Terry Collins gets safe call from Sandy Alderson
Sandy Alderson didn't hedge, waffle or flip-flop Tuesday when asked directly about the job status of Terry Collins.
"He's not going anywhere," Alderson said.
The general manager also offered more than merely a public vote of confidence. Alderson visited Collins in the manager's office shortly before the Mets took the field for batting practice and assured him he was not at risk.
As for the timing, Alderson said the chat was prompted by the increasing drumbeat recently about Collins' security. It was just two weeks ago that Alderson fired hitting coach Dave Hudgens and the Mets are 6-7 since his dismissal, including the six straight losses to end the last road trip.
"I think what the team needs to do -- what we all need to do -- is focus on winning games, getting better, improving the young players," Alderson said. "Sometimes you have to address topics you wouldn't otherwise because of the noise that surrounds the situation. So that's kind of it in the nutshell."
Collins, now in his fourth year, should be used to this type of "noise" by now without even one .500 season on his Flushing resume. And it won't get any quieter until the Mets start winning on a more consistent basis. They were 28-35 entering last night's game and in fourth place, 5 1/2 games behind the Braves and Nationals.
Alderson stopping by with a few words of encouragement was no doubt appreciated by Collins. But after getting fired by the Astros and resigning from the Angels in his two previous managerial stints, he also knows those kind of conversations don't mean much, either, if a team doesn't improve.
"It is what it is," Collins said. "It's part of the job. But you know what? It doesn't change the way you come to the ballpark. You stay positive. You stay upbeat. Have some fun. Get the guys ready to play."
Alderson pegged Collins as a good fit for a young, rebuilding club with limited expectations when he was hired for the 2011 season. But the Mets -- who play in a big market but haven't spent like it -- once again find themselves stalled in their efforts to ditch what has become a losing tradition.
There are no shortage of reasons for that. But Alderson said the vitriol aimed at the manager is "totally misdirected" and the GM is pleased by what he has seen under Collins' tutelage.
"In large part because Terry's done a solid job insuring that the players come to play every day," Alderson said. "Generally speaking, they come to play and they play hard. Mistakes notwithstanding, that's what we ask for in a manager -- is making sure the players show up every day."
So far, that alone hasn't been enough, which is due more to the composition of the roster than the person in charge of squeezing a few wins from this group. Alderson is the one responsible for assembling these Mets, and at least for now, he believes Collins can help with his mission.
"It's frustrating when the losses mount up because of the little mistakes," said Alderson, whose Mets are 8-17 in one-run games. "We've got a fairly young team, especially pitching-wise, and we're going to have our ups and downs. I actually think we're pretty close. A lot of people want to throw up their hands. But you have to be careful about drawing too many conclusions from too few games."
Any decisions about Collins, apparently, are going to require a lot more. "He's the manager for the foreseeable future," Alderson said. "I see no change in the foreseeable future."