“All I’ll say is we have higher expectations than we’ve had in the past.”
– Sandy Alderson, February 2014
Saturday’s night loss made it mathematically impossible for the Mets to win 90 games. If you recall, back in February, Alderson allegedly told team executives that the Mets should challenge for that many wins this season. The remark was not meant for public consumption but it got out anyway. Alderson responded that it was meant to challenge the team’s mindset and not as an actual prediction.
“We kind of like our team. If you look at the run differential, we should be a .500 team. We’re not. At the same time, it doesn’t mean we should throw everyone overboard.”
– Alderson, July 2014
This still sounds like someone who believes in the squad assembled. In years past, we were told it was unfair to blame the manager because the talent wasn’t there. But before the year started, the assumption was that the talent was there. In early July, the indication was that the team assembled was better than the results and the implication was that the results would follow the run differential.
“Terry Collins is likely to be brought back for a fifth season as Mets manager in 2015, sources familiar with the situation say.
While the Mets are planning to bring Collins back to manage, officials in the know say, and the expected return assumes the Mets remain on their steady path of improvement, avoiding anything close to a collapse over the final 42 games.”
– CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, August 13, 2014
The problem is we’re all familiar with the situation and it never changes, at least not for the good. Nothing is ever the manager’s fault. You know what? It’s someone’s fault. Someone needs to step up and take some accountability for this mess. Because there’s no other way to describe it. We need someone to blame and for that person to no longer be associated with the Mets.
Many people want the owners to go. Hah! Like that will ever happen. A lot of people want the GM to go. That at least has a chance of happening. But you know what? At least the GM has done a few good things for the team. We can debate whether the good things outweigh the bad things but at least everyone would agree that there have been positive additions from the general manager.
There’s nothing good about the manager. Let me rephrase that – there’s nothing good about the manager that 1,000,000 people with a pulse couldn’t duplicate if given a chance. Why the unflagging loyalty to a guy who does nothing to drive the team forward? And we have a smoking gun that proves not only does he bring nothing to the table, he actually takes things away.
Remember run differential and how that was indicative of the quality of a team? The Mets have a better run differential than the Yankees, yet somehow the Yankees are six games over .500 while the Mets are 10 games below. But maybe it’s just a one-year fluke. Here’s how Girardi has done since taking over the Yankees compared to his run differential:
2008 – +2
2009 – +8
2010 – (-2)
And here are the numbers for Collins:
Girardi is 5-2-1 versus his run differential while Collins is 0-3-1. The two years where Girardi did not meet or exceed his run differential, he guided his team to 97 and 95 wins. Collins has yet to crack 80. Yet here in the year where everything was supposed to be different, where the GM specifically set out to change the culture, Collins is on track to have his worst differential ever.
Remind me again why he should come back?
Some will say it’s not fair to credit/blame the manager for a team’s run differential. OK, what is it fair to judge our manager on?
Going back to the Heyman quote, “Avoiding anything close to a collapse…” So there you go. Forget rooting for youngsters to improve, a prime guy to hit a home run milestone or struggling veterans to turn things around. Don’t root for any of that.
Root for the team to lose every game between now and the end of the season. Root for a collapse that would make 2007 look tame in comparison. Root for utter and abject failure that would be impossible for the suits to ignore. Root for whatever it takes to get a new man at the helm on Opening Day 2015.
Hey, we’re off to a good start. Since that Heyman article originally appeared, the Mets are 6-10. But we’re going to have to do better than that. Fortunately there are still seven games left with the Nationals, who have taken us behind the woodshed with regularity this season. If we go 2-5 in those games and 7-12 in the other remaining 19 games, that would put us 15-27 since the article, a winning percentage of .357, which works out to 58 wins over an entire season.
That would leave us with a team that didn’t come close to 90 wins. A team that played beneath its run differential. And a team that collapsed down the stretch.
And maybe it would leave us with a new manager. A boy can dream.