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Coutinho: Mets’ Fiery Terry Collins Is No Jerry Manuel

By Rich Coutinho
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Last year, we saw Jerry Manuel time and time again show no emotion when the Mets lost game after game in ugly fashion. In fact, Manuel became an apologist for his players, explaining away bad baseball with a chuckle and a cliché. It angered Mets fans that their manager seems to accept the losing and never showed a sense of urgency.

In 2011, one thing is for sure–Terry Collins will not stand idly and watch his season go down the drain–at least not without his players hearing it from him.

From the first day in spring training, things seemed different with this manager as his passion was obvious. It was plain to see he wears his heart on his sleeve. To me, this team has not had passion like this in the manager’s chair since Bobby Valentine was here. And the time was right last night for the Mets’ manager to make his presence felt in the clubhouse.

What I liked most about Collins’ tirade is he did not single out any one person — which Manuel often did (Who could forget him calling Ryan Church “that guy?”) — and he was clear about what this team needs: more resiliency when a punch sends them to the canvass. Collins also chose to share it with the media while it was still fresh in his mind and he did not hold back. Part of the reason for that is Terry knows how the media game is played — he is now the story and ultimately that could take the heat off some players who might be pressing.

Collins used the word “urgency” in his post-game press conference quite a few times. That word was not used enough the last 3 seasons in any month of the year-let alone April. The Mets’ manager knows what he witnessed last night–another loss before a disinterested crowd during the season’s first homestand. The team has now dropped 4 of 5 games, which is not exactly inspiring fan interest. Granted, baseball is a long season, but in this sport, trends are often set early and are very hard to reverse during the course of a long summer.

The fiery Mets manager is disturbed by 2 particular trends–too many walks and not enough clutch hitting. The staff has surrendered 50 walks this season — entirely too many, particularly in this ballpark when you consider only 2 NL teams have issued more free passes than the Mets. As far as clutch hitting is concerned, The Mets are hitting .173 with runners in scoring position and 2 outs this season. Those 2 numbers combined reveal why the Mets have struggled through the season’s first 11 games.

Instead of making a wisecrack like his predecessor would have done, Terry Collins decided to take accountability for it and made it crystal clear that it will not be tolerated. He expects better from his players because even in a 162 game marathon, it could get late real early.

No one can predict what the future holds for the Mets but the manager said that he will make any necessary changes to get the team on course. More importantly, he is not afraid to let everyone know what is on his mind.

To borrow a phrase from the previous manager, “Now that’s gangsta.”

How do you compare Collins to Manuel? Weigh in below…

  • V

    Collins is losing his cool too early. These guys make more than a Mgr, you think yelling and raising your voice will worK? think again, and blaming Manuel is obsurd, as is thinking this team goes anywhere with the selfish and greedy Wilpons! Time to Sell Jueff and FRED! time to Sell!

  • Seth Galonsky

    I personally like Jerry Manuel. He was never given the players to work with. Just focusing on laast year : Ollie P. was equal to at best a 0 if not a -. Louis Castillo varried between being maybe .5 of a Major Leaguer to another 0. If the other 23 men on the roster averaged being equal to the top 23 men on every other MLB team, how do you manage in the National League with 23 v 25? Not to mention, Carlos Beltran may be back to 80% of what he once was now, but when Jerry was hoping to get him back ASAP, he didin’t get more than maybe 25% of the player he was expecting, (& I don’t blame Beltran at all for ageing, or being injured. At least he didn’t “Juice” to come back more quickly or extend his career!) & then there’s starting the season with Gary Mathews & Mike Jacobs (not in the Majors now) instead of Angel Pagan & Ike Davis, as dictated by Omar/’his people/ownership. I know I mentioned Ollie (Frau Blucher, que the horses when you say his name) P. earlier, but I have to count not only the roster space that miserable, selfish, peice of garbage took up as disadvantages Jerry had to deal with, but I must count the negative aura Blucher brought to the clubhouse. He appeared & did his minimally required drills, so he could collect his millions for being the greatest bust (worse than Moe Vaughn) the Mets have ever had. By doing so, how do you think his teammates liked having that bum in their faces every day, knowing by his refusal to go try to improve himself in the minor leagues, Blucher cost them having a Major Leaguer in his place?!

    So people didn’t like Jerry’s laughs & flip/glib comments at times. You ever hear “you got to laugh to keep from crying”? Jerry was far from the best manager ever, but he could have competantly managed a more fully stocked team. Remember, he was AL Manager of The Year with the White Sox…

    I have nothing against Terry Collins. He has to be given a chance. Jerry didn’t deserve the fate he got from the Mets, but I agree, (since you can’t replace about 20 players) it was time for a change. I have faith that IF Sandy Alderson is allowed to run the team with his vision, & without interfearance from ownership, with the Beltran, Castillo, & Blucher contracts coming to an end, & an infusion of new partial ownership $, they could be contenders in 2012. We don’t have to give up ALL hope for this season, but the future looks to be a bit brighter. If Collins gets to be here for the turn-around, good for him, but I’m sure he came into this job knowing what lay ahead of him/this team. Whoever next year’s manager is should have a better team to manage!

  • Patrick

    Results are all that matters.

    Joe Torre got mocked in this town by jealous Mets fans and spoiled Yankees fans for having “talent” and being essentially Jerry Manuel without the witty cultural references. Essentially dull as watching paint dry.

    Torre won four World Series rings as the Yankee manager, three consecutively and was in mere outs of four consecutive.

    Wake me up the next time a manager for any New York team in any sport wins two in a row.

    Theatrics or promises of intensity are wonderful, but mean nothing if the record remains the same.

    Thus far, the Mets are the same. Perhaps in the long run of 2011 they won’t be but right now Terry Collins is an animated and passionate loser.

    • Hector

      You’re giving Torre too much credit, Torre came in with the talent put together by Showalter & the Yankees front office. They were also responsible for the players that developed in the farm system (Jeter, Mo, Bernie, Posada & Pettitte – all strong candidates for the Hall of Fame, Mo & Jeter, 1st ballot).

      The front office also made the trades for O’Neil in ’93, Wetteland in ’95, Tino Martinez in ’96, Cone in ‘95 & Knobblauch in ’98. They signed Key in ’93, David Wells in ’97 & later traded for Clemens.

      Torre came into an organization with players that were ready to win. Torre does not win 4 championships without any of the players listed, players that Torres had no input in them being Yankees, players the Yankees gave him & if they needed additional players they went & got them. Truth be told, Torre lucked out.

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