In the eyes of legendary New York Mets and New York Yankees pitcher Doc Gooden, this might be the best coaching job Terry Collins has done with the Mets in a year plagued by injuries to so many of his stars.
The Mets have battled through multiple long-term injuries to their starting pitchers this year as well as being undone with the long-term sidelining of several stars such as David Wright. Despite that Collins has the Mets in the playoffs, this after last season where he took the team to the World Series.
Gooden sees the coaching job done by Collins to get this beat-up team into the playoffs as better than last year, even if he doesn’t take his team all the way.
“Last year with the pitchers you have, just give them the ball and let them go. This year, a lot of guys have been injured, you’ve had to mix and match and keep the attitude positive,” Gooden told Metro. The former Mets and Yankees ace spoke at an event at Miami Mike’s Sports Zone held in conjunction with JAG Marketing. Over 150 fans stood in line at the autograph signing at the family-friendly sports restaurant last week.
“Collins has done a better job this year, this is where you really see where you have with the heart of the team. I think he’s doing great.”
Gooden, a four-time All-Star and the 1985 Cy Young award winner is excited about the Mets potential as they grabbed one of two wild card spots and will face the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.
“They’re playing well, they’ve had a lot of injuries. I think Terry Collins is doing a super job along with [general manager] Sandy [Alderson] and ownership. Obviously I’m a Mets fan,” Gooden said.
“I think this year has been more challenging with injuries but the guys have stepped up and are doing a great job.”
As for Collins, Gooden sounded genuinely excited about the Mets manager, who has drawn some criticism from fans this year for his late-game decisions. But given the injuries to the pitching staff as well as losing a couple of key bats for chunks of the season, just getting this team into the playoffs is quite an accomplishment.
One that Gooden thinks could make him National League Manager of the Year, although he mentions Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker as a strong candidate as well.
“I would definitely consider him,” Gooden said.
“Right now Collins would be my pick.”