Terry Collins almost certain to be back in 2014

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Terry Collins is technically a lame duck as the Mets’ skipper. His contract runs out at the end of the month and, given his 213-246 record at the helm, it’s not as if there is a rich history of success in New York compelling the Mets to extend him.  Nevertheless, Buster Olney reports that extend him they likely will:

Sources say it would be a complete surprise if the Mets don’t retain Manager Terry Collins; they have no plans to make a change.

Earlier this year Sandy Alderson gave Collins a vote of confidence, saying that the decision to keep Collins on “isn’t just about wins and losses. It’s about how we approach the game and fully taking into account what he has to work with.” Collins hasn’t had much in that regard, having been given one of the worst outfields in baseball out of spring training, having a guy in Ike Davis who was supposed to be an anchor in the lineup struggle and be demoted, having lost David Wright for a chunk of the season and now having lost his ace in Matt Harvey.

But through all of that, there has been decidedly less Mets-style drama this season, with the only knucklehead being Jordany Valdespin, who was exiled as soon as his head-knucklery reached a tipping point.  Beyond that, relatively smooth sailing and good attitudes and that’s about as much as you can expect from a team in the Mets’ competitive position.  In light of that, it seems like a good move to bring Collins back.

The Red Sox start is ridiculous

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The red-hot Red Sox completed a sweep of the previously red-hot Angels last night, outscoring them 27-3 in their three-game series. Last night’s game was, relatively speaking, a close one, with the Sox winning “only” by six runs. They did manage to strike out Shohei Ohtani three times, though, so some style points help make up for the “squeaker.” Also worth noting that they held Mike Trout of all people to a 3-for-11 line in their three-game series. He did not score a single time and drove in no runs.

That series win puts the Sox at 16-2 on the year. They dropped their Opening Day game to the Rays, but then won their next six games against Tampa Bay, which I’d say makes up for it. In between those two series they swept a two-game series from the Marlins and afterwards they took two of three from the Yankees and three in a row from the Orioles. The only thing that even threatened to slow this juggernaut down is the weather, resulting in a postponement of Monday morning’s Patriot’s Day game. Somewhere in here we should notice that they’re doing this with their starting shortstop and starting second baseman on the disabled list.

As we’ve noted many times, their 16-2 record is the best start in the Red Sox’ 118-year history. It’s also the best start for any team since the 1987 Milwaukee Brewers began 17-1 (let us just forget, for the time being, that those Brewers lost 18 of 20 in May of that year). They are the fourth team since 1961 to win 16 of its first 18 games.

The Sox aren’t simply getting lucky here. They’ve scored 116 runs and have allowed only 50, which is a Pythagorean record of 15-3. They lead all of baseball in offense, scoring 6.44 runs a game, leading individually in average, on-base percentage and slugging. They are only three one hundredths of a run behind the Astros from leading all of baseball in pitching, allowing only 2.78 runs a game. They’re winning all of these games because, in the early going, they’ve simply been that dang much better than everyone they’ve played.

No, the Sox are not going to go 144-18, as they are currently on pace to do. Yes, they are going to find a lot more trouble in their schedule once they play the Orioles, Rays and Marlins less, play a healthier Yankees team more and face off against the Astros, the Blue Jays, the Indians, the Twins and some tougher interleague opponents. This is baseball, obviously, and no one makes it through a season without rough patches, long, short and numerous.

Still: this has been one whale of a start for Boston. Those wins are in the bank. It’s been quite the thing to see.