Since the second Terry Collins arrived the sound and the tone of team changed. It was a new voice, with new ideas, new batting orders and a whole new way to play the game. “If nothing else, we are going to play hard and the play the game the way it’s supposed to be played” is what Collins has preached from day one. Terry has come as advertised, and has held people accountable for their actions on and off the field.
While the whole mindset that Collins instilled in spring training has had an affect on this year’s team for the better. The fact that this roster continues to be ravaged by countless injuries to top players has not changed a bit. The only difference is that the guys who are fragile are playing everyday, while the guys who have no history of injuries are taking their turn sitting on the DL.
We are shorthanded in every facet of our team, as we are missing key players in the rotation, the infield, and the outfield (since Bay is off in la la land). Terry has instilled the will to fight in the guys who suit up everyday and take the field. He has them playing to the last pitch, as we have seen with late rallies. Instead of laughing off a mistake in a press conference, like Jerry Manuel did. Terry addresses every mistake in the dugout immediately after it occurs, and uses it as a teaching tool. This team is aggressive, taking extra bases, stealing bases and making aggressive plays on defense.
In this season alone, they have dug a hole and fought back to the brink of moving over .500 three separate times now in the first 60 plus games. To me this is the most telling sign of the change in thinking being instilled in these guys from the new regime.
1. We started out 5-13, fought back to 11-13 after a 6 game winning streak, only to falter and fall back to 11-17.
2. They then went 11-5 in their next 16 games, hit the .500 mark at 22-22 in a win over the yanks, only to falter once again losing 6 of their next 7 games to fall to 23-28.
3. Since then they are 8-4, and today have clawed their way back to the brink of .500 again, 31-32 entering tonight’s game with the Pirates.
It has been exciting, and makes for some very interesting story lines. There have been so many young guys step up, and players like Turner and Gee who may be solidifying themselves as starters with their opportunities. I am beginning to feel like we may have a shot. With the team playing this way, there is a very real possibility that we could be a .500 team when the reinforcements of Davis, Wright and Johan return. Could we actually be buyers and not sellers at the deadline? That could be the case if we are in the race. I hope so; all I want is to see some meaningful baseball into September.
LET’S GO METS!
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