We all want our manager to put people into a position to succeed. That’s the whole theory behind the LOOGY or platooning or having a closer. So, if it’s a good idea for players, can it be applied in other ways for a baseball team?
Supposedly, Carlos Beltran indicated that he wanted Terry Collins as his bench coach. From an outsider’s perspective, this is an absolutely horrible idea. Does anyone think that making decisions in the dugout in real time was a strength of Collins?
No one ever accused me of being a Collins fan. That’s because in my estimation, his weaknesses outweighed his strengths. But it’s not like there was nothing in the “strengths” column in my Collins calculation.
At the top of the (very short) list of his strengths would be how Collins handled the media. The guy managed in New York for seven seasons and you can count on the fingers of one hand the number of media controversies he had. And still have fingers left over.
So, yeah go ahead and give Collins a uniform and put him in the dugout. Have him available to both Beltran and players alike. But instead of him being the bench coach, make him the media coach. Don’t let him make in-game decisions. Let him talk to the press about the team before and after the game. It’s likely to be a weakness of Beltran, so why not let an old pro do it?
In the NBA, the league makes the coaches talk to the press at halftime. Gregg Popovich has become famous for his terse answers in these interviews. But David Fizdale doesn’t do them. Instead, he has one of his assistant coaches handle this duty.
If Mike Miller can answer these questions instead of Fizdale, there’s no reason Collins couldn’t do the same for Beltran.