Will Terry Collins Get To Enjoy The Fruits of His Labor ?

 

I’m amused at some Mets beat writers who can’t comprehend the mind set of Terry Collins for having his players report before their mandatory arrival time. It says more about the writer who can’t grasp this reasoning behind it than it does about Collins being anal.

I arrive at my office every day at 7AM. My shift doesn’t start until 8AM so why do I get in early? First off I hate to be late and I have a low tolerance for people who are late. Once when I had to interview a young man for a spot in our unit, he was told to be at the office at 9AM. He strolled in at 9:45 with more excuses than a 5th grader who didn’t hand in his homework. I just looked at him and told him no need to waste your time or mine; you’re not getting the job”. He couldn’t believe it. When he returned to the main office and told my boss what happened he was told “ I should have warned you to be early, Keane hates lateness but I can’t say anything to him as he traveled from Staten Island to Queens every day for 12 years by ferry and subway and was always early” So you see, I get what Terry Collins is selling. If you love what you do or have a true passion for something (I get to Mets games before the gates open, so again I’m a bit extreme) you show it.

The optimistic part of this is the Mets players have bought into TCT-Terry Collins Time-especially Ruben Tejada.  We all remember Tejada and his visa troubles last spring and how TC wanted him in camp early so he could work with Daniel Murphy at their Keystone position. I said it then and I’ll say it now that Collins was 1,000 % right in the way he dealt with Tejada then and it seems the message has been received as Ruben has been an early participant this spring. In fact everyone is on TCT with the exception of Marlon Byrd and Jordany Valdespin who have legitimate reason for lateness in that they both participated in the Caribbean World Series with Byrd’s Mexico team winning the championship over Valdespin’s Dominican team and Jenry Mejia and Wilfredo Tovar who are late due to visa issues. So put one on the plus side for Collins, whose lame duck status is starting to have Mets fans and main streamers wondering about his future as the helmsman of the Mets.

The Mets are at a crossroads of the Alderson Era. With the proclamation from Freddy “Zimmo” Skill Sets that the club is solvent and ready to spend to contend, Mets fans are demanding that the team show its fit to fight.  Collins has presided over losing teams in his two years as Mets manager in fact his first year the team won 77 games and last year they declined to 74 wins with another second half collapse, so it stands to reason that Collins was not approached with a contract extension, even though there is only so much a manager can do if he doesn’t have the talent around him to put the team in position to win, no manager or coach survives three losing seasons.

Collins has to hope that Ike Davis claim that he’s ready to have a breakout season does just that and that Lucas Duda proves once and for all that he is not intimidated by the big leagues and that he is ready to bust out his offensive game as well. Collins needs the centerfield tag team of Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Collin Cowgill to become a two headed offensive and defensive monster along with Mike Baxter and whoever wins the right to be his right-handed accomplice to provide some power and run production from that right corner. Collins can only hope that he mixes and matches correctly each game to the max out his liquidator outfield.

Another area that will be crucial to Collins managerial stay will be the bullpen. Last year as we all know the Mets bullpen was one of the worst pens in baseball and was the biggest reason for sucking the life out the team. For Collins to survive not only does this pen have become a strength (the bullpen can’t be any worse than last year) he has to get a better grip on how to utilize his relievers. Not just in articulating their assignments better but also the physical wear and tear they are subject to as well. Collins, Dan Warthen and Rickey Bones did a bad job last year in communicating with the relief staff . Pitchers would get up, warm up, sit down, warm up, sit down…..and on and on. Not only did this wear out much of the staff it also gave off a sense of panic and unpreparedness by Collins and Warthen.

Collins has been around the game a long time and he knows his job is only as secure as the teams wins and loses. It’s kind of a shame because the future of the Mets is bright with what looks to be a solid pitching staff on the horizon and (again I’ll believe it when I see it) new found cash flow to sign some free agent talent that odds are Collins will not be in the Mets dugout when all this comes to blossom. When it does he should get credit as he had to do a lot of the heavy lifting.

Terry Collins can hold his head high on this though, he has proven that he can manage a big league team so he does have some redemption from the failures he endured in Anaheim and Houston. I think he realizes that as well.

 

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ARE WE ARMED AND DANGEROUS OR DANGEROUSLY UNARMED ?

Here is the most critical component of this Mets team and the twelve men mentioned here hold the future of the season in their left and right arms. Without pitching we are nothing!

Starting Rotation

Johan Santana

Mike Pelfrey

Oliver Perez

John Maine

Nelson Figueroa/Jon Neise

I’m starting to calm down a bit about starters 2-5 in this rotation. Big Pelf and OP have improved with each spring appearance and hopeful they gain confidence in these starts. Maine goes tomorrow and hopefully he bounces back and is focused in this start. The fifth spot if given on merit should go to Nelly Figs as he has continued from his great performance in the Caribbean World Series so far this spring. Neise has shown that the hammy tear from last year is healed. The easiest move here is Niese in the fifth slot and Figs in the pen as long/middle man

Bullpen

Frankie Rodriguez

Pedro Felicaino

Sean Green

Hisanori Takahashi

Ryota Igarashi

Bobby Parnell

Kiko Calero

This all changes if the front office makes the huge mistake by letting Jenry Mejia come North, then someone has got to go most likely Parnell. Takahashi has also pitched himself into a job and the 40 man roster with his stellar spring, by the way has anyone in the organization realized that Takahashi uses his left arm to pitch ?  Again the pen is in flux as brain trust decides if they want LOOGY Joe Beimel (at their price) and keeping Mejia but the locks are Frankie Rodz, Feliciano, Green and I guess Igarashi. That leaves three spots with I’d think Takahashi getting one of them. The next two could be filled by Parnell, Calero, Mejia, Beimel or some other arm from another organization. Then again Nelly Figs could be sent packing once more.

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HEY I LIKE 20 YEAR OLD LATIN GUYS….UH WAIT…..THAT DIDN’T COME OUT RIGHT……….BASEBALL PLAYERS THAT IS……….

  13 days until pitchers and catchers

Last night’s hour long PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL show, went by in a flash thanks our own Yankee-Doodle, Michael calling in and Matt Silverman coming on to talk about the ’69 Mets. Some of the topics I wanted to get to in the opening of the show got pushed back as I went on a bit of a Fernando Martinez rant, so I guess I’ll touch on those here.

By the way I got to see F-Mart’s AB last night with the bases loaded and two out in the Dominican Republic v. Venezuela Caribbean World Series game. Martinez did not get a hit in the AB but it was an impressive turn at the plate that lasted 10 pitches until he hit a foul pop that was caught by the Venezuelan right fielder.

I’m not anti-Fernando in any way; I just want the kid to stop acing like he’s a 27 year old journeyman who has never gotten a chance and be the 20 year old who plays so well this spring that he beats out Angel Pagan to be Carlos Beltran’s understudy.

Looks like me and Orlando Hudson have something in common; we both will never play second base for the Mets. So after all the debate about second base for the Mets what’s done is done, Luis Castillo is the Mets second baseman for better or worse till death due us part (or until Reese Havens can prove he can play at the big league level) for 2010.

What is the under/over on how many times Gary Cohen or Howie Rose say “Just out of the reach of Castillo, for a base hit” this season? Let’s set the number at 75.

The last place in the world I thought I’d ever see the name Municipal Credit Union would be on a ball park marquee.  I wonder if those of us with accounts at MCU will get a discount on Cyclones tickets.

I’m very happy for Nelly Figs and his great performance the other day for DR in the Caribbean Series but it wasn’t like he was pitching against the Phillies or Highlanders, it was against Mexico and 45 year old  270 lb Vinny Castila, The Big Fajita!

Maybe things are not as bleak for the Mets as we think. FOX has the Amazin’s scheduled for broadcast 8 times this coming season and one of the games is a prime timer versus the Bronx Bastards.

Maple Street Press is coming out with it’s Mets Annual in a few weeks and there will be a section on the Mets Blogosphere, that will include yours truly.

Matt Silverman is putting out a revised paperback version of his book “100 Things Mets Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die” 

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