Some Overdue Love For Terry Collins

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Terry Collins has transformed a makeshift group of aging veterans, journeymen, minor leaguers and misfits into a winning team without the presence of three key contributors and Jason Bay.

It’s not like the pressure to win is any less because the Mets are supposed to lose. If anything, the Mets need to win more now because the results of the past few years have deflated the fanbase and diminished the status of the franchise to a punch line.

But they were relying on a guy who hadn’t managed a Major League game since I was in elementary school (I’m 21). Even before the 5-13 start it was still the ‘same old Mets.’

Yet, Terry has undoubtedly changed the culture of the team. Terribly cliche, but it’s true.

It was widely assumed that the Mets were upset with Jerry Manuel’s relaxed attitude (I was) and wanted a guy who would force the issue a little bit. From the epic post-game meltdown to playing every game as the aggressor, I think they’ve succeeded.

Further, I don’t think it’s entirely coincidence that Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes are playing at the level they are. I’ll concede that since it’s a walk year for both of them there’s extra financial incentive, but they are both respectively having their best year in some time.

I tend to think that Terry must have approached Carlos in just the right way in discussing his move to right field. I think he must have told Carlos that he believes in his ability to play every day and to produce like the Beltran of old. Collins’ sentiments have yielded great results.

Make no mistake that regardless of how well Collins has managed the personalities on this team, they’d be nowhere near 41-40 without Jose Reyes’ remarkable production. Because of that, I give more credit to Jose than anyone for the Mets return to respectability. Yet, I also attribute this largely to Collins for keeping Jose on the right path when he could be focused on about 145 million other things.

It’s not as if Collins has turned a team with no talent into a contender. That’s certainly exaggerated. But the Mets are overachieving. If we’re going to sit here and blame the manager when the team underachieves, I will certainly choose to praise the manager when the team exceeds expectations.

And by the way, I get a kick out of Terry Collins saying “screw you” to Fred Wilpon every time K-Rod enters a 5-run game. The guy wants to win now regardless of how his boss feels. I find that endearing.

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4 Responses to “Some Overdue Love For Terry Collins”

  1. B. Taylor Says:

    I agree.

    I find Terry Collins feisty, fair, respectful of the players but not afraid to administer the kick in the pants if needed. He gives praise when it’s due, and is willing to man up when he screwed up.

    He doesn’t throw his players under the bus, has a ton more patience than the fans and his perspective of working with what he has, not with what he’s hoping to get down the line is the spot on.

    What more can you ask for in a boss?

    • Tom Greenhalgh Says:

      I probably should have said more about how Terry works with what he has as opposed to focusing on who isn’t there. That’s really been the key and the team is certainly better for it.

      Jerry used to talk far too often about players who were injured. It discredits the guys who are in uniform, who are major leaguers after all.

      Terry, on the other hand, refrains from making excuses and I think his attitude is similar to that of a football coach (to steal Jason’s analogy) – if a guy is out, we’ll find another guy to fill in and do the job. Not like they don’t miss David or Ike, but guys are certainly stepping up and I believe it’s because of Collins belief in them. Don’t wait for it, make it happen.

      By the way, thanks as always for the read and comment, B. Taylor.

  2. Jason Says:

    The thing I value most about TC is the ability to hold his guys accountable without showing them up.

    He isn’t afraid to address an issue with a player. However, you don’t see him getting in guys faces or throwing shit in the dugout when a guy makes a mistake.

    My hunch is that the players respond to it because they know it is between them and their boss. Not between the boss, the media, other players, and them.

  3. B. Taylor Says:

    No worries, Tom.

    I like your column.

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