suited for 7th inning relief. Maybe a live arm from AAA? With Cespedes & Asdrubal back on Friday & next week, perhaps Jay Bruce will get better pitches to hit, we can only hope that he, Jose Reyes and Cespedes start to carry this team With 6 weeks left to get into the playoffs Mets, lets hope Collins puts the best players on the field who hustle, hit with RISP (T.J. Rivera) and give us a shot at a wild-card.

  • Guy K.

    “Anybody remember Niese shutting out the Mets for seven innings in June?”

    Put Niese in a Diamondbacks uniform or a Padres uniform and throw him out there AGAINST the Mets, and you know damn well he would pitch seven shutout innings and his knee wouldn’t hurt him.

  • Gil

    The Fat Lady is doing vocal stretches backstage and the make-up lady has her seat ready. Quick stop at wardrobe to dawn the black gown and then she gets on stage to belt it out.

    For what its worth, I think Terry Collins has done a magnificent job handling a young pitching staff that is going through a slump and a team decimated by injuries that is struggling to score runs. Go back and look through the transactions this year. Guys up and down, 60 day DL’s, 15 day Dl’s, 3A ball guys coming up and down, junk heap signings, and most of all, guys who have not been hurt and who have been playing every day that just aren’t making ends meet (hitting). Outside of Terry getting up to bat with runners in scoring position and getting a knock, I’m just not sure what the guy could have done differently that would have made a substantial impact.

    Maybe I haven’t learned my lesson after all these years, but I still think there is a shot these guys put a little run together. That run would begin with the original long hair tonight beating the mad bum, a man who looked into Mike Confortos soul earlier this summer and shook him to his core. If anyone is to blame for Conforto going into the tank, its not Terry, its the NC native with the long delivery that throws hooks and darts who made our young stud question his abilities.

  • Mikey

    oh man when I saw you mention DeGrom and Bumgarner I was hoping they weren’t facing each other. Nothing like wasting Jake’s 1-run, 2-hit, 1-walk, 11 strikeout performance tonight as Bumgarner makes that lineup that we trot out there against lefties look like the AAA bunch that they are. Jake doesn’t deserve more L’s or no-decisions but that matchup is not in his favor–not because of him but because of our bats.

    and holy crap, I could not agree more about how awesome our bloggers are. this was one of your funniest of the season, Greg.

  • Steve D

    Conforto is 13 for his last 19…it is time for him to play up here everyday for the rest of the year and see what he can do. Tell him it is his job and we have confidence in him. Keith once said Conforto could be a good first baseman and they should work on that during the off season. C’mon, it’s been 10 years since the last hitter we developed, so we are due.

    • Matt in Richmond

      Yeah, I’m still not sold on him playing every day vs. lefties. Not yet anyway. I still fully believe in MC long term, but the reality is what it is….he has been given opportunities and struggled mightily. Patience may not be such a bad approach to take with him right now.

  • Bob

    Fellow Met Fans/Greg-
    As a 54-year long Met fan–perhaps “Free advice is worth what it costs” applies–but you folks might want to check team hitting stats to see the root of the problem. Try not to notice that Murphy is leading the league..OY!
    My experience is that some seasons The Baseball Gods give us great joy–but most seasons we get angst.
    Note Greg mentions old friend Pete Harnish
    –OY–I was at Opening Day @ the Murph in San Diego (1993?)when he gave up 3 HRs in 1 inning –I recall while suffering a breakdown from trying to quit nicotine
    This is a season where the Baseball Gods mock us & laugh…we had our shot last fall–almost made it all the way too! It was a happy & memorable year with tears of joy!
    I got to enjoy it with my 15-year old German shepherd (who had to be around me in Sept 2007, 2008..)
    Don’t lose sleepless nights–as I did thing about Terry Pendleton & Brian Jordan & Armando Benitz & Luis –never to be named-dropping a pop fly….
    Things will be get better–just wait–my Mom used to tell me in 1964..
    Let’s Go Mets!

    • Left Coast Jerry

      Bob, I was at that game in San Diego, too. Your comment brought back memories, so I had to look it up on Baseball Reference. It was Opening Day in 1997. Harnisch had pitched 1 hit ball through 5 innings, and the Mets had a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the 6th. The first three batters in the 6th hit home runs, and Bobby Valentine pulled Harnisch. Harnisch was followed in that inning by Yorkis Perez, Toby Borland and Barry Manuel, who along with Ricardo Jordan, were collectively known as the Flammable Four. By the time the inning was over, the Padres sent 15 men to the plate, and scored 11 runs, eventually winning the game 12-5.

      Last night, Gooddel, Ynoa and Edgin were pretty flammable. And the final score was almost identical.

      Now, tonight, we start a 4 game series with the Giants, who have been floundering as badly as the Mets since the All-Star break. My son and granddaughter, who live in Sacramento, will be at tonight’s game, so if the Mets lose, it’s my fault.

      • Bob

        To Left Coast Jerry–ah so you shared my pain–OUR pain–The mind numbs (I was wrong about Harnish & year) over the years–especially some of the games I saw @ the Murph!
        I do that recall that inning from hell!
        Lucky for me my Padre Pal is a class act & he did not rub it in.
        Story about the Murph–about 1994/1995, Joe McAlvaine (SP?) was sitting nearby and my pal had season tickets and usher delivered a note from me asking when Mets would be improved. He wrote back–and I still have note–that better times were coming and for me to hang in!
        Also got Mookie’s autograph there and spoke with him in 1997–when Mookie had # 51–photo on my wall here in LA!
        Had connection to Jack Murphy Stadium because I considered Jack -brother of Bob– as baseball family!

  • Dave

    After a game, well, several games that were as devoid of humor as an April 14 meeting with your accountant, thank you Greg for one of the funniest entries of the season. Cream…Godley…I see what you did there. Cry, anyone?

  • Seth

    I must make one correction, though. Niese did not “shut out the Mets for seven innings in June.” The Mets simply continued the non-hitting that has been the hallmark of this season, for seven straight innings. Niese just happened to be on the mound at the time.

  • Steve D

    I don’t know which is more curious…the extent to which some trash Collins or the extent to which some defend him. One thing I’m sure of…his detractors will eventually get their way.

    • Rob E.

      He’s only signed through next year and he is pushing 70, so his time is coming up no matter what. I think the only way he is here in 2018 is if they make the World Series and he WANTS to continue managing (where he has the leverage to get a new contract). Short of that, if they underperform next year, I can see them cutting the cord mid-season because that’s what teams do. But he’s done right by the Mets and the fans and I hope the Mets return the favor. He guided them through the Madoff thing, through gutting the team, through austerity, and those crappy teams never mailed it in like previous Met teams did. I mean DJ Carrasco was a big signing and they were throwing out Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth as closers as recently as two years ago.

      Is he a Hall-of-Fame manager? No. Is he perfect? No. But he was here during probably the toughest period of our history and people underestimate the value of just keeping that ship afloat and not adding to the sideshow during those years.

      • Howe's Art?

        “He’s done right by the Mets and the fans.” I was about to ask for an explanation but realized I didn’t want one.

      • Steve D

        I would probably remember him more fondly than most Met managers…but it would not crush me to make a change now and get an exciting young manager like a Matheny-type…if one is out there. I doubt that helps with this organization’s real issue though…the inability to develop hitters over 55 years. Not to mention that when so many hitters do come here, they fall apart. I guess when they leave, they now can surge too. What is going on here?

    • Howe's Art?

      It has to be more amazing how TC has been defended. All managers get trashed, some more than others.

      But he was hired for no specific reasons (I believe cheap and willing to be Alderson’s yes man are the true answers) with a bad track record (mediocre with Astros, dismal with Angels, player revolts at both stops) and nothing recent because he hadn’t sat on the bench in 12 years.

      The team has been bad when it had no good players, great for a brief stretch when it added a great bat to go with stud pitching, and now is back to bad when it has few good players performing well.

      As far as I can tell, people seem to be defending him to the death because others are trashing him. Ridiculous. Sublime.

      • Rob E.

        You give Matt a hard time but you do exactly what you claim HE is doing. You throw out comments based on your OPINION, and those who disagree are ridiculous, sublime. And what you just said above offers nothing as to why you think he sucks. We’re not judging his track record, we’re judging the last five years.

        “The team has been bad when it had no good players, great for a brief stretch when it added a great bat to go with stud pitching, and now is back to bad when it has few good players performing well.” — what does this statement have to do with his managing AT ALL?

        Here’s my explanation to back up MY opinion: SOMEONE had to manage the Mets. Whatever the reason they hired Collins doesn’t matter….the situation and the players wouldn’t have changed. For the record, I was a Backman proponent, not a Collins proponent when they hired him. Secondly, every REASONABLE person knew the team was going to suck because of Madoff, because they were eating the contracts of Jason Bay, Luis Castillo, Oliver Perez, and Johan Santana, getting rid of guys like Dickey and Beltran and K-Rod and Byrd for prospects, because they were not going to sign free agents, and because they were banking on young players who weren’t ready. There are SOME people who think the Mets should have and could have competed 2011-2014. Those people would be….let’s just say “incredibly and ridiculously unreasonable.” And the Braves and Phillies and Nationals were good during this period, so it’s not like an 86-win team was going to sneak in.

        They needed a guy to manage through that, keep the team playing in a NOT embarrassing manner (no small task considering the talent deficit), manage the media in a vicious market, do this while the Yankees were retiring Posada and Pettitte and Rivera and Jeter, and NOT cause a Rex Ryan-type sideshow in the process. By the time 2014 rolled around, he had to start rolling in guys like Harvey and deGrom and d’Arnaud and Flores (who played out of position for years). He did all that in spades. He had healthy, legitimate talent for 60 GAMES, and he took that team to the World Series. To me, THAT’S doing right by the team. The working conditions I’ve described here are pretty much irrefutable. And if you want to assign blame for getting their ass in that situation in the first place, your issue would be with OWNERSHIP and not the manager.

        I don’t know what you expected from this guy given what he was tasked with and the players he had. You pick out moves here and moves there that can be debated….EVERY manager does that. In the big picture, I don’t see what Terry Collins could have done that he didn’t do! And I challenge you to give me something more than your OPINION (and berating those who disagree) to refute anything I just said.

        • Matt in Richmond

          Right you are as usual Rob E. Nitpicking moves on a daily basis is pure opinion, and can be done with every single manager by every single fan base. The only factual, tangible thing we have to evaluate is that the team wildly overachieved last year and has somehow stayed around .500 this year despite nearly unprecedented injuries and misfortune. Get back to me when the team consistently underperforms under Collins and then you might have something tangible, not just agenda driven vitriol.

        • Yougetwhat Youdeserve

          Rob, that statement should’ve made it clear I didn’t blame him for the team being bad when it had no chance to be good for the reasons YOU just laid out. Just as I don’t give him credit for the team catching lightning in a bottle when Johnson and Uribe and then Cespedes joined last year and the team played fantastically. I don’t think that’s unfair since you and Matt in Richmond among others have constantly said it’s not fair to blame him on one hand and not credit him on the other hand. I merely say no blame, no credit.

          I posted last year on this very blog what the Mets did after the 11-game win streak until reinforcements arrived. During this time TC earned a ton of praise for “keeping the team together,” yet I ran and posted the numbers on this blog showing not only did they not do any better than their runs for and against would predict, but they played baseball at the same winning clip as other teams with terrible hitting and WITHOUT deGrom, Harvey, Syndergaard and the Familia-led bullpen. TC was essentially given credit for the team being lousy but not historically awful.

          What I do have a problem with is his specific strategies which you guys hate when we point out on a regular basis but then complain we don’t offer evidence for our opinions. THOSE MOVES ARE THE EVIDENCE. If you want me to go back and tell you every time I think he blundered and it cost the Mets the best chance they had to be successful and win a game, let me know.

          As I stated earlier, I believe his mistakes cost this team 5-10 games in the standings (which means I think he makes many more mistakes but also does some good things so it nets out to a loss of 5-10 games in the standings). This year that will cost the team a playoff appearance.

          Does ownership need to be better? Sure, but they’re not going anywhere. Does the GM bear responsibility? You betcha but he’s here until he decides to leave. Can the team do better in the managerial position? Absolutely and Wally Backman is right there and has shown he can win at all levels with some of the same players that are underachieving at the major league level. And even if Alderson doesn’t want Wally, there are others who are likely to be better than TC.

          Once again I have provided more than my OPINION. Disagree as you wish but those are the facts.

          • Rob E.

            Dude, WHY do you keep flip-flopping?!?!? You start off saying you don’t blame him for the team being bad, and then you blame him for costing them 5-10 games. You are like trying to pin jello to the wall.

            Secondly the moves you cite are not evidence of anything. It’s your right to disagree with any move, I understand that, but you disagreeing with a move doesn’t make him an idiot anymore than me or Matt or Dennis or anyone else agreeing with it makes him a genius.

            If you really think he has cost them five games this year, OK….those five games are the difference. I haven’t seen five games where I thought his managing really killed them. I’ve seen a lot of injuries, a lot of underperformance, a lot of replacement players, and a lot of awful situational baseball. I haven’t seen a lot of bad managing.

            “I posted last year on this very blog what the Mets did after the 11-game win streak until reinforcements arrived. During this time TC earned a ton of praise for “keeping the team together,” yet I ran and posted the numbers on this blog showing not only did they not do any better than their runs for and against would predict, but they played baseball at the same winning clip as other teams with terrible hitting and WITHOUT deGrom, Harvey, Syndergaard and the Familia-led bullpen. TC was essentially given credit for the team being lousy but not historically awful.”

            I can probably write 10,000 words breaking down that above comment, but I’ll just say that you can’t make a definitive statement based solely on what you said in that paragraph. There are all sorts of variables that are not accounted for that would affect those outcomes not only for the Mets but for the other teams. deGrom, Harvey, Syndergaard and the Familia-led bullpen were pitching in front of a AAA lineup. You are cherry-picking stats to “prove” a point.

            But the biggest problem with this circular argument is that you consistently blame him for underperforming with bad teams, and then attributing success to “lightning in a bottle.” It doesn’t work like that. You can’t hold him to statistical models when times are tough and then just write off the good streaks to dumb luck. Whatever input you think a manager has in the on-field performance of a team would apply equally to ALL games.

          • Matt in Richmond

            But you haven’t. You’ve given us your OPINION that he has made gametime decisions that have cost us 5-10 games. And once again I say, any fan of any team can say that about any manager. Collins does take chances, which I happen to enjoy. He doesn’t always follow the mythical “book”. He opens himself up to criticism, but I happen to believe that netted out he has done more good than harm for the franchise. But that is my OPINION.

          • Yougetwhat Youdeserve

            Rob, there’s no flip flopping. What I’m saying is you can’t look at team with bad players and say the manager should’ve made a 70-win team into a 95-win team. But you can say a 70-win team (talent-wise) can be a 75-80 win team with quality managing or a 95-win team (talent-wise) can be a 85-90 win team with poor managing. Hopefully that makes it clearer.

            As to your 10,000 words, go right ahead. But since all teams have all sorts of variables, but you can compare the results of the Mets to the results of other teams during the same span, while also comparing the relative strengths and weaknesses of players, to arrive at a reasonable assumption. If you insist we can’t come to a provable point, then how can you state unequivocally that TC is responsible for holding the team together? What evidence is there for that at all?

          • Yougetwhat Youdeserve

            Matt, so if I’m to follow your logic then no manager can ever be judged on his strategy, because when somebody points to quite a few “mistakes” you claim that he makes quite a few non-mythical book moves and have decided they are equal. Clearly, none of them ever have 100% of their moves work out or 100% of their moves blow up. Does putting players in the best position to succeed not actually exist? If not, then why even have a manager at all since they apparently have no impact or if they do, it’s not possible to determine it so it might as well be a robot on the bench.

          • Matt in Richmond

            It’s not quite as stark as all that, but I do believe that a manager’s in game impact is typically overrated. I think their bigger impact is behind the scenes. Certainly, being aware of all scenarios at all times in game, and making the best possible judgements is a skill, but the majority of the time each decision is still a roll of the dice. There are so many variables it gets incredibly difficult to quantify. Sometimes calling for a hit and run with a swing and miss pitcher and a slow runner can work. It might not be a statistically wise move, but a good manager is willing to take calculated risks from time to time. Sometimes you might want to go to a lefty to face a lefty, but the right hander you have in is throwing well so you stick with him. It might work, it might not. Saying which move was the correct one is really a fools game.

            Ultimately, I watch as much or more Mets baseball as just about anyone, and I simply don’t see any evidence that TC is sabotaging the Mets with his on field decisions. Of course some of his moves can be second guessed, or as some of the more vehement opponents of his claim, first guessed. But so could any Cubs fan do the same with alleged genius Joe Maddon. Obviously you and I will never see eye to eye on this, and I want you to know that I totally support your right to think he is a bad manager. The only time I strenuously disagree with you is when you speak in certitude as if there are facts to back up your position. It’s your opinion, and I would leave it at that.

  • Dennis

    While I think it’s fair to be critical of Collins (as it is with any manager), I do think it’s unfair and mean spirited to call him clueless, idiot, and a moron. The man has had a nice life in MLB since 1971. If that’s being a moron, then I’d gladly be classified as one if I could have that career.

  • eric1973

    First of all, *shocked* that nobody uttered the word “Un-Godley.” Guess we’re all too hip for the room.

    I think we get the pattern by now:

    TC takes out starter on the short end of the score, and puts in the gas-can portion of the bullpen, always led by Goeddell, which very soon makes the task of catching up nearly impossible.

    Perhaps he can throw in one of the Fab 4 once in a while in these situations, and save those other folks for mop-up duty.

    Might win a few extra games.
    Worth a shot.

  • eric1973

    This team is built on starting pitching, which has appeared to underachieve this year, especially with Matz and Thor. I had suggested it was because of the bone spurs, which only helps TC’s case.

    Then TC’s defenders say it’s because pitching is hard, which actually hurts TC’s case.

    The team was doing fine this year without Wright and Duda, just like last year, when they were injured during the good parts. So their injuries are negligible. They both came back in time to blow the WS.

    They only fell apart recently, when Legares and the golf star got injured, as they then have to have Ty Kelly and de Aza in the lineup every day, each hitting around .200.

    When Ces and Cabrera get back, we’ll see what happens. This season still has a ways to go.

    • Matt in Richmond

      Eric1973, you are a smart guy. But for a smart guy, I don’t know where you come up with some of this stuff. The team had been struggling long before YC and AC went down. That didn’t help matters, but they had been playing sub .500 for months before that. And the statement that Wright and Duda came back just in time to blow the WS is as bogus as it is mean spirited.

  • Matt in Richmond

    Maybe worth a shot depending on the scenario. I can see a lot of cases where that could backfire big time though. If he used front end options and we didn’t come back, then had a lead but needed lots of bullpen the next game, then he’s kind of outthought himself hasn’t he? Goeddel had been pitching pretty well until his last 2 outings. Sometimes these things happen. And really, just about every team in the league has the same middle relief problem.

    • Steve J

      Clearly would depend on the scenario. One or two run game in 5th or 6th inning might be worth a shot. Bigger deficit than that and/or earlier in the game seems awfully hard to make the case.

  • Steve D

    In today’s game, the manager has to be a guy who can provide just the right amount of coddling to the millionaire stars, while also not putting up with stuff that can sabotage a team like not hustling and poor fundamentals. He has to set high expectations and put players in a position to succeed. Collins, IMO, has been average overall taking into account the talent he has had, but it is only an opinion, because it is impossible to ever know what a different manager could have done with the same players in the same games vs. the same teams. I am not in the clubhouse either to see for myself. Even a good manager can lose the team and be tuned out over time by certain players and it could be time for a change. To constantly debate it is futile and really a waste of time…both sides see everything through the lens that supports their own opinion…there must be a fancy name for that.

  • eric1973

    Well, TC tried my plan, until he picked Edgin over Reed, both of whom were warming up.

    That’s why I crticize TC for game moves.

    Worked like a charm, though, until he put Reed in.

    Shit don’t work.

    • Left Coast Jerry

      Eric, I’m trying to understand the point of the post. Whenever I see Edgin warming up, I have more fear than faith. So Edgin comes into the game, a move which both you and I disagreed with, but he does his job. Then Reed comes in, the right move, and he fails to execute. And somehow this is on TC?

      Let’s face it. DeGrom dodged bullets in the first 3 innings and it caught up to him in the 4th and 5th. That’s why the Mets lost. Terry Collins has brought his team to the World Series as many times as the genius Joe Maddon and one more time than the genius Gene Mauch.

      I don’t understand the vitriol of some of the people who comment here.

  • Jacobs27

    For what it’s worth, Terry Collins actually did put in his surprise Grand Slam guy and the team still tanked. Who knew that Justin Ruggiano was Bumgarner’s nemesis? A lot of good it did.

  • Daniel Hall

    I’ve been hiding from the hideous Mets for about a month, didn’t even read up here or much of anything Mets-related. Saw one game on a Sunday, a rampant loss to the Diamondbacks(?). The K-ay Bruce trade was the final nail in the coffin for a team that happily leaves runners on third with nobody out – stranded. Just looked at the box scores every morning, shrugged, moved on. Saw the last two innings of the SF game this morning, shrugged, went to work.

    The 2012 Mets, inherently bad and hopeless, were the first year that I really followed baseball. They couldn’t win for their lives, but somehow it was mostly fun, give or take a Manny Acosta. The ’16 Mets have been nothing but atrocious. Down by three, ninth inning, everyboy comes up hacking. Maybe take a pitch? Maybe the dude will get you to 2-0 or – Nah, that’s not what we do! We hack and whiff! Casilla has them for breakfast. I had toast for breakfast. Nothing to toast with these Mets, however. I saw Wilmer batting fourth. Good grief.

  • Mikey

    I was following the game on my phone again last night. I saw 4-0 Mets and thought my phone was going to spontaneously combust. I went to sleep feeling good that DeGrom finally had some run support and we were going to beat Bumgarner. Fuckin’ A was I wrong. DeGrom gave up 8 runs? Seriously, it’s like whack a mole with these guys…..one thing looks better (hitting and driving in runs with and without homers) and one thing looks like hot garbage (starting pitching).

    then to top it off, Steven Matz comes off a near no-hitter and has to skip a start due to shoulder soreness. at some point you just gotta laugh.

    and then of course Cespedes comes back when the Mets are already falling fast out of the wild card hunt. this sucks

    • Steve D

      This is why 9 out of 10 seasons, you can’t really get your hopes up too high as a Met fan…it will crush your soul.

  • eric1973

    I have no beef with TC, except in hindsight, and with second-guessing, to put Reed in to start the 8th. I was fine with Robles starting his 2nd inning. Reed appears to have issues when he comes into a game with men on base.

    However: TC only said he did it because of Matz’ injury, and lugo and Goeddell were not avail. So he kinda stumbled into the ‘right’ moves.

    Alderson: “We all have an expectation of winning. None of us uses injuries as an excuse. That’s true inside the organization. That’s true for our fans, as well. That’s why I understand the frustration.”

    He’s obviously never read the comments on this blog.

    • Ruggiano's Wasted Slam

      Didn’t see any of the game but am curious as to TC’s comment. Was he saying because the next day he wouldn’t have as many relievers available he was trying to save Reed some pitches by having Robles start the 8th? So his decision was based in part because he was worried about the next game, in the midst of this tailspin with the team fading from playoff contention, when he may or may not need his top relievers, and not entirely on the situation in a one-run game he was currently managing? I don’t think I need to add a snarky line, I can just let that speak for itself.

      • Bartolo's Colon

        Seriously? That’s all you got?

        If Terry Collins saved a kid from drowning in a frozen lake, you would complain because he forget to also get the kid’s hat.

  • eric1973

    Sorry, need to clarify:
    When I said “Shit don’t work,” I meant MY plan did not work, as TC had our good relief guys in there while the score was against us. (Not because he had a great revelation, but only due to the usual suspects not being available.)

  • Matt in Richmond

    Give me a break. Anderson says that because that’s what all players and managers say in situations like this. That line has been repeated thousands of times. There is a difference between an excuse and a fact. When you run down the list of injuries the Mets have suffered this year it is simply a fact that they have had far more both in number and severity than an average team. And it is simply common sense that injuries of this scope and magnitude would have a deleterious effect on any team.

    • Steve D

      Not that I keep close track, but to me the Mets always have about this amount of injuries…last year we lost Wheeler for the season, Wright for a good chunk, Blevins all year, Legares with an elbow, Matz for weeks…sure I’m missing a lot of more minor ones. My point is two-fold…first, if this is our normal level of injuries, how can it be used as a reason for poor play? It should be built in by now. Second, why do we seem to always have all these injuries? Bad luck? Just like the bad luck that causes us to not be able to develop a hitter? Or is something rotten from the very top?

      • Matt in Richmond

        We don’t always have this level of injuries. Not this many, of this severity. This year has been virtually unprecedented.

        • Steve J

          Matt, can you please provide details on what is the average number and general severity of injuries per team? Because you said, “it is simply a fact that they have had far more both in number and severity than an average team. And it is simply common sense that injuries of this scope and magnitude would have a deleterious effect on any team.”

          As far as the Mets key players to start the season, the Mets have lost their 1B (not expected) for an extended period, their SS for a short stint (not expected), their 3B (expected) for the season, their C (not unexpected) for an extended period and their LF (not expected) for the past few weeks officially and an extended period unofficially. They lost one starter to injury and other starters have had issues and/or skipped starts (not expected as pitchers break down, it’s what they do). And the bullpen lost Henderson (not expected).

          Now I have looked up each team’s injuries and I dont think that’s an outrageous run of injuries, especially considering the injuries to Wright, d’Arnaud and a starter were all to be expected. Furthermore, Loney has been a great replacement at 1B playing better defense and hitting for better average while having less pop in his bat. But if Matt has facts that show otherwise I’m open to reading them.

          The bigger problem imo has been the lineup outside of Cespedes has been streaky or just plain terrible.
          -Granderson has been putrid most of the year
          -Cabrera has been dreadful with RISP
          -Conforto has been terrible since April
          -d’Arnaud has been lousy when healthy and Plawecki was lost this season
          -Walker has had great stretches and awful stretches
          -Flores hit well for a while but is wildly inconsistent against RHPs

          Matt, can you provide us with something more substantial in terms of number of injuries and severity, especially in re: expected starting lineup and top rotation and bullpen pitchers?

          • Rob E.

            Here are some numbers from just the NL East: Washington lost five guys for 158 days total; Miami lost four guys for 100 days total; Philadelphia lost 4 guys for 213 days total; Atlanta lost 7 guys for 198 days total; the Mets have lost 8 guys for 305 days total.

            The Met numbers I cited do NOT include Wright, Wheeler, Henderson, Edgin, or Ruggiano. The Mets have clearly had the most lost playing time by key players in the division even taking Wright out of the equation. For all teams I counted only guys that were counted on to be starting/key players, not guys like Matt Harrison, who the Phillies took injured as a salary dump in the Cole Hamels trade last year, but still counts in the DL stats.

            This was just to provide a rough idea, and is open for interpretation, of course.

            This link has a lot of DL information, if you are interested:

            http://www.spotrac.com/mlb/disabled-list/

  • eric1973

    “To constantly debate it is futile and really a waste of time…both sides see everything through the lens that supports their own opinion…there must be a fancy name for that.”

    There is, Steve D., and Greg, to no one’s surprise, came up with it in the AUG19 blog, and in his typically understated manner, took no credit.

    So I will gladly give him the credit he deserves:
    The password is:
    PRISM

  • Ernie Roque

    Some of us Mets fans have to be logical..I don’t remember a team ever having so many injuries. .everytime they get someone back..2 go down..like driving a manual sports car in traffic. .last year spoiled us a bit..including me..but no one saw last year coming..ask Cubs..with Cabrera n Cespedes back..there might b open road..switch gears Mets..u r the Amazing Mets..n we r Amazing Fans..Lets start with Seth Lugo tonight..I think he worked at PeP Boys..We need a mechanic..Lets go boys..We r the Defending National Champs..We have One more punch..like Rocky said “I ain’t here no bell”

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