Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported Saturday that Terry Collins will be back as Mets manager in 2015, despite the fact, as Heyman writes, that “there hasn’t been a great deal of outward enthusiasm for the job Collins has done this year” among Mets brass. That is also the general feeling among most fans, so it might be surprising to learn that Collins is one of the longest-serving managers in Mets history.
Davey Johnson sat in the Mets dugout longer than any other manager — six full seasons plus 44 games. That just tops Bobby Valentine by 13 games.
Then, curiously, come the members of the four-year club. It seems four seasons is the tipping point for Mets managers. Casey Stengel retired in the middle of his fourth season. Gil Hodges passed away after four years. Yogi Berra was fired in his fourth season. Joe Torre was fired after his fourth full season. And Willie Randolph was fired in the middle of his fourth year.
If Terry Collins can make it through more than 117 games in 2015, he will pass Torre for third on the longevity list. There are actually a lot of similarities between the Mets careers of Collins and Torre. Torre took over a terrible team and was fired for its poor performance, the same fate that could eventually befall Collins. It may be difficult to remember but Torre, just like Collins, was often criticized for his head scratching moves. But the big difference is that Torre was a rookie manager who was learning on the job while Collins is a veteran who has learned all that he will ever learn.
As far as winning percentage, Terry Collins ranks ninth out of 16 (not counting interim managers) at .468, much better than Torre’s .405 but somehow worse than the legendary Joe Frazier (.488). In other words, not very good.
Mets managers average 3.3 years on the job; not very long indeed. So it is a bit of a surprise to see Terry Collins lasting so long.