4. Strategic Flexibility Is a Plus
New York Mets manager Terry Collins is known as an old-school baseball guy. That was probably a liability in the World Series. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Terry Collins seems like a nice man. A number of beat writers covering the Mets and other teams were legitimately happy for him when he reached the first World Series of his long career in professional baseball. But Collins did what old schoolers like him tend to do. They stick with the archaic baseball blueprint no matter what.
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Let’s face it. Right-handed reliever Tyler Clippard was a train wreck. Everyone knew it. That’s why you could almost hear all the air get sucked out of Citi Field when Clippard trotted out to the mound in Game 4. It was the collective gasp of more than 40,000 people who knew disaster was imminent. But, heck, Collins thought, Clippard was the setup man. End of story. Turns out, it was also the end of game for the Mets.
Collins also could have recognized that rookie outfielder Michael Conforto was the run producer Cespedes used to be and swapped them in the order. But old-school convention states clearly that you stick with what got you there.
Ned Yost used to be known for this sort of behavior. While he still enjoys a good sac bunt, he showed some new-age flexibility in Game 4, bringing in his closer, Wade Davis, for the six-out save. Yeah, Ned!