NEW YORK (WFAN) – “With our 2011 opener tonight in Florida, I want to make this pledge to Mets fans — our team will play the game the right way.”
That was the opening salvo from new Mets manager Terry Collins to his Flushing faithful, emailed shortly after 7 a.m. Friday morning.
Saying his squad will “never take anything for granted, no matter the score of the game,” Collins sounded like a man on a mission.
“We had a great Spring Training. From day one my message has been look ahead, not backward, and not to worry about what the people outside the clubhouse are saying. If we pitch and play defense like I know we can, we will surprise a lot of people, a lot of people.”
Carlos Beltran has been hampered with knee issues but appears to be on the mend. The All-Star will be back in the No. 4 slot on Friday.
“I stack our lineup against anyone else’s in the league,” Collins wrote. “Getting Carlos Beltran back and hitting cleanup is really big. The way Carlos handled his move to right field was one of the classiest things I have ever seen.”
According to Collins, Jason Bay’s injury is just a minor detour for his shuffled outfield.
“While we had a little setback this week with Jason Bay — who was swinging the bat well — going on the Disabled List, he shouldn’t be out too long. We believe with the three of them on the field, we have one of the top outfields in baseball.”
Despite losing Johan Santana for much of 2011, Collins touted his rotation, headed by Mike Pelfrey, and asserted he’s “very excited about the season ahead.”
“It’s been 12 years since I have started a season as a major league manager. I can’t tell you how proud I am to be leading the New York Mets.”
Are you as optimistic about the Mets as Collins? Sound off in the comments below…