Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to discuss the meaning and significance of one specific word with you all tonight.
–verb (used with object) 1. to fail to fulfill the expectations or wishes of:
The New York Mets find new ways to disappoint their fans on a daily basis.
The definition is courtesy of Dictionary.com; the sentence is courtesy of yours truly.
Call it whining, call it part of being a Mets fan, call it whatever you want. The truth of the matter is the Amazins are no longer being amazing.
And when things start to go awry, the blame game begins. Who is at fault for the Mets' woes early this season?
The players? Not at all. Yes, some of the guys have under performed, but the team as a whole is playing great ball.
The GM? Sandy Alderson has done his best to try and help keep the sinking ship afloat.
The manager? I think we found our culprit.
Before you grab your torches and pitchforks and come for my head, let me clarify a bit. I don't hate Terry Collins.
The players showed willingness to play for him, which is more than can be said about his predecessor Jerry Manuel.
And while it was unrealistic to expect a playoff push from the Mets this year, Collins represented a step in the right direction.
He sent Ollie and Castillo packing. Surely this man is a godsend!
Sorry, he isn't our savior.
The root word in manager is manage, something that Terry failed at tremendously last night when the Mets hosted the Florida Marlins. Numerous questionable actions by Collins late pretty much led to a New York loss.
In the top of the ninth, with two away, Chris Coghlan stepped up to bat for the Fish against Francisco Rodriguez with a runner on second. Rather than go after Coghlan, Collins opted to intentionally walk him and face the struggling Hanley Ramirez instead.
Yes, the idea makes sense-on paper where only stats matter.
In stat land, Coghlan is a superior player to Ramirez this season. His batting average is 43 points higher. He has six more RBI than Ramirez. "Avoid the man at all costs!" screams the statistics.
The problem is we don't play baseball in the mythical land of statistics; baseball is played in the land of reality. The same reality that states Hanley Ramirez is Hanley Ramirez.
Yes, he's struggling this season, but he is the superstar on the Marlin roster. You don't earn that title by being the guy pitchers want to face.
Apparently superstar doesn't register in the mind of Collins. But who am I to question his call? It worked! Ramirez grounded out to end the inning.
And had this been Collins' only questionable action, I wouldn't be complaining. But wait, there's more.
The bottom half of the frame was where the game was essentially lost, thanks to Terry.
Tied at one, the Mets looked for a walk-off victory. Justin "Carrot Top" Turner (I'm hoping that nickname will catch on) led off the inning with an infield single, which put him on second after a throwing error by Ramirez.
A runner on second, nobody gone, and in steps Jason Pridie.
Pridie has shown he can hit. A single to the gap ends the game. Obviously, the best call is to try and bunt the runner over. Or at least according to Collins it is.
You see, in this situation, I let the batter swing the bat. Call me crazy, but I'll take my chances of my guy dropping one into the outfield. And if he hits a ground ball, he's out, but the runner moves up anyway. At least he gets the chance to win the game.
But no. Pridie is forced to bunt. Scratch that, attempt to bunt. The kid couldn't drop one in fair territory and ended up striking out. Turner stays at second, therefore making Terry's call one hundred percent ineffective.
The blunders didn't end there. Later in the inning, with two away, Willie Harris came up to bat. To counter, the Marlins send left hander Randy Choate in. Not to be outdone, the Mets use a pinch-hitter, Chin-Lung Hu.
I'm sure the only reason Hu was still on the team was in order for the squad to perform Abbott and Costello routines, because he only had one more hit than me this season.
Harris is a lefty, and has struggled against left handed pitchers, so in another visit to stat land, pinch hitting for Harris isn't a bad idea. But in both stat and reality land, Hu is atrocious. He can't perform in a pressure situation, or he does what he did yesterday: Ground out and end the inning.
The Mets could have easily won yesterday, and while the loss was credited to Ryota Igarashi, it belonged to Terry Collins.
Sorry Terry, I don't care how much the team loves playing for you. You need to prove you can manage to win a game before you fully win me over.