Adam Rubin had the chance to speak with three young Mets who all spent the 2010 seasons split amongst the Mets and the minor leagues. Here’s the skinny on Collins from Dillon Gee, Josh Thole and Nick Evans. Mouth of babes, indeed.
“He was constantly pulling for guys. Very positive,” Thole said. “When I was in Buffalo and I was going through that struggle [a 1-24 start], when he came into town, he was kind of keeping me loose. That’s what I noticed about him. And then there’s the flipside, where he’s a very intense guy. He’s an intense person when something has to be done the right way. He’s going to pump you full of positive information. He’s always going to be there. He’s going to have your back. But if you’re going to do something, do it right. That’s all he asks, pretty much.”
“The thing that a lot of us guys in the minor leagues really fell in love with about him was that he had a no B.S. approach,” Evans said. “I mean, he told us what he expected of us. He told us where we stood. We never had to question what he thought and what his plans were. He was straight up with us. Everyone really respected that right from the get-go about him.”
Said Gee: “You definitely know what he wants. Just by talking to him, you know he’s going to expect the best out of everyone, and expect everyone to do everything to give him the best. But, at the same time, he does it in a very respectful manner. And he doesn’t pull the wool over anybody’s eyes. He’s very straightforward with what he thinks. He’ll tell you what he thinks. You’ve got to respect that and like that as a player.”
“He battled for all of the players,” Thole said. “He went to [chief operating officer] Jeff [Wilpon], and had meeting after meeting with Jeff, just to try to get that rule changed — just to say, ‘Go out and relax and enjoy yourself when you play.’ ”He had only a handful of rules: be on time and play hard. It wasn’t difficult. We used to have to use the flip sunglasses, and he allowed us to use the Oakleys. It’s definitely minute, petty stuff, but when he got that done for all the minor leaguers, it just kind of showed to everybody, ‘Hey, this guy is pulling for us. We’re going to pull for him.’”
“I don’t think there should be any conflict [in the clubhouse] at all,” Thole said. “He’s a guy who is going to have your back, first off. And second, he’s going to have control of the clubhouse. I’ve seen him run the minor leagues for a short time. And that was seven, eight, nine teams. When he’s got his own team, I feel like he’s going to be very regimented, very organized and very detail-oriented.”
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