“Terry has done a great job of managing everybody, just like Whitey used to,” Hernandez said. “Mixing and matching, making everybody feel a part of the club.”
Of course, the famous Whitey Herzog helped build and managed the 1982 World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals that Keith Hernandez was a part of. Hernandez went on to note that the 1982 team was a bunch of “nut cases” and that Whitey knew how do handle them all. He spoke similarly of Collins.
“He’s a lifer, old school. I would of loved to have played for him,” Hernandez continued. “He’s one of the best managers I’ve ever seen. He’s not going to beat himself. He’s not going to fall asleep.”
While Collins has taken a lot of grief during his time in Queens, many are starting to give him the credit he deserves for managing a team built on the backs of a handful of farmhands, a few older vets and of course, “La Potencia”. Collins knows that every decision he makes, especially in a pennant race and beyond, is under intense skepticism.
“Every decision you make, there’s 50 percent of people who would do it differently,” he told Bob Klapisch of The Record before Monday’s 4-3 victory over the Marlins. “That’s just the nature of the game and I’m fine with it.”
The new constructs of the Mets roster presents a good challenge for Collins, who has to split time evenly between many impactful players. Whether it’s giving Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe at-bats or giving David Wright the correct amount of rest to keep him healthy, each day presents its obstacles. He also deserves credit for keeping the tone of the team steady and consistent while the New York media frenzy does it’s work.
Collins deserves a great deal of credit in leading his team to this point in the season, with a magic number of 10 and a division clincher in the near-future.