So let me start out by welcoming everyone back to the newly redesigned Eddie Kranepool Society and to wish you all a very happy and healthy 2013 and to give a big thanks to Joe McDonald for this fantastic new layout of the blog. I haven’t posted here in a few days as the holidays were very hectic in a good way by spending a lot of time with family and friends, so it was good to step away from the keyboard for a while.
I didn’t step away from reading all the sports news though, even while we were getting set to head out for some New Year’s Eve revelry in the Pocono Mountains (it’s as far from the madding crowds of Time Square as you can get. I still don’t understand why people love to stand in the freezing cold to watch that ball drop, in fact I don’t know any native New Yorker who has ever ventured out there, but I digress) as my iPad was burning up with stories of 7 NFL coaches given their pink slips. Some like Andy Reid in Philly and Lovie Smith in Chicago were very successful but they’re message was growing stale and it was time in the eyes of ownership to get a new voice and a new way of doing business in to run their teams.
Just a week before the Brooklyn Nets fired their head coach Avery Johnson, who just came off winning Coach of the Month honors. As puzzling as that is, how about Mike Brown of the Lakers getting the boot after 5 games this season? WHOA! Some owners mean business. Here is what Prokhorov had to say when he canned Johnson:
“I think we have very talented players but they are capable of much more than what we have seen in the recent weeks,” Prokhorov said. “I respect Avery and really I wish him well, but sometimes chemistry just isn’t right. It happens.
“I think the main question is why we were unable to bounce back and to play like champions.”
I bring all these coaching changes up because as I sat in the sauna over the weekend (some sight eh?) I thought about Terry Collins and wondered just how long does he have to keep his job as Mets manager in 2013?
Oh I know what your muttering to yourself about my sanity and what an asshole I am (for some that was even before reading this post) I totally understand that the talent level of the Mets entering the 2013 season is not pennant race quality but before you flame away on me ask yourself this, “Has Terry Collins made a positive impact on this team” Sadly I say NO!
I have been a proponent of Collins from the day he was hired. I felt then and still do that Collins is an outstanding baseball instructor and he would make the Mets better fundamentally and more professional. I still think he is a top notch instructor but I feel he’s failed on the other two skill sets I felt he was bringing to the job. Not only that, it seems to me the Mets clubhouse is lacking in discipline as we have seen the last two seasons under Collins leadership the team has folded it’s tent after the All Star break. The 2009 and 2010 version of the NY Mets gave up in the second halves of the seasons as well, and Jerry Manuel was run out of town, justifiably so. So what’s the difference between Terry Collins and Jerry Manuel?
Collins came to the Mets manager’s job with a soiled reputation as a non-communicator in his past three managerial jobs. The stories out of Anaheim were about player revolt and in Houston; Collins Astros teams were involved in a civil war between hitters and pitchers. There have been rumblings about the Mets relievers feeling a disconnect between the manager, pitching coach and themselves.
Collins lost me the night of September 20 th of last season when the Mets were destroyed by the Phillies at Citi Field by a score of 16-1 and visibly upset Collins sat for his post-game presser ready to explode, and when asked by Kevin Burkhardt if the team had quit, Collins deservedly threw them under the bus by telling Burkhart to go ask them. Word was many players were upset with the manager for hinting that the team had packed it in and instead of Collins challenging his detractors, he apologized. I took that as a sign of insecurity by the Mets skipper and he should have stuck to his guns as the team did respond to being called out by actually playing its best baseball of the second half in winning 7 of the next 8 games.
With every second half sleep walk defeat by the Mets, Collins would go into Rick Kotite mode in his post-game pow-wow to the point that it was offensive to me as a Mets fan. I was so tired of hearing that the team played hard and that Collins had seen some positives, all he did was make me think he still had Anaheim on his mind and was afraid to speak out and show anger thinking that media and fans would say he was melting down again.
Collins enters 2013 without a contract extension and quite frankly I feel he’s only back for this coming season because the Skill Sets don’t want to pay two guys for the same job. When the season ended in 2012, I thought there was a chance that Collins would be re-assigned to either a front office position or back to where his strength is, working with minor leaguers, but Sandy Alderson has kept him on board for the coming season but for how much of the season? Personnel aside, if the Mets start off badly and show the same listless way of playing baseball as they did in the last couple of second halves of the season, many Mets fans will get their wish of seeing Wally Backman manger the Mets . As Prokhorov said, “sometimes the chemistry just isn’t right, it happens”