Mets manager Terry Collins enters his “lame duck” season

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It’s uncommon for managers to begin a season with just one year remaining on their contract, so much so that the name for that is a “lame duck” manager, but that’s exactly what Terry Collins will be doing with the Mets.

General manager Sandy Alderson indicated yesterday on SNY that the team has not discussed a contract extension with Collins, saying:

I think it will only be an issue if Terry makes it an issue or I make it an issue. I hope we don’t let the media make it an issue, although it’s a question that I’m sure will be asked, especially early in spring training.  But I’ve talked to Terry. I think he’s comfortable with his situation. And I know that whatever happens this season, there will be a fair evaluation at the end.

“I think it will only be an issue if Terry makes it an issue or I make it an issue” is a pretty amazing bit of GM-speak, really.

As for the other stuff, Alderson can basically be certain that the New York media will constantly ask Collins about it and will probably ask Mets players about it, especially if the team is struggling. But then again if the team is struggling Collins will probably wind up getting fired anyway.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman not considering demoting struggling Greg Bird

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Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.

GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”

Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

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Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.

Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.

The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.