PITTSBURGH - Mets manager Terry Collins was not pleased yesterday when he learned of comments made by former hitting coach Howard Johnson that it was “ridiculous” for the Mets to bench slumping Jason Bay for two games.
“Obviously, as soon as I showed up at the ballpark today I was slapped in the face with Howard Johnson telling us we need to play him and not bench him,” Collins said of Bay, who was back in the lineup last night against the Pirates. “I don’t really call it a benching. I would call it more of a time off kind of thing.
“The other thing I’m sure of — and I think the world of Howard Johnson — but he hasn’t got all the facts. So he should be careful what he actually says when you don’t have the facts.”
Bay went into last night batting .207, hitless in his last 23 at-bats. Collins, who put Bay in the sixth spot in the order, said he considered batting him second, but opted for Ruben Tejada instead.
Johnson, a coach with the Mets from 2007-10, was not asked back this season even though he was under contract.
On Friday, he told the New York Post: “If he’s supposed to be part of the solution, I don’t see the point of taking him out of the equation. It’s sending him mixed messages. I don’t care if he’s 0-for-50, you’re not going to get him relaxed by taking him out of the lineup.”