NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — While Terry Collins is entering the final year of his contract with the Mets, he has decided not to let his status as a lame-duck manager become an issue.
“It is what it is,’’ Collins told the New York Post. “I don’t want anything to take away from what we’re trying to do. I don’t want this to be an issue, it’s not with me. I’ve reached that stage in my career where I love what I do. I think we’ve got a chance to compete. That’s all we’re going to try to do, is get better. (General manager) Sandy (Alderson) and I talk every single day, and at the end of the season we’ll talk about it then.
“But right now it is not an issue. I have no problem where I stand.’’
Where he stands is with a team that is not expected to make much of a stir in the upcoming 2013 season. But with the right amount of health, Collins believes that anything can happen.
“Every manager in the game truly believes that things are better than what they look like,’’ he told the newspaper.
Before injuries and frustrating play claimed the 2012 season from the Amazin’s, the team entered the All-Star break in the playoff hunt, posting a record of 46-40. They finished the season with 74 wins, three shy of their total under Collins in 2011. If 2013 is “the same old Mets,” he is expected to be replaced.
Despite the added pressure, Collins told the Post that he will be taking after two friends that were in similar spots last year: Detroit’s Jim Leyland and Cincinnati’s Dusty Baker. Both coaches made it to the postseason in their final contract year and have been reinstated.
Leyland told reporters on the first day of spring training last year, “This is not going to be an issue, I am not going to talk about it and we’re going to talk about it at the end of the year. End of story.”
“That’s the way to do it,” Collins told the Post.
As for his 2013 squad, Collins is confident that his team will provide a performance worth watching.
“I have all the confidence in the world in the people who Sandy and (assistants) J.P. (Ricciardi) and Paul (DePodesta) have brought in,’’ said Collins. “Our pitching staff is going to be fine. In the bullpen, we are bringing in some quality arms and our young pitching is getting better; it’s getting close. Our infield is very good. Just because we don’t have (Carlos) Beltran or a big name in the outfield, (that) doesn’t mean our outfield can’t compete.’’
Pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie next Wednesday.
Will Collins keep his job through the entire 2013 season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…