Mets Manager Terry Collins is Not Into Statistics

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Mets Manager Terry Collins is Not Into Statistics

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mets logo featuredI’m not going to use this space to blast Mets manager Terry Collins. By all accounts, he’s a reasonably well-liked and respected manager, and, perhaps more importantly, he’s been successful. We don’t know a ton about how managerial skill translates directly to on-field success, but we do know that it matters, and we also know there’s more than one way to be good at it.

And, hey, whatever he was doing last year clearly worked well for a team that few expected to competitive, even well into the middle of the season. They went to the World Series, sweeping the Cubs in the NLCS along the way.

All that said, Collins offered some thoughts on statistics in an interview with USA Today, and I was taken aback.

“I’m not sure how much an old-school guy can add to the game today,’’ Collins told USA Today. “It’s become a young man’s game, especially with all of the technology stuff you’ve got to be involved in. I’m not very good at it. I don’t enjoy it like other people do. I’m not going to sit there today and look at all of these (expletive) numbers and try to predict this guy is going to be a great player. OPS this. OPS that. GPS. LCSs. DSDs. You know who has good numbers? Good (expletive) players.”

Collins got into a bit more in the interview, which you can check out here.

Setting aside some of the later acronyms he used – I’m thinking GPS and LCS were jokes, but I can’t quite place what DSDs are – it’s not like OPS is an especially complicated or nuanced stat (indeed, it’s actually pretty ineffective in a lot of ways, most notably how it treats a point of OBP as equal to a point of SLG). But it does give you a rough idea of how good a hitter is at the things that matter – getting on base and doing damage at the plate. Everyone should agree that those things matter, and whether you measure them in a stat or not, it helps you identify “good (expletive) players.”

To the extent Collins is genuine in his comments, and doesn’t utilize statistics at all when making certain managerial decisions, I’m blown away – especially when you consider that he’s working under a front office that is undoubtedly sabermetrically-inclined.

As I said, though, I’m not going to bash Collins. I’m sure there was some measure of joking around in there, and I’m also sure that he’s had his fair share of success. This may also be his best way to effectively relate with and assist his players, which is perhaps the most important thing a manager can do.

I’ll say only this: I am reminded of just how strong the synergy is between the Cubs’ front office (who builds the roster) and the Cubs’ manager (who utilizes that roster in games). Philosophically, they are aligned in so many ways, and I suspect that helps a great deal as the season plays out.


Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.