2011 New York Mets Coaching Staff: Terry Collins Needs To Fill in the Holes
As the 20th manager in New York Mets history, Terry Collins gave the impression during his introductory press conference that he wanted to start from scratch with his newly inherited team and go back to the basics.
He said that as the game changes, players are spending less time learning and developing at the minor league level, and now the major league level is where players need to be taught the fundamentals of the game.
In order for Collins to begin his new philosophy of coaching, he needs the assistance and back up to help execute his plan and return a winning ball club to the field.
The GM and manager have finally been hired and now its time to fill in the holes on the coaching staff. Here are some possible solutions to fill the void at each position for the New York Mets.
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2010 coach: Dan Warthen
2011 candidates: Dan Warthen, Dave Wallace
Dan Warthen has the best chances of reclaiming his role as the Mets pitching coach in 2011 being the incumbent. He is highly praised by many players and pitchers, especially Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey. He has known Collins for many years going back to his tenure with the Astros in the mid-1990s and should regain his chance to lead the pitching staff into opening day with their No. 1 ace.
Dave Wallace has been a name thrown out there for a few days. Him and Collins go back to the early 80s in the Dodgers organization and he was also the Mets pitching coach half of ’99 after Bobby got fired.
He could potential cause a threat to Warthen’s job status, but Warthen’s experience and success with this group of pitcher is what will have him coming back.
2011 coach: Dan Warthen
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2010 coach: Dave Jauss
2011 candidates: Bob Melvin, Ken Oberkfell, Ken Macha
Losing out on the managerial job, Bob Melvin looks to be the leading candidate to land the 2011 Mets bench coach job. Collins has said he wants an even-keeled bench coach who can bring balance in the clubhouse with the intensity he manages with. Melvin can be that guy.
With incumbent Dave Jauss most likely taking another job within the organization, the position is up for grabs.
Triple-A Buffalo Bisons manager Ken Oberkfell can get looked at for the job so too will former manager Ken Macha. Both bring experience and a tranquil quality that Collins sees in his bench coach to counter his fiery personality.
2011 coach: Bob Melvin
First Base Coach
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2010 coach: Razor Shines
2011 candidates: Mookie Wilson, Larry Bowa, Tim Teuful
As Razor Shines is out the door along with his good friend Jerry Manuel, his departure will lead to a hiring outside the organization, and some very interesting names lead the list.
Mookie Wilson is thought to be the front-runner for the job where he can be part-time first base coach part-time outfield coach. Collins is a strong advocate of Mookie’s hiring and it will be good to have a coach with Mets ties during great years of the organization.
Following Wilson is former manager Larry Bowa. Although he would bring a wealth of knowledge about the game and coaching players, the thought of Bowa, Hale and Collins on the same bench seems to be an "intensity" overload.
Bowa did say that once Collins was hired he was expecting a call, so who knows; he may be offered a position somewhere else in the organization.
Coaching Class-A St. Lucie last year, certainly Tim Teuful deserves to get a look at for the major league coaching staff. He also comes with previous ties to the Mets playing with the team from ’86 to ’91. Not only would his knowledge of the base paths help at first base, but he was also a childhood friend of my father’s growing up in Greenwich, Connecticut, so that would be freaking awesome as well.
2011 coach: Mookie Wilson
Third Base Coach
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2010 coach: Chip Hale
2011 candidates: Chip Hale
We’ve heard how happy the team is with Chip Hale at third base and I expect him to stay right there.
Hale was a final candidate for the managerial position before Collins got the job, so I would assume the Mets would be smart enough to keep him.
2011 coach: Chip Hale
2010 coach: Randy Niemann
2011 candidates: Randy Niemann, Jon Debus
There have been talks around the organization that Randy Niemann will not be returning to the Mets as the bullpen coach. Although in their eyes, he handled the bullpen well last season, Terry Collins has states he wants a bullpen coach with a catching background.
A name I’ve heard thrown around is former Dodger minor league manager and catching coordinator, Jon Debus. Debus and Collins go back many years with their time spent in the Dodgers organization, so it could make sense that he may fill Niemann’s old position.
2011 coach: Jon Debus
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2010 coach: Howard Johnson
2011 candidates: ...
The search for a hitting coach to replace Howard Johnson has taken a back seat to more pressing issues facing Alderson and the Mets.
The pursuit will be a collective effort that will try to pinpoint a coach who will fit the offensive philosophy the Mets intend to operate.
Although HoJo seemingly did a good job last year, he will most likely be relocated to a different position within the organization, but as for now, no one has even been vaguely mentioned to take over the position.
2011 coach: Still up in the air.
Douglas Glen Miller
I would like to take this opportunity to dedicate all of my writing to my best friend who passed away this past Thanksgiving.
I had this article and a few more in the works before I was delivered that dreadful new Thanksgiving morning, and much of my work has been put on hold so I can be around friends and family.
Doug was a great guy, my best friend, roommate and a loyal Cardinals fan. He would always tell me the story about how at a Cardinals spring training game, he had first-row seats up the third base line and after waiting the entire game, finally, a foul ball came his way. Right when he though the souvenir was his, Jose Oquendo nabbed it in front of him and gave it to some little kid.
He always said this story with a smile, and the moments I shared with Doug can never and will never be forgotten.
I know he's up there looking down, and it makes me proud to know that I still have the motivation to continue writing because he was my biggest supporter of posting to this site. He read everything I wrote and even gave me some feedback sometimes.
I just want all of you to take a little out of your day to say a prayer for my best friend Doug Miller and the Miller family.
The funeral is in a few days and I don't know how I'm going to get through it, but I know with the help of loved ones, Doug's memory will forever last.