The question posed to Terry Collins following the Mets’ loss to the Padres last Thursday was unflinching in its honesty. The response was equally blunt.
“This is the big leagues. These are men. They have to realize what they’re facing, they have to realize what it takes to play here 162 times,” Collins said. “I don’t necessarily mean young players. There are a lot of guys playing for jobs. Here. On this team. I want 25 guys next year willing to give me all they have 162 nights.”
A week later, the 59-63 Mets are 20 games back of Philadelphia in the NL East and 11 1/2 back of wild card-leading Atlanta after going 2-4 on a West Coast road trip.
It is into this maelstrom that the Mets welcome the Brewers and old friend Francisco Rodriguez for a three-game series.
The Mets traded K-Rod to Milwaukee on July 12 for two players to be named later in an attempt to rid the franchise of Rodriguez’s salary and the closer’s payroll crippling $17.5 million vesting option.
“We thank Frankie for his contributions to the Mets and wish him well with the Brewers,” Alderson said in a statement announcing the trade.