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Terry Collins won't take the hit for Mets' collapse and will return next season

Manager Terry Collins won't be taking the blame for the Mets' awful second half and will be back to manage the team next year, people familiar with the situation say.

Some fans are suggesting that perhaps a change is in order after a dreadful second half that has seen the Mets go 4-21 at home, but Collins' bosses all are supportive of him. "Terry's doing a good job," one high-ranking Mets person said.

In a hurtful indignity, the Nationals and Braves have both won more games at Citi Field in the second half than the Mets, with six victories and five. The Mets are 65-77 after an encouraging first half.

The only question appears to be whether Collins returns as a lame duck or is given an extension of a year or two. While Mets people indicate that isn't something currently on the frontburner, in most cases major-league managers aren't made to be brought back in lame-duck situations, so it's likely he receives a short extension.

Collins is under contract to manage the Mets through next year. His option for 2013 on his original deal was picked up last winter. Collins' salary is not known but he is believed to be one of the lowest-paid managers in a major market.

Mets people especially like Collins' ability to work with their prospects, many of whom were in the minors while Collins was a minor-league executive with the team. He was originally hired by COO Jeff Wilpon and ex-GM Omar Minaya, but he is popular with the new regime as well.

Ex-Mets sparkplug Wally Backman, currently managing in the minors for New York, is seen as one possible heir apparent to Collins.

 
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