PITTSBURGH — With the steadfast support of a longtime ally in Fred Wilpon, Terry Collins remains entrenched as manager of the Mets, with multiple sources telling Newsday that ownership has given no indication of making a change in the near future despite the team’s struggles.
Though the Mets have muddled through their season, Collins last week became the longest-tenured manager in franchise history. During that time, a source said Wilpon has emerged as perhaps Collins’ most ardent supporter in the organization.
On Friday, Wilpon declined to comment after watching a portion of batting practice alongside Collins prior to the series opener against the Pirates.
Collins’ recent on-field decisions have come under fire from officials within the front office, according to the sources, and frustration has only grown with the Mets wobbling beneath the weight of injuries and expectations.
But while Collins’ job security has been part of the public discourse, that same level of scrutiny does not exist internally. With the manager in the final year of his contract, one source relayed a belief within the organization that it’s possible that change may not come during the season.
“To be honest, that’s the first time someone’s said that in three weeks,” Collins said, when asked a question about his job security. “I don’t really know anything about it. But yeah, it’s part of the territory as you know.”
For now, Collins has been insulated from the hot seat even though the past week has revealed several issues ranging from miscommunication with general manager Sandy Alderson to the management of a burned-out bullpen, which the sources said has left some Mets officials fuming.
Bullpen management has been a particular sore point between Collins and team brass. Bullpen usage became a flashpoint on Wednesday, when the Mets blew a late lead to the Padres, partly because Jerry Blevins and Paul Sewald were unavailable because Collins had used them in mop-up duty the day before.
The Mets (19-26) arrived in Pittsburgh after dropping two of three against the woeful Padres. They began the day seven games under the .500 mark and 8 1/2 games out of first place in the National League East.
Said Collins: “You just grind it out.”