AGAINST ALL ODDS, TERRY'S TOPS IN TOWNBy Adam Rubin
Is the Mets' record jaw-dropping? Hardly. But Terry Collins nonetheless has done the best managerial job in New York.
From navigating the move of Carlos Beltran from center field to right field without creating friction, to keeping the clubhouse believing after a 5-13 start, to presiding over the Mets' overachieving ways while missing David Wright and Ike Davis, Collins deserves kudos.
Said Collins: "We've had some losses where, I'm telling you, human nature would have had them say, 'We're done. Fold it up.'"
Yet that has not been the case. The Mets traveled to American League division leaders Texas and Detroit heading into the Subway Series. And the Mets won both series, despite being outgunned in the power department.
The Mets took two of three games in Texas despite being outhomered 7-0 in that series. Then, Wednesday, the Mets scored the most runs in franchise history (16) in a game in which they did not go deep. They survived five Tigers long balls to clinch another road series.
The Yankees may lead their division. But, as Willie Randolph learned five years ago, that does not mean he has done the better managerial job.
Remember the National League Manager of the Year vote in 2006? Joe Girardi, who guided the Florida Marlins to a 78-84 record and fourth-place finish that season, beat out the division-winner Randolph, getting 18 first-place votes to Randolph's eight.
Now, Girardi is on the other -- and short -- end of that who-has-done-a-better-job argument.
JOE KNOWS MONEY CAN'T BUY EVERYTHINGBy Andrew Marchand
Joe Girardi has done a better job than Terry Collins because he has to work with a shoestring budget. I'm kidding, but a $200 million payroll buys you a lot of things, but not much credit if you are the manager.
And Girardi has done a heckuva job.
When judging managers, we generally go with our preconceived notions of how a team will play, and then if they surpass it we give the leader his due. Collins deserves a lot of praise, no doubt.
Girardi should be judged on what has gone on, not as much on what was expected.
Girardi has turned in the best record in the American League so far, despite barely or no contribution from his preseason No. 2 starter (Phil Hughes), his seventh-inning guy (Joba Chamberlain) and his eighth-inning guy (Rafael Soriano). Meanwhile, his future Hall of Fame shortstop (Derek Jeter) is not nearly the same player.
Among his regular players, only Curtis Granderson is having a career year.
What Collins has done with the Mets, it seems, is change the attitude. What Girardi has done is maintain the attitude.
The Yankees are businesslike and they haven't fallen for excuses. They could have easily sat around and lamented having failed to sign Cliff Lee and losing Andy Pettitte to retirement. Girardi wouldn't allow that.
Instead, since the spring, they have had an air of confidence that you would associate with a $200 million team, but not one with as many questions as it's had.
Girardi deserves credit for this. It is the best job he has done as Yankees manager.