NEW YORK — The New York Mets were three outs away from sending the World Series back to Kansas City when Terry Collins, weathered baseball lifer, did something that weathered baseball lifers are not supposed to do: He surrendered to his human instinct. He locked eyes with his pitcher, Matt Harvey, and listened as the kid spoke passionately from the heart.
“No way. No way. I’m not coming out,” the Fox camera caught Harvey saying. “I want this game. I want it bad. You’ve got to leave me in. … I want this game in the worst way,” was how Collins said he heard it.
It was the right call at the right time, no matter what Collins said in his news conference after this soul-crushing 12-inning defeat was complete. Sometimes, good managing and good coaching mean listening to your very best players. At the time Harvey dramatically raced from the dugout to the mound, inspiring an eruption in the stands, how many witnesses truly thought this was a bad idea?
“I let my heart get in the way of my gut. I love my players. And I trust them. … And it didn’t work. It was my fault.” Said Mets manager Terry Collins on his decision to let Matt Harvey start the ninth inning. http://espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs2015/story/_/page/playoffs15_OConnorCollins/terry-collins-made-right-call-matt-harvey
What happened to the Mets? The same thing that happens to all of us and the rest of us: there are times when we make the right move at the wrong time or the wrong move at the right time. Because all of our decisions are not the best ones. And even if we make what we thought was the correct decision at the time, unfortunately, things don’t always work out the way we want.
What happened to the Mets? It’s like the children scolding the parents, or worse yet, the inmates running the asylum. Yes managers and coaches and skippers need to listen to their players just like teachers need to listen to their students and supervisors need to listen to their employees. But parents need to be parents and coaches need to be coaches. And even if Harvey should have been allowed to back to the mound in the ninth inning, after he surrendered that lead-off walk, he should have been yanked. End of discussion.
And so the lesson is this: if you’re a player worth your salt, you want the ball in your hands with the game on the line. And Harvey is to be commended for that. On the other hand, managers are paid to MANAGE the game and their players, and somebody needs to make the hard decisions and the tough calls and stick by them, popular or not. And hopefully, just hopefully, the right call is made at the right time.