Terry Collins was introduced as the new manager of the New York Mets on Tuesday morning at Citi Field, and he said the team has the talent to be the last team standing come October.
Collins, the last managerial candidate standing after an initial list of 10 was reduced to four over two rounds of interviews, spoke passionately about wanting to get back to basics and instill fundamentals that will help the Mets succeed.
“This is a wonderful day for me," Collins said. “To wear this uniform is a very proud day. There are only 30 of these jobs…and they are very difficult to do.
“The game has changed, but you still have to catch it and throw it over the plate and run the bases and put it in play.”
Collins, who said he had a “tremendous responsibility” to lead the team, spoke about being accountable for the team both on and off the field. He said he wants the game being played the right way.
That starts with pitching and defense and goes all the way through to executing things like sacrifice bunts, hit-and-runs and stolen bases.
Here are 10 other things Collins can address.
“The love of the game makes me want to play the game correctly,” he said, “and that won’t take a back seat.
How many games will the Mets win in 2011?
“I love this job, I love this team and I will do whatever it takes to bring success to the New York Mets.”
Collins’ passion and enthusiasm were on display right from the get-go, and he addressed fan concerns about a lack of recent managerial experience.
Collins, the Mets’ minor league field coordinator in 2009, said the teaching can’t stop once players get to The Show. He said his background in player development will be an asset because players get to the majors quicker and don’t necessarily have the innings or at-bats in the minors like they have in the past.
New GM Sandy Alderson said of Collins: “Terry really separated himself from the other candidates.
"We felt Terry strongly represented all of those [qualities] and we are very pleased that he was willing to accept our offer."
Alderson said his intensity was an attractive quality to the team, but that his experience in the major leagues and time spent in player development were crucial in choosing him as the new man at the helm.
Collins, who will wear No. 10, added, “I am full of energy and full of enthusiasm and I am not the evil devil that some people have made me out to be…I have a passion for the game and a passion for excellence.”
If the team takes on even some of these traits, they will be in a better position in 2011.
It starts with the manager, and he will dictate the tone. If he earns the respect of the team, this fiery manager man just be able to help the team back to relevance. It's a long road, and it's certainly not a given, but there is hope. The outlook is pretty bleak for the coming season because the team just doesn't have positional depth or payroll flexibility, but hopefully Collins is not in this just for the short term.
If he can help mold this group of players into his team, a deep run into the playoffs in 2012 is certainly a realistic possibility.
Collins said that when there’s dual respect between the team and the coaches, the players take on the personality of the manager. Let's all hope this passion is on display on the field in April.