In a must read article by Joel Sherman of the NY Post, Larry Bowa gives managerial candidate Terry Collins a glowing endorsement and also sheds light on one of the concerns about Collins.
If there is a worry concerning Collins, it is about how his tour with the Angels ended. He managed the Angels to second-place finishes in both 1997 and ’98, just as he did in managing the Astros from 1994-96. But in 1999 the Angels were 51-82 and reportedly on the verge of mutiny against the manager when Collins was fired.
Bowa insists that the difficulties were mainly limited to a personality clash with Mo Vaughn, who had recently signed a big contract with the Angels.
“It has been portrayed as a lot of problems, and it wasn’t,” Bowa said. “He really got on great with the players. And there is no doubt in my mind that would be true in New York, as well. This is a mentally tough guy. This is a great situation for him in New York because that team did not play up to its potential, there is some talent there, and I think Terry would be good at getting guys to play to their potential.”
Bowa also recounts a conversation with David Wright during the final weeks of the season.
During the conversation, Bowa recalled yesterday, Wright bemoaned that there was “no discipline here whatsoever,” nodding toward a relatively empty bench. That was symbolic of too many players being in the clubhouse rather than in the dugout supporting their teammates.
Bowa said Wright lamented that the coaches were afraid to assert authority over the players to better police such matters. In an e-mail response, Wright said he never questioned his team’s discipline, but that he was “frustrated” and said he probably did mention to Bowa that it was a “pet peeve” when guys are not on the bench.
And Wright, while not championing any candidate, did say, “I do think a manager that has fire and is a good disciplinarian is a good thing. It’s good to kick the players in the butt sometimes.”
If Wright feels that way, I can guarantee you a dozen other players feel that way too. I hope the new guys are listening. I’m all for getting a manager that fits the front office philosophy, but I hope he is an assertive manager that fits the mold of what this team needs most right now.
Whoever the Mets choose to manage this team, I hope that being a firm disciplinarian is just one of his many traits, along with being a strong leader who cares about fundamentals and being a great strategist during the game as well.
Incidentally, if Collins is tabbed for the new Mets manager, Bowa could join him as part of the coaching staff.