The New York Mets are surging at the moment. While most of the credit has to be given to GM Sandy Alderson for making key trades at the deadline, some of the credit has to go to 5th year manger Terry Collins. Some may not like him, but they can’t ignore that Collins has skyrocketed himself into the National League Manager of the Year discussion.
If you told anyone at the beginning of the season that the Mets would be sitting at 82-61 with 19 games left, they would’ve laughed in your face. Before the All-Star break, the Mets ranked in the bottom third of the National League in basically every single offensive stat. Since then, however, they rank near the top in all of those offensive stats. Much of that turnaround has to do with the acquisition of Yoenis Cespedes at the deadline. In 39 games with the Mets, he’s hit .310 with 16 home runs, 41 runs batted in, and 29 extra base hits. The moves to get Cespedes, Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe, Tyler Clippard, and Addison Reed were all great moves by Alderson. But it was up to Collins to make the lineup, rotation, and bullpen work, and boy has he ever! He now has major league-quality players that can form a dangerous lineup along with their extraordinary pitching rotation.
Collins has done an exceptional job handling injuries as well. He had to keep shuffling guys in and out of the lineup to make due with all of the injuries. When David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud got hurt early in the season, everyone thought that it was going to be tough to come back from. Well, the Mets didn’t skip a beat. Also, the way Collins handled Matt Harvey‘s innings situation was superb. He didn’t prolong any of his starts to get one more inning no matter how much Harvey wanted to stay out there. Everything that has happened to Terry Collins and the Mets this year, he has dealt with with class and professionalism.
Joe Maddon of the Chicago Cubs and Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals are also in the picture for Manager of the Year. Maddon, like Collins, is managing a young team that may be ready for a long postseason run next year. However, both teams look certain to be in the fold come October. Every time you see the Cardinals, they’re in first place. While the Cardinals are still winning, Matheny should always be a Manager of the Year Candidate. But with the injury to ace Adam Wainwright, and seemingly no offense, this year has been fairly interesting in how Matheny has handled the situation. I believe it is a two-man race between Collins and Maddon. I only say this because everyone expected the Cardinals to be the Cardinals. No one expected the Mets or the Cubs to be this good this season. So kudos to both managers for seemingly exceeding expectations.
What Terry Collins has done for the Mets this year was surprising but also exceptional. In his contract year, he has helped manage a team that looked to be a year away from the postseason to a legitimate World Series contender. Although a lot of the fans don’t like him, they have to respect the job he has done. He is reminiscent of the Energizer Bunny at 66 years old, and he deserves to be the National League Manager of the Year.