I’ve decided to give New York Mets manager, Terry Collins, a special tribute for what he has been able to accomplish with this team. It was only last year when General Manager, Sandy Alderson, made the announcement that Collins would be the newest skipper in the organization. Wally Backman, the second fan favorite next to Bobby Valentine, was passed over. While many fans found this to be outrageous, it has seemed to work out. Backman may have had some seasoning in the minors with Brooklyn Cyclones, he still was not the right man for the job. Let him move up the same way players do. No harm in hard work and patience.
Some fans argued Collins was too much of a hothead to come here and work with the players stemming from his past job with the Anaheim Angels. I felt a “hothead” was exactly what this team needed. They needed someone who will give them a kick in the pants and not apologize for it. The Mets have always been the blue-collared team of New York baseball. Collins has brought that back to Flushing with a little help from Justin Turner and his unbelievable amount of hit-by-pitches.
The fans have renewed hope in a team many destined for failure in 2011. Yet Collins came into spring training and this season believing in this team. With his big players like Ike Davis and David Wright out, he is forced to work with smaller guys like Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada, and Turner to keep the hope of a playoff berth alive. It reminds me of another team back in 2000 with players like Benny Agbayani and Jay Peyton among others. They were no-name players that helped bring another World Series to Flushing.
Say what ever it is you want to say, but give credit where it is due. Collins has worked miracles with this team. They are 7.5 games out of the wildcard. The Mets should be able to overtake the Pittsburgh Pirates in that race to move up one spot be fore the All-Star break. After the break, key players in Wright and Reyes should be back with this team to really help move the team up. With the trade deadline fast approaching, Alderson will need to bring some key pieces to put this team over the top, especially if he really is intent on trading Carlos Beltran rather than watching this season play out with him. Yet no matter the direction Alderson goes, you can bet any amount of money that Collins will make it work somehow.
The preaching of honesty to the fans and players has proven to be important for Collins. He lets it be known exactly what he feels. There is no dancing around questions. He is not one to care what anyone thinks about what he says and it is refreshing. No gag orders could be issued to silence him. He speaks his mind. It does not matter if you are a superstar. If you cannot take the heat, find another ball club. These players respect him and are playing hard for him. It shows. You see the passion at the plate, on defense and on the base paths.
So to all of the fans out there, keep hope alive. This team is going places. Believe it! Your manager certainly does.
Tanya recently did a video chat with Mets360 friend Kerel Cooper. Check it out here.