Apologies for not checking in yesterday. Anyway, here's my column on Terry Collins.
There's a lot of that "It doesn't matter who's managing the Mets" thinking going on. Eh. I think it matters some. A good amount, actually.
I think a manager creates an environment in the clubhouse, balances the team's long-term needs against its short-term needs on a daily basis, uses the proper mix of statistical analysis, scouting information and gut calls, understands bullpen usage and, in general, puts people in position to succeed.
That doesn't mean the best manager ever would've made World Series champions out of the 2010 Mariners, or that a horrendous manager would've dragged the Rangers to last place in the AL West. But I think managers can have a tangible impact.
Mets fans need look no further back than 2008, when the team responded very positively when Jerry Manuel (who, we soon learned, was no tactical genius) replaced Willie Randolph, who was genuinely disliked by the majority of his players. Again, there were other factors there; the Mets' schedule happened to get easier at the time of the change, following a string of tough road trips under Randolph. But there's little doubt that Manuel, simply by replacing the tense Randolph, created a better work environment.
I'm not at all convinced that Collins is the right person to do all of that for the Mets. But as I wrote in the column, I am convinced that Sandy Alderson is the right general manager to lead the Mets to higher ground. And if this is the guy in whom Alderson is entrusting the team, then Alderson and Collins deserves some benefit of the doubt.
Have a great day.