TERRY COLLINS: “I’M TIRED OF TALKING ABOUT IT”


 These were the words spoken by the beleaguered manager of the Mets at the press conference held prior to the start of the series against the Nationals. imageAt best, you could say he was just a little cranky that morning. At worse, he’s reached the point where he’s fed up with the entire season his team is having.

He was talking about injuries and spinning his frustration that he “can’t get to even enjoy a victory anymore” without having to give daily reports on who’s hurt and who’s not and who’s playing and who’s not – and why……why, why, why.

Needless to say, his frustration/anger has been punctuated by the fact that his team is reeling. Following two straight losses to the Nats in which his team’s two best (Syndergaard and Harvey) took a thumping, the Mets now rest a mere four games over .500 in third place behind the surprising Marlins.image

Having said that, Terry Collins has spent his entire life in baseball and he knows that what goes down usually comes up and that there are twists and turns over the long haul of a season that no one can predict, or in some cases even manage. He knows too that this is especially true with injuries.

All of which makes his emotional outburst even more telling. Because more and more it’s becoming clear that the Mets as an organization are dysfunctional, indecisive, and one that often acts in ways that cause confusion among the players who must produce wins on the field………………..

A perfect example of this occurred just a week or so ago when the Met’s front office issued an edict telling all players (in essence), “Feel something, say something”. imageBut now, when both Steven Matz (left) and Noah Syndergaard obeyed the prompt and reported “tightness’ in their arm during their last start and were forced to leave the game early……..Collins tells the media that you can either play or you can’t……and if (paraphrasing again) you can’t make pitches and pitch with pain, then get your ass outta here cause I don’t need you. That may be a bit exaggerated but it certainly was the message being conveyed.

It turns out that at least Matz and reportedly Syndergaard too have bone spurs in the elbow. Surgery will be required during the off season to remove them, but according to the doctors it’s all systems go provided that they can pitch at a high level with pain for the rest of the season.

And therein lies the rub. imageBoth pitchers reported that they weren’t quite right and doctors verified that they weren’t quite right. But now, what are they supposed to do? Does it become a question for them of “manning up”? One would hope not but given the current state of the Mets on and off the field, it just might come down to that.

Ron Darling, the TV commentator for the Mets, says he pitched for four or five years with bone spurs and with pain. But he also adds that those were different days when he was measured by going out there every fourth or fifth day and throwing 200-250 innings a season. Now, starters are measured differently. And it’s not quantity but quality (of innings).

Today, you go out there with a mindset image
that says pitch hard (with no letup) for five or six innings and then we’ll take it from there. But here’s the problem with that expectation. If you are pitching with pain, how can you hold to that standard. Matz, for instance, has already said that he found himself making adjustments on the fly with his delivery because he couldn’t “finish” his pitches.

So, what do the Mets say to that? “Hey, if you can’t finish your pitches Stevie, take a seat”. Then what? Instead, maybe what they should be saying is “Look, we know you’re not at the top of your game but let’s do some cortisone shots and you just go out there and give us the best you can. Same with you, Noah”.

Alderson’s Advertisement For Himself

Not the Mets. Maybe some other team, but not them. So expect this type of drama to play out for the remainder of the season. And remember, we haven’t even gotten to that magical moment when wife beater Reyes makes his debut return. I’m telling you, you can’t make this stuff up…….

In the meantime Terry, maybe your frustration would be better vented where it belongs – with Sandy Alderson and the penny pinching Wilpons – and not with the media. Because you know what – I’m tired of talking about it too.

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