I read a great article last night from David Lennon of Newsday, that I believe most of you will enjoy. Lennon got together with Carlos Beltran after the Mets lost to the Cardinals, and the former Mets center fielder looked back fondly at his time with the Mets and talked about his first years with the team when he helped David Wright adjust to the big leagues. But what I found most fascinating was what he had to say about Terry Collins who he says should get a lot of the credit for the Zack Wheeler trade.
Beltran had missed a lot of time during the 2009-2010 seasons and only played a total of 145 games in that span. But if not for Terry Collins the Mets might have never convinced the Giants to trade for him in 2011.
As Lennon points out, Beltran was hitting .289/.391/.513 through the first 98 games of that season and that might have never happened if not for the way Collins eased him back and worked out a plan that would ensure he would stay healthy enough to play a full season. It was a plan he implemented even before spring training began and was modified and readjusted as both Collins and Beltran kept in daily contact.
“I attribute that season to Terry Collins because of the way he communicated with me,” Beltran said. “The way he had a plan and listened to how I was feeling. He basically gave me the opportunity to get back.”
Though Sandy Alderson gets credit for making what some have said will go down as the best trade of his Mets tenure, Beltran suggested Wednesday that Terry Collins deserves a big assist for keeping him healthy enough to play at all. If Beltran’s knees stopped him from putting up decent numbers, there would have been no Wheeler trade.
Oddly enough, Collins may not even be around to see Zack Wheeler’s first full season in the majors, as the team refused to give him an extension this offseason, opting instead to let him play out his final year without any assurance that Alderson wants him back.
But that doesn’t bother Collins much, and he’ll go out there and do the best he can with the cards that he’s been dealt.
In many ways, just like Carlos Beltran, Terry Collins is another class act who doesn’t get nearly enough credit for his impact on this team. We don’t get too many class acts that come through Flushing lately, that’s why I’m always so appreciative of the few truly nice guys that have worn or still wear the Orange and Blue.