Terry Collins won't tolerate excuses with Mets losses and injuries piling up

Terry Collins has been around long enough to know when his team is nearing a crossroads. That’s why the New York Mets veteran manager stepped to the forefront following Thursday’s 7-5 loss to the Braves and delivered a loud and clear message:

No excuses allowed!

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With Thursday’s loss, the Mets have dropped six straight games and 10 out of their last 11 overall. At the same time, the Washington Nationals have been baseball’s hottest team, winning 10 of their last 11 to open up a 7 1/2 game lead on New York.

Those trends alone would be alarming, but not grounds for panic. When you combine them with the team’s previous injuries and new injury concerns for Noah Synergaard and Yoenis Cespedes, that’s when resignation, panic and even a reliance on excuses might begin.

That’s where the Mets are firmly positioned right now, and that why’s Collins is working hard to keep his team engaged and focused at a time when the season could easily go off the rails.

“As far as Ces goes, it’s a big hole in the lineup,” Collins said after Thursday’ loss. “But as I told the players, last year we lost David Wright, and he’s out again this year. We lost Cabby (Asdrubal Cabrera). We lost Walk (Neil Walker). We lost Lucas Duda. We lost Ces. We lost Harvey. We lost Jacob deGrom. We lost Steven Matz. Okay. We still made it through. We can do it again.”

“But it’s gotta start right now. Okay, the weather’s going to start changing. You can no longer use that as an excuse. Not that we have, but that can no longer be the excuse. It’s now time to go out and grind as we did last year. It’s still April, I understand that also, but we can no longer sit back and say, ‘Hey, look, you know, it’s ugly weather, we’ve got some guys hurt.’ No one cares.”

Mets manager Terry Collins is trying to rally his troops amid a really rough stretch. (AP)
Mets manager Terry Collins is trying to rally his troops amid a really rough stretch. (AP)

Thursday was a rough day. There’s no other way to describe it. Syndergaard was scratched from his scheduled start with a “tired arm.” The issue was further described as discomfort in his right biceps, which is something the Mets don’t want to push.

Then Cespedes aggravated what had been considered a minor hamstring ailment. Cespedes had missed three games with the injury before returning to the lineup Wednesday. Now he’s likely headed to the disabled list after pulling it while running out a fourth-inning double.

Those aren’t likely to be season-ending injuries for the individuals, but they mean the next couple weeks could be season-defining for the Mets.

Can they stay above water with the same effectiveness as last season? Or will they fall deeper into their rut, to the point where they won’t be able to recover.

Time will tell, but it’s clear Collins senses the urgency and wants to place a chip on each of his player’s shoulder. And the truth is his job might just depend on how they react.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!