I’m genuinely surprised by the number of people who think Terry Collins should be fired today.
Look, even Sandy Alderson understood how limited the roster was this winter. And either he made a conscious choice to not spend money he was offered, which strikes me as ridiculously unlikely, or the huge financial limitations of the team’s owners is once again manifesting itself, this year a bit earlier than in past seasons. What do you think?
People have been comparing this awful loss Tuesday night on Twitter with other recent awful ones. It’s pretty simple: when a decision is made to stock a major league roster with players that really aren’t major leaguers, some of the results are going to be utterly absurd.
Anthony Recker is 29 years old. His career OPS+ is 41. So he’s got to be here for defense. And his passed ball/wild pitch combo last night certainly didn’t meet the minimum standard for defense-first catcher.
But really, we know why he’s here. Anthony Recker makes the league minimum, and the Mets were able to sign him on a minor league deal.
So many of the true howler losses happened for the same reasons. No money for a center fielder? Well, Mets have a Jordany Valdespin hanging around. Let’s see what happens when they stick him in center field, despite a complete lack of minor league training? This is what happens.
This is not a plan, by the way. This is triage.
Can only afford one lefty reliever? Well, abuse him. Then the next guy. What other options do you have?
This isn’t anything new. It isn’t about Terry Collins, or Sandy Alderson.
No left fielder? Put Daniel Murphy there. Let’s see what happens.
No backup first baseman? Let’s see what happens when Jeremy Reed, a career outfielder, gives it a go.
Hey, Lucas Duda can hit. Maybe he can play right field! Oh, right, he can’t. Maybe left field?
This is the pernicious result of ownership starving the team of resources. At the top, there’s no ability to add star power, so things like the pursuit of Michael Bourn become a sham. No free agents left? Fred Wilpon has money again! (Except he doesn’t.)
But the rest of the roster is filled not by need, or by basic attempts to compete, but with bits of string. And the shocking losses shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone. Rebuilding does not have to mean forgoing even basic attempts to compete by bringing in talent on short-term contracts, or building minimal depth to withstand any injuries.
“I’m pissed off. I’m extremely pissed off,” Collins said after the game.
He’s smart enough to know who to be angry at. Are you?