After last night’s blowout loss to the Phillies manager Terry Collins was asked by reporters whether the Mets had quit and replied: “You have to ask them.”
That was seemingly a pretty clear implication that he felt they had indeed quit, but today Collins told the same reporters he regretted his comment and doesn’t think they quit:
We know we’re going through a tough time. I’m very proud of this team, the way they played all year. The one thing I will never, ever talk about is their effort. Their effort has always been there. … That’s not the issue. The issue has been, as a manager you sit here and you try to fix it. You try to figure out how to fix it. And you pull out all your stops. No matter what you’ve done in the past, you try to find an answer to it. When you don’t have the answers anymore, it’s frustrating.
In a situation like this it’s always tough to tell how much of that is Collins defending his players and how much of that is Collins defending himself, because if a manager admits his team is no longer giving him a maximum effort … well, that’s usually the beginning of the end for the manager.
In other words, you can’t say “the players aren’t playing hard” without the next question being “well, isn’t it your job to make sure they are playing hard?”
Whatever the case, the Mets are 20-43 in the second half.