Terry Collins is trying to shield his players from the constant trade rumors surrounding the Mets. At the same time, he has been given no indication of his own future with the team beyond this season.
Regardless of how this season plays out, Collins, 68, wants to come back for what would be his eighth season. “Sure, that’s what I do, it’s the love of my life,’’ he told Newsday before Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the A’s. “This is what I do. I’ve had a great time here. This is an exciting place to manage, but right now it’s about trying to get through the season.’’
The Mets would not discuss Collins’ future, saying only that he is under contract through the end of this season.
“I only worry about right now,’’ Collins said. “I don’t get caught up in yesterday, I don’t get caught up in tomorrow. Worry about today and what we’re going to do. I don’t have a crystal ball. I tell the players not to worry about stuff out of their control, I do the same thing.’’
The Mets, who are 5-11 on Sundays, finished the homestand at 6-4. That may not be enough to stave off general manager Sandy Alderson’s virtual edict at the beginning of the homestand that the team play “exceedingly well’’ to avoid becoming sellers before next Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline.
Jay Bruce seemed to take umbrage at Alderson’s comment, saying after the game, “In my personal opinion I don’t believe that we need to be told or reminded by anyone how well we need to play because we’re the players.’’ Bruce is one of several players thought to be on the trade block. “We understand we’re the ones out there winning and losing the game, so we knew what situation we were in. We knew what we were up against. We played better baseball of late but not really able to say yet whether that’s going to be enough or not.’’
The A’s slugged three home runs off Mets starter Rafael Montero. For the Mets, Michael Conforto extended his career high by hitting his 19th homer. Down by a run in the ninth, Wilmer Flores singled with one out but pinch hitter Yoenis Cespedes flied out and Travis d’Arnaud, who also pinch hit, popped out to end the game.
“When you have some well pitched games that’s means a lot,’’ Collins said in his postgame news conference. “We just gotta get the big guy [Cespedes] going. We get him going it’s a whole different lineup.’’
The Mets left on a 10-game road trip and could have a different look by the time they return to Citi Field. “Nothing happens until it happens,’’ Bruce said. “ We don’t know for sure. We’ll just see how it goes.’’
Asdrubal Cabrera is also being shopped. “The only thing I know is I’m still with the Mets,’’ he said. “This is my team and I got to do the best to stay here . . . It’s no fun when you start thinking about it.’’
Asked if he expected to be back, he replied, “I hope. That’s what I want. It’s not my decision.’’
Collins will navigate his team through what undoubtedly will be another week of trade speculation. “Next week’s going to be hard, again,’’ Collins said. “I will do the best I can to try to keep their mind on the game and away from worrying about who the trading talks are about . . . we’ve accomplished a lot through some tough times here in the last couple of years. We continue to reiterate the fact that it can be done again . . . Six and four, sometimes that’s just not good enough. Eight and two is good enough. Hopefully [we] go out and have a good road trip and come off this road trip 6-4 and I think that’ll be a good statement.’’
The Mets lost yet another game on Sunday.
Their record this season
5 wins, 11 losses