Terry Collins Was The Perfect Choice For Sandy Alderson

An article by posted on November 22, 2010

Man, oh man… Reading all these sob stories in the last few hours is really irritating to say the least. Oh woe is us, the Mets have hired Terry Collins, and our holy begotten savior Wally Backman was skipped over despite all of his astonishing achievements with the South Georgia Peanuts and his mighty feats in the short-season New York Penn League.

How can we possibly pass over one of the most gifted managers in all of baseball? How can we ever go on as a fan base and as an organization? What in God’s name was Sandy Alderson thinking? Why didn’t the Wilpon’s step in and meddle?

Oh please give me a break…

Regarding Backman, I know many of my own friends and countless Mets fans were very disappointed.

I’m sure that today and tomorrow we’ll see all the Mets Polls that say 55% of Mets fans hated the decision. Well too bad… Crying about it won’t change a thing.

The truth of the matter is that Wally Backman didn’t really fit the profile of what Sandy Alderson was looking for. Actually, I was shocked he was even interviewed, so most of you should be happy he at least got as far as he did. 

Yes, Sandy made it very clear on more than one occasion that he felt somebody who was fiery was very desirable, and Backman certainly fit that bill. But he also said he wanted someone with major league experience and that was a huge hurdle for Backman to overcome, simply because he had none.

Of the four finalists, Terry Collins was actually  the only one who fit those two criteria.

The Manager should be Sandy Alderson’s choice and certainly not Fred or Jeff Wilpon’s and especially not ours.

The last thing we needed was another GM whose main priority was appeasing the fans.

If all you wanted was a marionette to run the team, then we should have kept Omar Minaya which is essentially what he had become in his last 15 months as the Mets GM. But that’s not what any of us wanted.

We asked for and demanded a leader, and thank heavens we got a great one in Sandy Alderson. So now lets allow him to lead this organization without the distraction of a horde of bloggers who all seem to think they have the know-how to do it better than he can. Yeah, right.

I steered clear of this whole manager diatribe except to initially say that my hope was that we wouldn’t hire anyone with Mets ties and that we should consider Ryne Sandberg, who was wisely snatched up by the Philadelphia Phillies to manage their Triple-A team. Wally will probably lead the Single-A St. Lucie Mets from what I hear. Obviously, neither of those two things happened so I stood by on the sidelines and watched the sideshow.

Getting back to Alderson and his decision… We finally have a giant of man in charge of our team with more integrity, knowledge and experience than any other general manager in this team’s history, and yet the consensus is that he should bow down to the whims of some bloggers who were basing their selection on all the wrong reasons, rather than letting Alderson personally choose the man he feels is best equipped to carry out his vision for the future of the new New York Mets. Everybody just relax and take a deep breath.

One of the many MSM articles I’ve read mostly agree that Terry Collins was the right choice to manage this team. Scott Miller, the senior editor of CBS Sports, probably said it best,

Not only does Collins have major league experience as a manager, he’s spent the past year as the Mets’ Field Coordinator. In that role, Collins pretty much was responsible for knowing and structuring every last detail of the club’s farm system, from coordinating teaching methods to evaluating staff. And man oh man, if there’s a team in the majors that needs structure, teaching and coordinating right now, it’s the “Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game” gang.

This is an organization that desperately needs to be steam-cleaned, detoxed and spit-shined. By putting an adult in charge upstairs — Alderson — the Wilpons finally are giving themselves a real chance not to come off as the goofs they are. By putting Collins in charge downstairs, Alderson swiftly reinforced the chain of command and the notion that, among other things, he intends to start remaking the Mets from the inside out.

The coming season is purely transitional, and Collins knows the organization — top to bottom — as well as anybody. That’s the first part of what makes this a wise move.

David Waldstien of the NY Times also penned a great piece and in it he called Collins ”a bright and energetic career baseball man with a knack for teaching younger players”.

He also said Collins has drawn favorable comparisons to former Mets manager Bobby Valentine, writing that “both men spent time in the Dodgers’ organization in their formative years as players, and both have strong opinions and piercing baseball intellect.”

You know what, I can live with all those things.

One of the lamest arguments I’ve read from many of the dissenters is the common retort that Terry Collins is a loser, which of course is not true because he won better than 50% of his games. It’s just a futile attempt at grasping at straws.

It’s very rare for any manager to win a World Series in his first tenure with a team, the odds are overwhelmingly against it.

Look at what Joe Torre accomplished after he became the unlikely manager of the Yankees, he was another manager “who never won anything” according to throngs of pissed-off Yankee fans at the time. And maybe a better example is that of Terry Francona who had compiled an appalling record of 285 W - 363 L with the Philadelphia Phillies, never finishing higher than third place, before taking over the Red Sox and guiding them to immortality in his first season at their helm.

You want a Mets example?

How about Gil Hodges, whose only experience as a major league manager was guiding the Washington Senators to six straight losing seasons and never finishing higher than sixth place?

During one of those seasons Hodges finished the year with a dreadful 62-100 record.

In his second year as Mets skipper he would do the unimaginable and instead finish with a 100-62 record and go onto win the World Series. The year was 1969.

Now I’m not saying that’s what will happen with Terry Collins as our new skipper, but what I am saying is that it could happen and that his record with the Astros and Angels though unremarkable is exactly the kind of experience Sandy Alderson was looking for.

Sandy Alderson got his man, and regardless of what any of us think, to Alderson, Terry Collins was the perfect choice.

Now let’s move on, and talk about more important things like who will be our setup man, who will be our second baseman and more importantly, who is replacing Johan Santana as the team’s ace.

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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