A strong start to September for the Mets—they're 7-3 so far this month—has at least temporarily quelled the pitchforks aimed at skipper Terry Collins, who is fighting to keep his job while trying to protect the club's future at the same time.
Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal talks to Collins and delves into just how tough it is to balance the present with the future.
As the Mets' manager, it is his job to win every day, no matter what the numbers say. Until it becomes impossible for the Mets to advance, Collins's instincts tell him to keep fighting, keep pushing. He is passionate and intense and emotional. The idea of admitting defeat even a day before he has to pains him to his core.
Whether you are for Collins returning or not, his current predicament is one any manager dreads. The Mets entered Thursday night's game with the Nationals with a 0.1 percent chance of making the playoffs. An ugly 6-2 defeat—Washington's 12th straight victory at Citi Field—locked another bolt on New York's door to whatever postseason fantasies they may have.
For Collins, the difficulty will continue, at least until his club has been officially eliminated from the playoff race. Balancing his burning desire to win against protecting his young players for 2015 and beyond is what he now faces, a future he may not even be a part of.
"You know, it's hard. It's hard, because we're trying to win games here. We're basically in the hunt still, even though it may be a long shot. We're still in there, that's all you care about, and that's what makes coming to the park fun. But we've made a commitment here to the organization and to these kids that they're going to leave here healthy. And you can't go back on that."
After beginning his managerial career with five straight winning seasons—three with the Astros and two with the Angels—Collins is enduring his fifth consecutive sub-.500 campaign, leaving him out of the playoff picture for a 10th time in as many years as a major league skipper.
For now, Collins is being forced to reconcile his duties to win for the betterment of the Mets. There's just no guarantee the club will reward him for doing so.