Terry Collins Won't Be Winning Any Most Popular Awards

Hiring Collins as manager has riled up a good portion of the fanbase

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images

    Hope you enjoyed that month when Mets fans thought you walked on water, Sandy Alderson, because you're now their biggest enemy.

    At least, that's what we've been led to believe by perusing the internet and listening to chatter on WFAN and ESPN radio in the hours since news broke that Terry Collins was going to become the next manager of the Mets. The issues seem to be a combination of the fact that Collins hasn't managed in the big leagues in 11 years, that his tenure in Anaheim ended with the team in total disarray and that he isn't Wally Backman.

    The first of those complaints has some resonance, as does a more general issue with the whole idea of going to retread managers in the first place. That said, it's not like Collins has been selling whitewall tires over that time. He's been around the game and spent 2010 in the Mets organization so he knows the players in the minor league system better than other candidates.

    As for the other two, it's hard to find much behind those arguments. Yes, he lost the clubhouse in Anaheim but it bears mentioning that said clubhouse insurrection was led by Mo Vaughn. A good rule of thumb in life is that you never want to find yourself on the same side of an argument with Mo Vaughn, so let's just say that these things are rarely simple enough for pat analysis.

    The Backman thing is the hardest one to wrap your head around. The pro-Backman camp likes him because he's a fiery, intense guy who will turn over a table in the clubhouse should he find his team lollygagging their way around the field. Collins has the same exact personality type, which means that you've got the style you want while Backman avoids what promises to be a rough 2011 season and a potentially-rough 2012 as the team clears out the detritus of the Omar Minaya regime.

    That's a good thing, especially since Backman will gain more managerial experience in the minors over those two seasons. Collins is 61 and has a two-year contract, which makes it easy to see a future in the Citi Field dugout for Backman. If you want him to be the manager of the Mets, wouldn't you want him to be the best possible manager in the best possible situation when he gets the job?

    You can pick apart the details of this debate all day, but the bigger issue at play here is the way that people have turned against a guy who was brought in to do exactly what he's doing. Hiring Backman would have been the easy PR move, but Alderson is here because doing things that way has turned the Mets into a dysfunctional mess over the years.

    Collins wasn't picked without serious thought and deliberation done by men who were hailed for their ability to think about baseball on a higher level than we've seen in Queens for some time. If you believe in their ability to run an organization, most of the complainers did when Alderson was hired a month a go, then you should trust their process for making decisions about the organization.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.