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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WE’RE CLOSE REEEEAAAALLLL CLOSE TO REAL BASEBALL

I had the honor of being invited to a bloggers conference call with Mets manager Terry Collins last night. Collins is upbeat , excited and quite confident about his team. I posed the question to Collins on how will he keep this club together when adversity hits, as it always does in a 162 game baseball season. Thanks to Michael Baron, here is my question and a full transcript of the conference call. I tip my Mets cap to Michael for doing this transcript under adverse conditions as there was a load of background noise during the call:

Steve Keane: This Spring, camp has been upbeat, although there have been a few bumps in the road. It seems the players have fed off your enthusiasm. Over the course of the season, there will be losing streaks, and in the past, those spread and festered. The Mets, over the past few years, haven’t been known to be mentally and physically tough. How do you combat that?

Terry Collins:   Not everyone has the answer. People think there is a process we go through to get through it. In a losing streak, a lot of guys get concerned with individual stats, and we need to combat that. Its all about communication, and making sure they continue to believe in themselves. Not sitting back, and waiting for things to happen.

The toughest part of managing or coaching is getting your players to buy in to what preaching, getting them to put team ahead of self and so far this spring from the quotes and stories from Mets players, they seem to be buying what TC is selling.

Caryn (Metsgrrl) Rose had a great question for Collins about him being a players manager and I think this was a real honest and revealing answer from TC:

I think it means a lot – in the past, I was probably not a players manager. Through the years, I have realized the importance of constant communication, and never taking anything for granted. That is done with experience – from my first few years, I was worried about only managing the game, and thinking everyone was on board with it. I look at it as a compliment.

Keeping the lines of communication open is KEY for a manager. When the players have to guess what you’re thinking or feel you’re playing head games, you are destine to lose that player and your team.  I would say TC learned that lesson in Anaheim and will not make that mistake again.

Izzy has agreed to stay in extended spring training for two weeks as the Mets try to fit this bullpen. It worked out as well as Sandy Alderson could have hoped as he gets to keep two or the three relievers he had to decide on.

The more these stories keep coming out about the Skill Sets shaky financial status, it seems the only conclusion I can see is the Skill Sets selling the team.  Freddy Skill Sets has his heart set on keeping the team in the family for generations to come but I doubt if his wish will come true.

As I was typing up this post, word came down that Luis Castillo has been cut by the Phuck Phaces. Andy Martino is getting ready to file a discrimination lawsuit against the Phuck Phaces on behalf of Castillo.

GET METS-MERIZED! GET METS-MERIZED! Cheesy? you bet Sharp Cheddar Baby!

The everyday menu at Foley’s NY is always first rate but with the start of the 2011 Baseball Season, they have added a bunch of specials to commemorate the season openers:

Appetizers

Francona’s Terry-Yaki Steak Skewers: $5.00

Thai (Cobb) Chicken Skewers: $5.00

Dustin Pedroia’s Buffalo Shrimp: $5.50

Miguel Cabrera’s Loaded Fries: $5.00

Welkes’ Wings (Bucket = three orders): $12.50

Entrees

Cliff’s Phil-Lee Cheesesteak Sandwich: $5.95

Justin Morneau’s French Dip $5.95

Sean Casey’s Irish Burger $6.50

Coursi’s Chicken Club Wrap $5.50

Additionally, Foley’s has named a menu item for every team in the major leagues:

NL

Mets: David Wright Sandwich

Phillies: Philly Cheesesteak Wrap

Braves: Fried Chicken Dinner

Marlins: Fried Fish Sandwich

Nats: Washington Apple Pie

Brewers: Bratwurst

Cardinals: Toasted Ravioli

Pirates: Pittsburgh Steak Salad

Cubs: Chicago Dog

Astros: Texas Sirloin Steak

Reds: “Reds Hot” Chili

Dodgers: LA Pizza

Padres: Fish Tacos

Rockies: Beer Battered Onion Rings

Arizona: Chicken Southwest

Giants: French Dip

AL

Yankees: “Swish” & Chips

Red Sox: Shrimp & Scallops

Toronto: Poutine (French fries topped by cheese curds and gravy)

Orioles: Maryland Crab Cake Sliders

Rays: Cuban Sandwich

Tigers: Mini Chili Dogs

White Sox: Chicago Dog

Twins: “Juicy Lucy” Burger

Royals: KC Burger

Indians: Cleveland Carrot Cake

Rangers: Texas T Bone

Angels: Artie’s Nachos

Mariners: Chicken Eggrolls

A’s:  Garlic Wings

Looks like tomorrow or Friday will be a long lunch day for me to sneak over to Foley’s

Don’t forget to check out the THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN Podcast from last night with my guest Matthew Silverman author of 50 AMAZIN’ SEASON . You can listen here at Kranepool Society (lower right side bar) or at the show page or as a download on iTunes.

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THE UNDEFEATED

Lot’s of posts on this site have been made taking Mets management to task but today I want to start this one with some praise and thanks.

My son and I were supposed to be at Citi Field yesterday enjoying Opening Day but due to the Easter weekend we could not lay my mother to rest until yesterday.  I offered my tickets to various friends but none wanted them under the circumstances and a more than one person told me to contact the Mets and tell them of my situation and see if they would exchange the tickets for another game.  So I called the Mets ticket office to see if they could help me out.

The seats were in the lower level and cost me $190 so I couldn’t just eat the cost, so it was worth a shot.

The ticket agent I spoke to offered me his condolences and then asked me  to hold so he could get a supervisor to help me. The supervisor came on and also offered a kind word and told me “no question, Mr. Keane we will refund your  ticket and credit your credit card for the full amount” and with that he said “On behalf of the New York Mets, we offer our condolences”

Thank you to the Mets ticket office and to the Mets organization for their help, understanding and kind words.

I didn’t get to see much of yesterday’s game but after seeing highlights and reading various sites, I figured I’d comment on a few items:

It looks as though the Mets have taken the fan base’ advice and Met-trifed Citi Field. Moving the Shea Stadium Home Run Apple was a tremendous move. Although I enjoyed sitting at the picnic tables in back of the bullpen with the Apple tucked away in the back, the Apple is now in a proper place out in the open.

I love that there is a Gil Hodges Entrance and a Tom Seaver Entrance as well. The Mets Hall of Fame looks like it’s a must see place and the player imagines on banners hanging from the lamp posts are a great touch as well. I can’t wait to see these things in person.

I got a letter from the Mets with the location of my brick on the Fan Walk. It’ s in the spot with the Game 6 of the 1986 World Series plaque and it reads METSFANS4EVER KEANE FAMILY STATEN ISLAND.  So please no spitting, or gum or cigarette butts on my brick. Thank You.

It’s safe to say no other fan base but the Mets fan would boo the training and strength and condition staff. In fact I don’t think any other fan would know the names of it’s training and strength and conditioning staff.

Hurray for the new guys as Jason Bay, Gary Mathews Jr and Rod Barajas had big days with the bat.

The Marlins looked very 2009 Mets-ish with their sloppy defense.

Not the best welcome back for Mike Jacobs with 2 K’s and being lifted for defensive purpose by Fernando Tatis.

One win down and nineteen more to go for Johan Santana. Santana pitched to the ballpark as we got ten outs via fly ball and five K’s with a nice mix of the fastball/changeup that kept the Fish batters off balance. The man knows how to pitch.

Those new cream colored pinstriped  uni’s should be the one and only home uniform.  How can anyone say the black uni tops and those disgusting black and blue hats look better ?

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TONIGHT AT 9PM ET IT’S PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL

Join Steve Keane and Joe McDonald tonight at 9PM ET for another edition of PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL. We will dissect the latest snubs by Bengi Molina and Joel Pineiro of the Mets and we will discuss which way the Mets will turn to solidify their starting pitching and a front line catcher. We will look at which Mets prospects could rise from a spring training to make the final 25 man roster and a host of other Mets and baseball news,

You can join in as well with comments and question by calling in at (646) 595-4462.

If you can’t join us live you can download the podcast at The Eddie Kranepool Society, BlogTalkRadio or at our PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL site.

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TONIGHT AT 9PM ET IT’S PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL ON BLOG TALK RADIO

 

Join Joe McDonald and Steve Keane  tonight at 9PM ET on Blog Talk Radio for another edition of PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL as we look at what has transpired at the MLB Winter Meetings in Indianapolis.

To join in the conversation you can reach us at (646) 595-4462.

If you can’t join us live, you can listen to the podcast at our PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL site or right here at Kranepool Society or on iTunes.

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TONIGHT AT 9PM EDST IT’S PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL

 

 

Join Steve Keane and Joe McDonald tonight on a WEDNESDAY edition of Pro Baseball Central as we look at how the 25 man rosters for the Mets and Yankees are shaping up and some WBC talk as well,  plus a look around the baseball training camps. You can join in the converstation on our call in line (646) 595-4462 at 9PM EDST on Blog Talk Radio 

Yes I still hate the WBC but I did watch the end of that Dominican-Holland games last night and yes it was a classic baseball game and the look on the players and manager Felipe Alou of Team D R was that of devistation but I’m just happy that Jose Reyes and Fernando Tatis are on the way back to St Lonesome

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Tickets

The Mets are looking great this year and The Eddie Kranepool Society keeps you up to date on the good bad and the ugly. If you are looking for Mets Tickets, you must visit Coast To Coast Tickets for all your ticket needs. CTC carries MLB Tickets as well as some of the best priced Concert Tickets on the web and don't forget they also carry Yankees Tickets.

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