Coutinho: Red-Hot Mets Take Their Cue From Terry Collins

By Rich Coutinho
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Wednesday night reminded me of 2006. The Mets fought through multiple obstacles — including a horrendous call — to win their sixth in a row. New York finds themselves inching closer and closer to the .500 mark  after upping their record to 11-13.

But more important than the win was how they won — and the emotion they showed in winning it. This team clearly takes their cues from Terry Collins, who has insisted they can be successful. They’re proving him right.

The Mets manager is a passionate, driven field general who takes his losses hard and works night and day trying to make this team better. When the Mets got out to a disappointing 5-13 start, Collins worked like crazy communicating with his players. He let them know he still believed in them. He told his team from the moment they arrived in spring training that the baseball world simply did not believe in the Mets — and that should motivate them every single day.

The player Collins has helped the most is Jose Reyes. The speedy shortstop finally has a manager that understands what he’s all about and plays to his strengths. Collins has encouraged Reyes to be aggressive (even if he makes mistakes), has unleashed him on the bases, and has not forced the Mets’ shortstop to reel in his passion — as previous managers demanded.

In a sense, Reyes and Collins have very similar personalities in their passion for the game. It’s a hardball marriage made in heaven. Sandy Alderson should take this into consideration when deciding about the future of Reyes in a Mets’ uniform. But that’s an argument for another day.

I have always been a firm believer that you learn so much more about players when they lose. The reason for that? It’s easy to be a good teammate when you are winning, but when you are losing it really tests you in so many ways. After the Mets got off to their horrible start, this clubhouse never got down. Not for a minute. Not a single player pointed a finger at any other player. In fact, guys like Mike Pelfrey, who was off to a tough start, got clubhouse-wide support, even though times were rough.

Again, that is because Collins kept it together. He insisted his players keep bringing it every day until things turned around. Baseball is such a long season and because of that, a team’s personality is often times similar to their manager.

Bobby Valentine’s Mets in the late 90’s and early part of the last decade wore their heart on their sleeve. It showed. Under his watch, the Mets played in some of the greatest games in team history.

Last year, Jerry Manuel’s wait-and-see approach gave the Mets a convenient excuse to feel sorry for themselves.

Collins takes the exact opposite approach: Treat the season with urgency every single day. Know I am the manager. I will take the bullet for you when things are not going well.

One more win tonight gets the Mets within one game of .500 and erases their early season 7-game losing streak. And then it’s off to Citizen Bank Park — a place that has haunted the Mets in recent years. Can they exorcise that ghost? Not sure about that, but I would not count the Mets out — not with Collins at the controls.

Are the Mets for real? Let Coutinho know in the comments below…

Comments

One Comment

  1. Kurt Spitzner says:

    PS TO ALL OUT THERE!!!!! LAST NIGHTS GAME WAS BACK TO BUSINESS AS USUAL SO ONCE AGAIN ITS TIME TO BLOW THIS BABY UP BECAUSE SELIG IS IN CAHOOTS WITH THE METS OWNERSHIP JUST AS HE WAS WITH THE RED SOX DEAL SO THERE WILL BE NO JOY IN MUDVILLE FOR THE METS FANS HAVE BEEN STRUCK OUT ONCE AGAIN!

  2. HooDatIS? says:

    THE METS NEED DARRYL STRAWBERRY IN UNIFORM
    THEN WE WILL SEE SOME RESULTS
    LETS GO METS
    VISIT MY BLOG
    http://ethicalfutures.wordpress.com/2011/04/28/the-pancake-brawl-ghetto-girls-destory-ihop/

    1. Kurt Spitzner says:

      IF YOUR BLOG WAS WORTHY YOU WOULD NOT BE STEALING TIME HERE TO PROMOTE IT!DO YOUR OWN LEGWORK IF YOU WANT TO BE PROUD OF WHAT YOU DO!

  3. HDB says:

    Yeah, I’m a Met fan and I think they are going to do it, from here on out all the way to the “Fall Classic”. When the manager gets involved in the game, the players can’t but follow – and follow strong!

    1. Tattoo says:

      You forgot to say “and I’m your host, Mr. Roarke, and welcome to Fantasy Island”

  4. Mercy says:

    Omar the idiot so you wouldnt mind if the mets were 0 for 20 in wins get a life!

    1. Omar says:

      I’m sure you said that with many tears in your eyes & pain in your black heart because it’s all true. LOL, LOL

  5. Omar says:

    We’ve seen this many times before, most recent last June, 8 games streak & all went downhill after.

    What’s there to get excited about; it’s not September, but April. You don’t win divisions or championships in April & with 137 more games to go.

    Mets fans should know that by now. Let’s not forget historical chokes of ’07 & ’08, nice long leads & choked at the end in September, no division & did not even make the playoffs.

    1. Kurt Spitzner says:

      Did I sound excited?????

      1. Omar says:

        yes you did, the other Mets fans sounded jubilant, like the Mets just won the 7th game of the World Series………. in April.

    2. Kurt Spitzner says:

      OMAR,DO YOU READ WHAT FOLKS WRITE OR JUST MAKE UP THE BS IN YOUR RANTS AS YOU GO ALONG?READ WHAT I WROTE AGAIN AND IF YOU THINK I WAS BEING EVEN REMOTELY POSITIVE THEN YOU MUST BE AN IMBECILE BECAUSE ITS THE FARTHEST THING FROM THE TRUTH AND NOTHING I STATED WOULD LEAD ANYONE WITH HALF A BRAIN TO THINK I WAS HAPPY ABOUT ANYTHING THE METS AND THEIR OWNERSHIP HAVE DONE IN THE LAST TEN YEARS.SAY WHAT YOU WANT ABOUT YOURSELF BUT YOU SHOULD REALLY STOP AND THINK BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT TO VOUCH FOR OTHERS FEELINGS!

  6. Mike says:

    They may not do too well in Philadelphia, but they still need to beat the teams that they should beat (e.g., the Nationals). Their current streak is a good sign.

    1. Theodore says:

      Unfortunately for the Mets there’s only one team like the Nationals, the Nationals, well, unless you count the Mets. So that’s not a good sign at all.

  7. Kurt Spitzner says:

    I love what I am seeing now but was also at the April14th doubleheader and thankfully left after the first debacle,as I was told it was even more horrendous than the first game had been.So between that and being a lifelong fan you will have to excuse me if I do not get excited just yet.Lets just see what the rest of the year has in store for this team and then I will decide the the tide has turned for good.

  8. Tim Fleming says:

    This team is legit. We have a very explosive lineup when everyone is healthy. Murphy has been coming up big on the offensive side of the ball now he just needs to keep his head in the game on the defensive side. I hope they can keep it rolling through philly after they finish off the Nationals tonight! Let’s Go Mets!!!!!

    1. Rollins says:

      when healthy, that fits every team in every major sport idiot. the problem with these Mets is even now healthy they suck, unless the played the Nats 162 games, but the Nats are on schedule for just 18 games. I hope you feel as enthusiastic at the end of May as you are in the end of April.

      Roll through the Phiilies like the Nats, yeah, problem is, Phillies have super pitching & Doc Halladay (5-0 against the Mets last year) & just like the Mets, the Nats do not. By the way, how does being in last place feel? LOl, LOL

  9. John says:

    The Mets certainly have been fun to watch. With everyone healthy, they have one of the best offensive line-ups in baseball (certainly the National League). Pitching will be the worry all season…if they can keep it together until Santana gets back, maybe 85 wins or so is not out of the question.

    1. dico j. says:

      I think they were a lot more fun to watch last week.

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