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Mets GM Alderson: Collins in no danger of losing job

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jun 11 2014 02:59:38 AM CDT
Updated On: Jun 11 2014 10:52:40 AM CDT
Baseballs, sports, MLB
NEW YORK -

If New York Mets manager Terry Collins didn't look or sound like a man under siege Tuesday afternoon, well, it's because he's not.

The criticisms of Collins have grown louder in New York as the Mets -- fresh off a 4-7 road trip in which they lost their final six games -- lurch their way toward what looks like a sixth straight sub-.500 season. On Monday, a New York Post story about Collins' job security featured the headline "Terry Collins' seat is sizzling…"

But general manager Sandy Alderson said Tuesday -- before the Mets snapped the losing streak with a 6-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field -- that Collins, who is in the first year of a two-year extension he signed last September, is in no danger of losing his job. Alderson met with Collins privately before speaking with reporters following batting practice at Citi Field.

"Sometimes you have to address topics you wouldn't otherwise because of all the noise that surrounds the situation," Alderson said. "That's kind of it in a nutshell."

Collins said he appreciated the vote of confidence from Alderson but that it wasn't necessary and that he wasn't fazed by the increasing scrutiny.

"It's part of the job -- all these things are all part of this job," Collins said. "It isn't going to change the way we come to the ballpark. Stay positive, stay upbeat, have some fun, get the guys ready to go out and play hard and see if we can win."

Collins certainly struck a positive and easy-going tone Tuesday, when he exhibited a bit of self-deprecating humor upon explaining why he moved shortstop Ruben Tejada, who batted seventh or lower in 43 of his first 44 starts this season, to the leadoff spot.

After praising Tejada for going back to his strength -- hitting line drives -- Collins said, "Now, that being said, he'll probably hit four fly balls today."

Sure enough, Tejada missed a leadoff homer by a few feet in the first inning, when he flew out to the wall in left field.

Later, Collins said he had no problem with the eagerness of right-handed pitcher Matt Harvey -- whose rehab from Tommy John surgery was slowed down this week by the Mets, who pushed back his first scheduled mound session -- to try and return from the operation in time to pitch for the Mets this season.

"He loves to pitch; he loves it," Collins said. "That's what his whole life's about."

Then, after a slight pause, Collins added, "Most of it," a winking nod to Harvey reveling in his status as a single superstar in New York.

Of course, nothing will relax Collins and quiet the speculation about his job security more than a few wins -- victories that he felt were obtainable even as the Mets were swept by the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants. The Mets held leads in five of those six games and have led in 21 of their 35 defeats this season.

"We know we've lost six (straight), we know exactly what's going on, that we've had a chance to win all six of them," Collins said. "They were close games. We didn't get blown out one time. We were one swing away from winning a lot of games. And that's what we're trying to do."