PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Like a lot of New York Mets fans, Manager Terry Collins is tired of waiting for a playoff run.
“We’ve been sitting around for four years asking everybody to be patient and even the players,” Collins said Feb. 21 after the first workout for pitchers and catchers.
“Well, it’s time,” he said. “We’ve got guys now that have been in the big leagues for four and five years. It’s time for them to step up and play the game the way everybody expects it to be played.”
A day earlier, Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson said five years was enough to turn around a franchise, regardless of payroll constraints.
The Mets have not made the playoffs since 2006 and have not finished above .500 since 2008. The Alderson-Collins regime is heading into its fifth year.
New York was 79-83 and finished third in the NL East in 2014 while ace Matt Harvey and closer Bobby Parnell were out with injuries and star third baseman David Wright was ailing.
“What we accomplished last year with the fact that we didn’t have our No. 1 starter, we didn’t have our closer, our third baseman played hurt most of the season,” Collins said.
“There were a lot of positives going into the offseason and I say, Hey, it’s time,’” he said.
The Mets were relatively quiet this offseason. They signed right fielder Michael Cuddyer to a two-year, $21 million deal and brought in John Mayberry Jr. to bolster the bench.
But the team expects to have Harvey and Wright healthy for a full year and hope to have Parnell back between mid-April and early-May.
“We should match up against a lot of teams, now we just have to go play,” Collins said. “It’s all about execution. … There’s no reason why, if we can’t play up to expectations and what we think the caliber of players we have, we’ll be playing in October.”