Collins reflects on managing at Citi Field

Collins reflects on managing at Citi Field

NEW YORK -- Before what is likely to be his final game managing at Citi Field, Terry Collins reflected on two events in particular.

One was the Mets' home opener in 2011, a game that Collins cherished. He recalled "how exciting it was to be back managing again, and the elation of being back in that dugout" following more than a decade spent in Japan and the Minor Leagues.

The other was 2015 World Series Game 5, the most "exciting" and "frustrating" night of Collins' 47-year professional baseball career.

"I'll remember those," Collins said.

Collins insists, though, that such memories do not occupy the forefront of his mind. While Mets officials have operated for weeks under the assumption that Collins will not return as manager next season, he demurs when asked about it, focusing instead on the final four games of this season. The front office and ownership will discuss Collins' future with him after Sunday's game, with an announcement expected early next week.

It may become a major shakeup for the Mets, with pitching coach Dan Warthen also reportedly on the way out. When asked about Warthen on Wednesday, Collins defended the pitching coach, who was already installed in that position when Collins came on board in 2011.

"This guy puts his heart and soul into his job," Collins said. "This has been a rough year when you look at your pitchers and they've come up with all different varieties of injuries. It's not just one thing. He's done a good job. He prepares them. Guys get better. I've seen them up close get better. And he's done a great job.

"When you enter the season, you're the pitching coach with arguably one of the best rotations in the history of the New York Mets, who have been pitching-rich forever. Not to be able to work with those guys that you started the season with, yeah, it's pretty frustrating."

Hitting coach Kevin Long and assistant Pat Roessler are also not under contract for next season. Though the organization values both, Long could choose to move on if he is not promoted to manager, a position he is said to covet. Other potential replacements for Collins include Alex Cora, Chip Hale and Bob Geren, all of whom have ties to the organization.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.