The New York Mets had a magical ride to the World Series in 2015. Terry Collins led his club to the NL Pennant, but that’s where that ride came to an end.
It was a controversial end for some as Collins’ decision to send Matt Harvey back out for the ninth inning of Game 5 is one that Mets fans relive over and over.
Collins stuck by that decision he made in Game 5 of the 2015 World Series and explained why while appearing on Audacy’s Original "Damon Amendolara's New York Accent" this week.
“You’d make a decision and before that decision is made, you’re thinking about ‘I can do this or I can do this,’” Collins said (13:45 in player above). “Then you pick the one that you think is going to be successful, and if it’s not successful, you got to just ride it and wear it. That’s part of it.”
“Everybody’s allowed to have an opinion,” Collins continued. He also mentioned that “there are a lot of real smart people after something happened that didn’t work saying ‘Well I would’ve done the other thing.’”
And that’s what Collins loves about baseball, especially in New York.
“I think everybody’s allowed to have an opinion,” he said. “I think that’s what’s great about baseball and that’s one of the things I enjoyed about New York. People follow the game. They know the game. They do have opinions. After the Matt Harvey situation, I’ve had 2,000 people tell me ‘Glad you left him in,’ I got 2,000 people that said ‘You should’ve taken him out.’ The point is it’s a passionate, passionate fanbase and that’s what makes it so exciting.”
Collins’ decision with Harvey in Game 5 of the World Series is what some people may remember him for. Even if the former manager wanted to forget about that game, fans won’t let him.
“It’s hard not to (relive it) because I have so many passionate Mets fans that I still see today who still talk about it so I do relive it,” Collins said (15:25 in player above). “I thought it was the right decision at the time. Matt deserved to go back out there. He was pitching brilliantly, wasn’t tired. The place was electric. I thought it was the right move and it didn’t work out. But I look back now and I don’t say ‘Jeez, I should’ve did this.’ I made that move. I thought it was the right move and it turned out not to be. I wouldn’t change it now.”
Harvey’s innings limit was something that Collins and the Mets had to navigate throughout the season. Collins recalled taking Harvey out of a game against the Yankees after just five innings.
That was on September 20, 2015. Harvey left the mound with a 1-0 lead – and only allowed one hit – and the Mets bullpen imploded en route to an 11-2 loss.
“The next day he walked into my office and he said ‘Give me the ball.’ He said ‘I’m all done worrying about this other stuff. I want to pitch and I want to pitch here,’” Collins said. “And you know what, he earned that.
“So in Game 5, that was me saying ‘You know what, you’ve earned this. You did what you’re supposed to do as a professional. You took the baseball. This is your moment, now go do it.’ So I don’t regret that.
“Because it’s also a part of what you have to do to get your players to believe in themselves and believe in you as a manager that you’ll trust them and I did that with Matt.”
Even after all this time, Collins wouldn’t call a mulligan if he had a second chance.
“I love when players have passion themselves,” he said. “When Matt walked up to me and said ‘I’m fine. This is my game. I want to finish it.’ That spoke volumes to me. So I sent him back out.”