Mets announce hiring of Terry Collins

Posted: November 22, 2010 in Mets

Following weeks of speculation and interviews, the Mets are going with former Angels and Astros manager Terry Collins to replace Jerry Manuel.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t that excited about Collins, given his so-so track record (just above .500 career) and the way things deteriorated in Anaheim, when the Angels basically staged a mutiny during a nine-game losing streak.

The more I read about Collins, the more I like the hiring. The Mets’ minor-league coordinator last year, Collins has gotten rave reviews from players like Josh Thole and Dillon Gee, who say he’s very intense about things being done the right way, yet also a guy who can keep you loose with jokes around the batting case. Thole was in an awful slump the first month of the season at AAA Buffalo, but a visit from Collins helped calm him down and he turned things around, eventually earning the Mets’ starting catcher gig late in the year.

Former Angels outfielder Tim Salmon also had great things to say about Collins, saying he was very thorough and adamant about things being done the right away and players being held accountable. Manuel was simply too soft, too nice of a guy to really force any type of culture change in the clubhouse, which is what is needed at this point.

Getting back to Salmon’s comments, he implied Collins’ ultimate demise had a lot to do with Mo “Can’t Believe I Just Ate Australia” Vaughn, a “new-school” player, as relayed by Salmon. Sounds like Big Mo and a few others didn’t like to be criticized or informed they were doing something wrong (like eating the entire postgame buffet table).

Former Phillie player and manager (also a Met for a couple weeks in 1985) Larry Bowa applauded the hiring, saying Collins will bring structure to the Mets, something they have been lacking for far too long.

I won’t lie, I was hoping Wally Backman got the job. But that’s probably just my blind love for all things ’86 Mets. I do hope Backman stays in the organization, and I’ve read he may be offered the Single-A St. Lucie job or AA Binghamton gig. I’m hoping it’s St. Lucie, mainly because I live in Florida and get to see the St. Lucie Mets play.

General manager Sandy Alderson has a vision for this team, one that will likely take a few years to realize. He and cohorts Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciardi are going to rebuild this organization from the bottom up, starting with overhauling the minor-league system. Successful teams are built from within these days. You see less and less success from bringing in renegade free agents and hoping they mesh with what you already have. I’m hoping we see a much better brand of baseball in the coming years, but just about anything will be an improvement over the last two years of the Omar Minaya regime. The bar has been set pretty low.

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