Mets’ Terry Collins defends bullpen use amid criticism

PHILADELPHIA — New York Mets manager Terry Collins has defended his use of the bullpen early in the season after published reports quoted unnamed team officials who disapproved of the job he did.

"It’s part of the job," Collins said Friday during his pregame session with reporters. "You sit here and make the best decisions that you think are in the best interest of those involved. We never sent anyone out there to hurt anybody. Never have and never will. The players, training staff and coaches all make inputs. You make the best decisions you can."

The Mets are 69-90, a hugely disappointing season after playoff appearances the previous two years, and changes are expected. When asked about the unnamed criticism that appeared in both Newsday and the New York Post, Collins was blunt.

"It’s piling on time," Collins said. "So they do."

In particular, Collins was asked about the use of closer Jeurys Familia, who was used 11 times in 17 games during a stretch in late April and early May after returning from a 15-game suspension for violating the Major League Baseball personal conduct policy. Familia suffered an arterial clot in his right shoulder and did not return until Aug. 25.

"Seriously? Seriously?" Collins said. "With the (World Baseball Classic) and all the other factors? OK, I’ll take it. I’m the manager."

Collins has managed the Mets since 2011 and led the club to the World Series in 2015. At 68, he is the oldest manager in the majors, and he has managed more games than anyone else in club history. His contract expires after this season.