With Spring Training beginning in approximately 5 weeks or so, Terry Collins will be entering this season as a "lame duck" manager.
After the 2011 season, Elvis picked up Collins' option through the 2013 season, thus ending (or at least quieting) any speculation that Wally Backman, Tim Teufel, etc. would be the Mets next manager.
The biggest question at hand isn't so much is Collins deserving of an extension on his present contract, but has Collins done a good job as Mets skipper? I have been in Wally Backman's corner since he was skipper for the ChiSox AAA affiliate, the Birmingham Barons, and was certainly a card carrying member for the Mets to hire him after Gangsta Manuel was dismissed.
All that being said, Collins has done a good job with this young team. My main complaint with him, and most of the recent Mets managers, has been the poor management of the bullpen, often going to the bullpen much to early in the game, and not allowing a pitcher to pitch out of jams. Collins has done a good job of getting a poor team to perform well, even if it was only for 81 games.
That being said, do I believe Collins should be extended beyond this year? I'm not sure. Collins has been good, but I am to the point with the Mets going nowhere for the foreseeable future, might it be better to hold onto TC, or make a change. Secondly, if the Mets do make a change, I believe Wally Backman is the clear cut man for the job, but knowing this organization, it would probably be the easy going 3B coach, Tim Teufel.
I like Backman's fire, and has done a real good job with young players, just like his mentor, Davey Johnson. Backman would be that link to a better era of Mets baseball (like Teufel), but he has the fire to keep this young team competitive.
The thing we must be careful of, is it better to bring a first time manager to run a team that will be a cellar dweller, or to let TC remain at the helm for another year or two until some of the young talent is ready to produce?
If I were in charge, and everyone with a pulse knows I'm not, I would make the switch at the end of this season, and let Backman develop the young prospects the Mets have that will be at the entry stages of The Show.
As Alderson said regarding Collins' status:
“Sometimes it becomes an issue. I think it’s a function of whether Terry
makes it an issue, or the club makes it an issue, or the media makes it
"I don’t think the club or Terry will make it an issue. If it does
become an issue, we’ll manage the issue. I understand the possibility it
could become something. I hope it doesn’t.”
Let me fill you in on something Sandy, it will be an issue, especially if the Mets perform better than anticipated.
Source: Adam Rubin ESPN NY