There are going to be many story lines coming out of the New York Mets camp as we get ready for the start of the 2013 MLB season. The one story that will last until the end of the season and longer than the rest, however, is whether or not the Mets should extend the contract of their skipper, Terry Collins. Yesterday, maybe the most glaring endorsement for Collins came from Mets third baseman, and assumed (yet untitled) captain David Wright, as he spoke with Andy Martino of the Daily News.
Wright states that he would like Collins to stay and goes on to give his reasons to Martino:
“I like the intensity that he brings. I like the energy that he brings. For what we are trying to do here, he fits that mold perfectly. We have a lot of young, energetic players, and we have an energetic manager who knows a lot of those players.”
Yes, Collins has a fire lit beneath him and is a hands-on type manager who will help improve the young players who are developing on his roster. Of course Collins had to change a perception about his style, and his “hothead” mentality, and he has done that. But I believe the plan all along has been to get the Mets to this point0–the turning point–then go in another direction.
We also know that GM Sandy Alderson will not handle manager contract talks while the team is in-season. Collins’ lame-duck status will be thoroughly dissected from now until the end of the year, and rightfully so, but not for Collins being a bad manager. I don’t feel as if the Mets will move forward with Collins for the sole reason that they have a younger, more popular version waiting in the wings in Las Vegas.
Triple-A manager Wally Backman is a Mets icon that has been patiently waiting his turn, and wants an MLB managers position. The Mets will not be able to hold onto him for another two to three years if they extend Collins’ contract. Next season would be the perfect time to unleash Backman on this young club. Backman’s fire, intensity and penchant for helping young players grow matches Collins in all aspects. Alderson and the Wilpons need to make a decision, and I believe they have already made it.
I have stated for the past year and a half that the time for the future of the Mets to turn brighter will be when the young stars make their progression to the major league level, and Backman should be their leader. Wright, as well as anyone you talk with in the offices, may always toe the company line and endorse Collins, because, in all reality, he has done a very fine job since coming to Flushing. But Collins is not the answer.
The Mets are ready to turn that corner in 2014. Their pitching staff will be one to reckon with for years to come. They will finally have a major league catcher that can be a leader. The Mets will have money to spend on outfielders that can complete their club. They will be contenders, and Backman will make sure they achieve their goals. Alderson has had a plan from the beginning. That plan is now beginning to come to fruition, and Mets fans are asked, in not so many words, to give them one more year: 2013.