Who Should Replace Terry Collins?
Terry Collins is not returning as the New York Mets Manager in 2018, which may not be a bad thing. After a very disappointing season, a new manager could be just what is needed to clear the air and rejuvenate the team. His contract technically expires when this season ends in any case, so the timing couldn’t be better and nobody even needs to use the word “fired”. The thing most people are wondering now, of course, is who is going to replace him.
Could it be Bob Gerren?
Geren actually spent 4 seasons as the Mets bench coach, serving under Collins. He was also bench coach and then manager at Oakland Athletics from 2003 to mid-2011, but they didn’t ever make the playoffs during his 4 full seasons there. However, there were some contributing factors beyond his control and Sandy Alderson, the Mets’ General Manager, was a mentor to Billy Beane who is the one who hired Geren for Oakland in the first place. It seems reasonable to assume that Beane and Alderson share the same passion for embracing analytics and look for the same things when they are hiring people.
Could it be Kevin Long?
The Mets’ hitting coach since 2015, Long held the same position with the New York Yankees between 2007 and 2014. He knows the New York market well, which could make him an ideal replacement. He’s relatively young too, turning 51 in December 2017, so he could be more flexible than other candidates and more willing to fully integrate analytics into his managerial approach. Just as a CAD Casino benefits from flexibility, so too could the Mets.
Could it be Chip Hale?
Hale also has ties to the Mets; he was the third base coach for 2010 and 2011. Currently he is working in the same capacity at Oakland Athletics, and he also has direct managerial experience having occupied that role for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate for 3 seasons.
Hale has moved between coaching and managing positions for many years, but his success has not been consistent. Nonetheless, he does often do well and is also in his early 50s, with his 53rd birthday in December. Once again, if the Mets are looking for new blood to replace Collins’ old-school approach, they could hardly find a more eager candidate than Hale.
Could it be Ron Gardenhire?
Ron Gardenhire is part of the old guard in the same way that Collins is, and the Mets may not want to go in that direction. Having said that, he was the Minnesota Twins manager for 12 years, from 2002 to 2014, and took 6 division titles during his first 9 years in that role.
Gardenhire also spend the whole of his major league playing career with the Mets, from 1981 to 1985, so there is a certain synchronicity to him returning to the team. Plus he knows all about sports psychology too, having been on the field himself. However, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer earlier in 2017, so his health may need to be considered, but if this is good he could do very well.
Could it be Howard Johnson?
Johnson’s best playing years were spent with the Mets, and he has a lot of experience as a coach with them and with other teams too. His former teammate, Lenny Dykstra, said a few months ago that he should be hired as the Mets’ manager, and he is an appealing prospect. He has plenty of experience with the game and ties to the team, if not direct managerial exposure. Will it be one of these candidates or someone else? Only time will tell!