Friday, September 21, 2012


The Mets won a game at home tonight, although it seems that in order to actually accomplish this, they had to play a team that's even worse then they are. Only a game separated the Mets and Marlins from last place, and both teams appeared to play like the last place contenders they were. But, fortunately for the Mets, the Marlins proved more inept than even the Mets were able to muster, and the result was that the Mets scored 3 runs in the 1st inning, led 5-0 after 2 innings, and in the end scored more runs in a game at home than I believe they've scored all month combined.

This isn't something to necessarily be proud of, since the Marlins seemed to do everything possible to hand the Mets this game. Maybe it was Terry Collins' lambasting of the players following Thursday's debacle—something he wrongly backtracked on (keep the heat on these guys!)—that woke them up, since they did seem to have slightly more spark this evening. But, probably not. The Mets looked about the same as they did every other game, except that they were playing a team that seemed to have a hard time simply catching a fly ball.

A team's ineptitude is obviously contagious, and it reflects on everyone on the roster and the coaching staff. Multiple times tonight, Gary, Keith and Ron made mention of the fact that just about everyone in the Marlins hierarchy is on the hot seat, particularly Manager Ozzie Guillen. And seeing the Marlins mostly going through the motions tonight, it's not an unreasonable argument. But the same could be said about Terry Collins, and yet a majority of Mets fans seem to be in his defense. True, the Marlins were built to win, and win now, and they fell on their face and ended up dealing away just about every marketable asset they had. Nonetheless, people are calling for Guillen's head. The Mets were not built to win now, and it's debatable as to whether or not they're built to win any time in the foreseeable future. The defense for Collins is that he can only be as good as the players he's got, and the players he's got, as a whole, aren't very good. But then, when they overachieve, Collins is lauded as a hero who has maximized the effort he's gotten. So, when things fell flat, as they did last year as well, and no pieces of consequence were added or subtracted, and it spiraled out of control, mostly Collins avoided any heat. But maybe he's deserving of some heat, just as Guillen has been getting. Too often, the excuse "It's not about this year" has been thrown around. Too often, a singular positive, say,  Matt Harvey's performance, or Jon Niese's performance, has been cited amongst a string of miserable performances from the rest of the team. Tonight, finally, Lucas Duda was yanked from the game for not running out a popup. And Collins probably gets some praise for that. Duda is contrite and taking it like a man. But why wait until now to start doing this? Why wait until things were completely out of control? I know that this is one specific example and not everyone is guilty of it, but the attitude seems to have been prevailing for the past month or so. So why hasn't Collins been more of an ass-kicker?

It's a double-edged sword with this sort of stuff, and Collins is all too aware of that since it backfired on him in Anaheim. But this is the kind of team, a young team that needs to learn how to win, that needs a good ass kicking every once in a while. And by not doing that, or by waiting until it's far too late to do something about it, you give the attitude that it's OK to play lazy, boring baseball. I realize the Mets are outmanned, and I realize that Collins can only be as good as the pieces he's got. But he got a great effort out of this team for half a season two years in a row, and then watched as everyone fell flat. This may not cost him his job this year, but it's something to be aware of going forward.

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