Coutinho: Terry Collins Is Right, Mets Will Surprise Their Critics

By Rich Coutinho
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I love everything about Terry Collins.

He’s old school. He’s fiery and emotional. And he absolutely refuses to think negatively.

That’s why I think what he said to reporters Saturday was very important. You see, we’ve become sheep: we listen, we follow, we believe things to be true. Granted the Mets are in a tough division and haven’t really added any “big-name free agents.” Add that to the organization’s difficult financial situation, and you have many experts already penciling the Mets in for a poor season.

Collins isn’t buying it. Nobody wins anything at the Winter Meetings. When you get past all the talk about litigation and salary, this game gives you nothing. And talent or high-salaried players do not guarantee a thing. What it comes down to is how they play, day in and day out, through a 162-game marathon.

It is not so much ability as it is durability — and lack of the latter hurt the Mets last year. So if you tell me that Johan Santana, David Wright, Daniel Murphy and Ike Davis will find durability I will tell you the Mets’ report card might look vastly different from what the experts are expecting.

Collins knows this because he is a veteran baseball man who knows how to motivate players. In the first half of last season, he had this team playing hard after a rough start. He ran a clubhouse that had “real chemistry.” Even if the team lost, they fought hard and played smart, heads up baseball.

In the second half of the year, the bullpen betrayed the Mets after K-Rod was dealt to the Brewers. But this team still fought hard and young players like Ruben Tejada and Lucas Duda got valuable experience. That’s why on the last weekend of the season Terry Collins broke down and lost it during one of his postgame press conferences. He takes losing hard because he cares about his players — and the fans as well. He strives to get the most out of his team and demands a focus to detail that his predecessor did not demand.

He is a winner.

We all know the Mets’ journey will be a tough one. This division is loaded and the expectations are low. But that can be a positive. And nobody understands that better than Collins. This Mets team has some talent when you talk about guys like Wright, Santana and Jason Bay. I also think Davis will have his “coming out party” in 2012 while youngsters like Duda and Daniel Murphy will continue their development.

The Mets would not be the first team to benefit from an “Us Against The World” mentality. And they won’t be the last. The 2011 Arizona Diamondbacks and the 2010 Cincinnati Reds come to mind as well as the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays.

All of those teams had a strong presence in the manager’s chair — and Collins fits that mold.

The story of the 2012 Mets has not been written yet, no matter what the reporters or bloggers would have you believe.

And that is all Terry Collins was saying.

Do you think the Mets will surprise their critics? Sound off below…

  • Mr. kris watson

    your a 100% loser and a quitter just like russwell and his poor brainwqaswhed son, im sure ur just a single loser, which is good because u would have no clue on teaching a son or daughter u D**** Head

    • Russell

      if anyone knows what a loser is it has to be you Ms. Kristine Watson. You’ve been a fan of a loser team, with a great history in losing which hasn’t won in over 26 yrs, yet you still have high hopes for them to shock the world. LOL, LOL

      You’re not ONLY A LOSER loser, but a JOKE

      You must wear one of those special helmets so not to injured your brain. One more dead brain cell & we’re talking monkey.

      Enjoy your Mets summer, I know I will. LOL, LOL

  • mr. baseball

    Hey Mess,what part of “Your season is over” DON”T YOU UNDERSTAND???.Quit the chirping,it’s unbecoming,losers!

  • John O.

    What Terry Collins was referring to when he said the Mets will surprise people was the Mets entering The Little League World Series in August. And if they were to loss there’s always the Little League Girls Softball World Series. By then Santana should be back healthy and ready to pitch against the girls.

  • frenchie

    lets go mets , wild card for sure, the surprise of the year,see you guys in october.

  • sarcasticallytrue

    Like always I have hope for the year … but i am stocked up on pepto & asprin for the season. Look i want the Mets 2 do great… i did buy a key chain today but until i see a complete effort from this organization from top to bottom they can forget major money from me .. i’m just wondering how this will happen with our starting rotation.
    Anyway .. we can look forward 2 the greatest broadcasters in the game both in radio & television the Mets announcers have that locked .. what’s “Amazin” is how they keep us all interested…would be nice if the team gives them & us a good season.

    • gollytwo

      Really looking forward to hearing Gary, Ron and Keith – worth listening to even when we’re losing.

    • Moose

      Really, both Gary & Ron SUCK, they call every Mets player great and every play they make is great, yet one wonders why the Mets haven’t won in 25 years.

      They get very quiet when the ball sails over the fence by the opposing hitter and that’s just about every game. Can’t wait this year, with the new dimensions of the fences the opposing teams are going to have a field day hitting at Citi Field.

      This means we will hear less of those two.

  • Lou

    It all comes down to pitching. Two things need to happen. The pitching must be consistent and the team must stay healthy. There is talent on this team. Collins is a good manager. Stay healthy and pitch. Let’s see what happens.

  • William

    the only time the Mets will see 1st place this year will be at the start of the season when all teams start at 0-0 and then it’s all down hill from there.

    • Jeff

      F U. If you’re not a Mets fan then get off this board. If you are, then you need meds.

      • JJ

        Mets fans are forever crying, why is that Jeff? LOL, LOL, LOL

  • Tony Fair

    Its nice that TC has this attitude. It would be helpful to see the players adopt the same, but I don’t think I’ve ever been less interested in the start of the baseball season than now. My son threw away all things Mets from his closet. I won’t buy any tickets. I won’t buy any merchandise. I will not purchase any baseball package, application or anything. I’m waiting for a new owner, a new GM and a new team – as long as it takes.

    • Kris Watson

      Tony Fair,
      You might as well go over to the dark side and go buy your son a jeter jersey and some yankee posters. A true fan would never give up on their team Sounds like you need to teach your son better about standing by your team through the good times and the bad, I hope the mets shock the world and then yu can go by some new mets things. Go change your team you coward

      • Russell

        Kristine Watson, leave the son alone. Look what being a Mets fan done to you. You’re hoping the Mets shock the World. How insane is that?

        Bellevue is full of nut Mets fans like you. Give the kid a chance to be happy in his life.

        Misery loves company when it comes to Mets fans. Tony Fair is teaching his son better by releasing him of the pain of being a Mets fan.

        What did your father teach you, like father, like son, once a loser, always a loser. Because that’s what you are Ms. Watson, a LOSER.

        • Jeff

          Totally disagree (and agree w/Kris). Being a Mets fan is about rooting for the underdog, not reveling in the “lock” that is a Yankee post-season berth. Sports has the power to teach us tough life lessons (without the pain of actual suffering). Root for your team thru thick and thin, not just when they’re winning.

          • Russell

            Is this the reason why Citi Field is never sold out & pretty much empty and Mets fans not showing up the last 2 seasons, because it’s about rooting for the underdog?

            Jeff, you don’t know what the F..K you’re talking about. I guess this is what happens when you root for a loser, you imagine things.

            What lesson in life is that in getting your *ss kicked season after season?

            • Tony Fair

              Thanks, Russell. I’ve raised two pretty incredible boys. They both demonstrate excellent judgement and conscientiousness at an early age (9 & 13). I lead by example and let them make their own decisions. I would have liked to see them stick it out and remain Met fans, but they chose not to, each for their own reasons. Am I supposed to bash them so they have to remain loyal to a team that has not earned it? I don’t think that’s a lesson I want them to learn. And I don’t care how much one loves the Mets. I love my boys a hell of a lot more.

              As for me, I’m still a Met fan. I’m just not going to waste my money and time on them until they make some changes. That’s my prerogative. If Jeff and Kris or whomever doesn’t like that, I’m not living to please them. Thanks again, Russ.

    • Kris Watson

      Btw Tony Fair,
      Out of curiosity who will you traders(you and your misguided son), gonna root for till the mets change their entire staff and players.Also, forget baseball, but what your basically doing is showing your son when tough times are getting you down to run away whether its financial, family related or anything else in life. Basically, your taking the easy way out, which is not the right way to teach your child.

      • Tony Fair

        Just so you know, Kris. I’ve been a Met fan since inception. I’m still a Met fan. I lived through the Dark ages of M. Donald Grant and the Tom Seaver screw up – TWICE, and everything else. Nothing has been as bad as this – that’s my point. So bad, it’s changed my behavior, made worse by what its done to my son, who is now 13 years old.

        You want to go after my son, I’ll assume some of the blame since I was the one who brought him into the conversation. You want to talk about fan loyalty? Loyalty went out of the game with free agency as far as I’m concerned. Like I said, I’m a fan from long before FA when root root root for the home team meant something.

        So, if my son finds it hard to be loyal to a team, a player and an owner today, I can’t blame him. I’m a modern dad who doesn’t think he should force feed his son orange and blue when all he’s getting is a load of crap from the team, player, owner and the likes of you.

        And yes, I do teach my son that life is more important than baseball. After all; win, loose or draw, no ring or parade ever paid my rent, put food on my table and clothes on my back. You can’t relate to that? That’s your problem and Jeff and anybody else who wants to dump on us. We’re not the ones taking money out of your pocket and giving you crap to watch this season.

  • jamalbeck

    It doesn’t take an “expert” to realize the Mets will finish in last place, and be lucky to win 70 games.

    As for “smart, heads-up baseball”, I’m curious what games Mr. Coutinho was watching last year — because those are two descriptors that did not apply to the 2011 Mets. In fact they displayed quite the opposite.

  • Carl

    Stewie in Family Guy said it best

    “So far Halloween is a bigger let down then being Mets fan.”

    Mets Announcer:

    It’s opening day…’s the pitch….. & the season is over. LOL, LOL

  • Michael Kane

    It’s all about pitching and the Mets are lacking. 73 wins, book it!

  • Jerry M

    I have said all along that the Mets will surprise the pundits and win alot more games than last year. We have a solid 2-6 in the lineup and a new bullpen. Last year the pen was the one to lose games that we were winning. Murphy,Wright,Davis,Bay and Duda will shine. The starters have to go at least 6 innnings or more for the pen to take over. Murphy also will have a decent glove at 2nd base and make the plays.

  • Bessball

    Hey, ya gotta play the games. It’s easy to bash the Mets and hop on the bandwagon with the haters. But … the great thing about baseball is that anything can happen. You just never know.

  • ace11

    i thinkk most of you on this board don’t live in the REAL WORLD

    70-75 wins again

  • bbgods

    I think the Mets have a decent chance to outperform expectations. Their offense should be good, and I expect Wright and Bay to do better now that the lineup is full of lefties, and the Mets will probably face more lefthander starters.

    If Santana can start at least 25 times, and at least be better than average, the Mets have a chance to exceed .500. The chance of being a playoff contender is very low this year, but I think the future looks brighter as a result of some recent moves and non-moves.

  • elsid

    The offense will be decent. But the starting pitching will be poor. Pelfrey is a headcase that should have been unloaded and his 5 million spent elsewhere. The games they win will be high scoring. On days they face a good starter they havent got a prayer and thats just the reality. Best case scenario is 75 wins.

  • crimsontidedad

    The problem on offense is last years very good offensive numbers were keyed by Jose Reyes batting .340 at the top of the order. Who’s the table setter this year Andres Torres at .230.
    No speed this year witjout without Reyes and Pagan on base. Torres has speed but can’t get on base. Station to station baseball.

  • Matt

    I think you’re looking at a sleeping giant when it comes to the offense. Moving in Citifield’s walls all of sudden won’t BS our players of so many big hits. Do I think we’ll win the division no, but there are 2 wild cards now, anything can happen.

    • gollytwo

      and let’s hope it does

  • Richard

    I agree; I think the Mets will surprise many, largely because of Collins and the can-do attitude he helps foster.

    (And for the record, the Mets are not paying me to submit this comment.)

  • smik2012

    So whats the suprise? The Mets Lack the talant to compete in that division. Collins has a lot of heart and mamages pretty good. The Mets will wind up out of the playoffs again about 10-12 games under .500. Big suprise!

  • Mark

    Absolutely, the Mets potentially could surprise. The question is whether the Mets offense will be so much better than the other teams in the NL East to make up for perceived shortcomings in their starting pitching and defense. While the Mets starters may not be the “big name” starters they do have something that the Nats, Braves, and Marlins don’t have and that is potentially 4 starters that can reach 200+ innings. Does anyone really believe that Hudson, Juirgens, Strasburg, Wang will pitch 200 plus innings? While the Mets pitchers may not be flashy they are durable. For all those “experts” that are saying the Mets have no shot look at the Cards, They don’t have Pujols, Larussa and most importantly Dave Duncan and yet they are supposed to make the playoffs and the Mets have no shot. Really? My prediction is that while the Mets might not win the division they will be in the wild card picture and they will win at minimum 10 more games than the Cardinals.

    • James

      since when do the Mets play in the NL Central & what do the Cardinals have to do with the Mets? Haven’t you notice that in the last 15 yrs?

      Does anyone really believe that a team with no pitching, no bullpen, holes in 2nd, CF, RF & catching and a terrible bench will make the playoff’s while playing in the NL East, REALLY?

      My prediction is that the Mets not only will end up in last place, but will the next few years as well.

      That’s really not a prediction, that’s pretty much reality.

  • Paul R

    The Mets last year with Reyes, Beltran and K-Rod played an astonishing 11 games over .500 during a 71 game stretch. That’s nearly half a season. But they were so bad after K-Rod and Beltran left along with Reyes’ injury that they still finished 77-85.

    Now they’ll be asked to play an entire season without those three players. I don’t think 67-95 or 62-100 is out of the realm of possibility. In fact, I think it’s downright likely.

    • Ken

      They didn’t have Davis, Murphy and Niese for a big part of the second half either. The bullpen was the biggest problem and they are stronger there this year. Yes, during that 71 game stretch they played well with Reyes, Beltran and K-Rod and this year they won’t have those guys but they will have Wright, Davis, and Duda, and a stronger pen, guys they did not have during that stretch. Not to mention potential impacts from Havens, Nuienhuis, Harvey, Familia, Mejia, edgin and Carson. Not saying your prediction is wrong or right just saying that it is February and there is some hope at least.

      • ..

        Ken, Terry Collins sounds like rex Ryan. Was he supported too say the truth that the Mets really suck, because they do.

        Every team in their own division improved. Getting back Davis does not mean they’re are better. They lost Reyes & Beltran. The pen & starting rotation still sucks.

        What hope do the the Mets have. Only 4 teams make the playoff, one team from each division winner and the wild card team. There are only 15 teams in each league, the Mets are 14th at best in the NL.

        Also, come July, Wright will be traded. He’s due to be a free agent, 2013. The Mets will trade him while he has some valueleft & not screw up like they did in keeping Reyes where he then left after the season.

        It’s the early 1960’s, late 1970’s the the whole 1990’s & 2000’s for the Mets again

        • mr. baseball

          Thank you .., I was thinking the same thing.At least the Jets had a chance until the Giants beat them.I hope the Yanks win the title like the Giants did,to shut the Mess and their pathetic fans up.

  • Joan

    Are the Mets paying people to write these “positive” articles? They were bad last year and only got worse over the winter. I have been a Mets fan since the 60’s and there haven’t been many times that I have felt this disgusted in that stretch. I don’t care how hard the manager gets a team to play, if you don’t have enough talent none of that matters.

  • Ian

    I believe it. Sure, the Mets lost Reyes to free agency, but I noticed a toughness to the Mets when Reyes missed games last season. I like these guys. I like the manager. Anything can happen.

    • Jeff

      Totally agree. Well said.

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