Terry Collins Is Cool, Calm, Collected

An article by posted on August 12, 2011

I look up past history for Terry Collins he doesn’t seem like the same man I know from the Mets clubhouse. This man is quiet, smart, very knowledgeable Frankly, I had never heard of Terry Collins until Sandy Alderson introduced him to the Mets Organization and press last fall, and I think I’m pretty well informed about MLB goings on.

Here was this quiet man, paying attention to his new boss, Sandy, and who only spoke a few words mentioning that he would be spending the winter reading up on the Mets and their world. He then disappeared to Port St. Lucie where it is always baseball weather and he could begin to put his ideas out on the field. He had a lot of catching up to do, and his first order of duty was to determine which players were fit and ready to play his brand of baseball, and which players would start the season on the shelf.

Incidentally, the Mets always have some issues with the health of their players. If and when someone is injured, it always seems to be more than the Mets tell you – and why is that? In today’s news cycle word travels at the speed of sound and you will know ASAP just what has happened, but not completely. This is an ongoing problem with the Mets – you never get exactly the news you need to know because it is treated like an atomic secret. Right now, for instance, what do we know for sure about pitcher Johan Santana and first baseman Ike Davis? Simply put, nothing for sure.

Anyway back to Terry.

Terry has made the Mets dugout/clubhouse a place for the players to get together and they do. David Wright, who is the ‘de facto’ Captain. does most of that work behind the scenes. (Note – you’d be surprised to find out how often he and Derek Jeter talk about New York and how to remain above the fray in the Big City). Terry has found/made time to say a few words to every player, every day. Is your boss like that?

Carlos Beltran, before he was sent to the West Coast, told Terry everything at their morning chat. Somehow I think the Mets will rue the day they sent Carlos away. And if Jose Reyes is next, it would be like sending your son away from home, Jose is a different personality and needs familiar surroundings.

Amidst all of this Terry seems like the coolest one in the crowd and he is doing just fine in that clubhouse. I’ve heard that he’s in the running for some awards this season – I certainly hope so, I can’t think of any other manager who deserves them more.

** Special Note **

As Joe knows, the reason why I’ve been absent from MMO this past week is because of the sudden and tragic passing of Dave Solomon - the sorrow has touched so many people who had grown up with Dave. I’ll reprint just a couple of paragraphs from one article - it was a lengthy piece.

WALLINGFORD – Dave Solomon, 59, died Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, in a single-car accident on Interstate 91 in Middletown while returning from an assignment covering the first day of football practice at the University of Connecticut.Dave’s career at the Register spanned 35 years, during which he covered everything from schoolboy sports to the pros. He had an encyclopedic memory of the games played and the people who played in them. From Yankee Stadium to the fields at Yale, from Madison Square Garden to local high school gyms, Dave interviewed and wrote stories about the greats, the near greats and the wannabe-greats. He was the eyes and ears of every sports fan who wanted to be in the locker room after the big game. The game stories he wrote were vivid, and chiseled from the hyperbole that often comes along with victory or loss. If Dave wrote it, there was no doubt that things happened just that way.

Readers got the unvarnished truth from Dave, often to the dismay of any player or coach with an inflated ego and the bluster to match. Dave simply wrote what he knew and was unafraid to walk back into the locker room the next day to face those of whom he had been critical. There was no backup or retreat in Dave. But most of the time Dave wrote about the human side of sports. It was the athletes’ journey he was interested in. Dave understood that the game was only part of the story and he could be the most compassionate of writers when something touched his heart. A challenge could make Dave as competitive as the people and sports he covered. It didn’t matter if it was backyard ping pong or a casual game of golf, Dave played hard and fair, much the way he handled life.

Later in his newspaper career at the Register, Dave was promoted to columnist. While he sometimes still covered games and wrote accounts of the exploits on the field, the column gave flight to Dave’s full knowledge of sports and the people who play them for fun and profit. Reporters are bound to keep their feelings out of their stories, but columnists have no such restriction. His “I Was Thinking” column allowed him to share his thoughts with readers every Sunday. What he wrote each week was an amalgam of what he had seen and heard along the way. At his core, Dave was a sports fan just like his readers. What he wrote often resonated with readers because they were thinking the very same thing. Most of the time, readers loved him; sometimes they hated him. And there were those times that they did both simultaneously. Either way, his columns were eagerly awaited.

The whole sports community in Connecticut will miss Dave – if you knew him or knew of his work – feel free to write your comments below. Thanks.

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