Moments from PSL: Terry Collins talks to fans, jokes with Valverde

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

I love the way Terry Collins stares down his players when watching practice. He looks like a General. Arms folded. Hat low. Peering beneath the brim, shrugging, kicking dirt and weighing in only when appropriate. He always looks pissed off, actually. He looks disgruntled and a bit agitated. I think that’s just his nervous energy, but it creates an urgent vibe that is totally counter to the easy, laid-back feeling of Spring Training, especially at this early date…


DSC_0711_Snapseed


DSC_0715_Snapseed


Then, he’ll so quickly turn that off and laugh with a player who made a joke. For instance, today, while watching pitchers do fielding drills, with camp rather quiet and still, Jose Valverde led the charge from one field to the next by screaming at the top of his lungs. “Yah, yah, yah, yah, yah,” he screeched, smiling, waiving his arms, yelling to fans and players and coaches, “Wake up, wake up.”


DSC_0718


Collins joked that this should be Valverde’s new way of entering a game when running from the bullpen.

“Oh, don’t you worry, I have a whole bunch of things I want to do,” Valverde told his manager, who laughed while rolling his eyes.

Collins then strolled over to the fence to talk with fans, as he usually does a few times during each day’s camp. This is one of my favorite things to watch. They’re very honest, normal conversations between fans and the manager of their favorite team. It doesn’t sound like a postgame interview or a Q&A with Mike Francesa. Instead, I hear a lot of questions about the game, about performance, technique, reasoning behind decisions, etc. It’s very enlightening and entertaining…


DSC_0733_Snapseed


I overheard Collins talking to a 16-year-old fan who was asking him about how batters pick up pitches and rotation from a pitcher’s hand. Terry explained how it worked, why it’s important and what the kid should look for. This wasn’t a conversation between the Mets manager and a fan, instead, it was a conversation between a curious young baseball player and a man who who has incredible wisdom from a lifetime in the game… Then, as always, someone asks about the team, Collins takes on a slightly different, more serious tone and shuffles off back to business…


DSC_0738_Snapseed

25 comments
chasesimms
chasesimms

"I love the way Terry Collins stares down his players when watching practice. He looks like a General. Arms folded. Hat low."

STOP IT.  Collins is a terrible leader.  He talks too much, says things and announces changes/ideas that last 12 hours.  He looks like he really has no idea what he's doing and has no plan most of the time.    

And he never learned from this!  Last season, how many times did he say something and then so the complete opposite 12 to 24 hours later?  A dozen times at least.   

Amazin' Raisin'
Amazin' Raisin'

Great, a slobbering puff piece on a major league manager whose Mets teams have gone a combined 225-261. The only apt comparisons to a General I see are to George Custer. This nudnik has proven time and again that he is not a leader of men; he regularly publicly humiliates young players, while uttering nary a word about the failings of high-priced, useless veterans. This team cannot, and it will not, succeed while this hot-headed yes-man is at the helm. 

Steve
Steve

Nice post, great insights for those of us not there. 

hankincolo
hankincolo

Here's an idea Matt, hide a microphone on a "fan". Of course, you might get fired. 

Patrick Boegel
Patrick Boegel

Spent a lot of time in the military have we?  Good grief. 

BadContract
BadContract

If only there was incredible wisdom.

Joe Wenzel
Joe Wenzel

@chasesimms He was probably spacing out thinking about the Cocoa Puffs he had for breakfast - Cerrone is too funny.  The players probably laugh about him behind his back.

Starz31
Starz31

@chasesimms  You're right, Matt should just be quite and not relay what's actually happening down in Spring Training. He's describing the scene. No need to extrapolate and criticize Terry for something you have no idea about. Maybe he is a good leader? We don't know, we're not there every day. His in-game management is certainly up for argument though. 

zoddie
zoddie

@chasesimms He may be a mediocre tactician, but I think he is a good leader.  Read RA Dickey's book for more insights.  Players tend to REALLY like this guy.


Is he as good as Joe Maddon of the Rays? Probably not, no.  But he's certainly better than the likes of Art Howe or Willie Randolph or Dallas Green.  People forget just how bad some of our managers have been these last couple of decades.

Amazin' Raisin'
Amazin' Raisin'

@chasesimms Right! I remember one game last season vs. the Royals wherein Zack Wheeler was pitching. Marlon Byrd was stumbling around the field like a blind man, and lost three or four balls in the sun. After the game, Terry threw Zack completely under the bus for no apparent reason. The next day, Terry backtracked and said that he wasn't criticizing Zack after all. 


Inconsistent. Dull-headed. Piss-poor leadership.

Starz31
Starz31

@Amazin' Raisin'  He's talking about the scene during a Spring Training session. I don't think he's a great manager but he's here for now. Might as well roll with it. We need better players first and foremost. 

Amazin' Raisin'
Amazin' Raisin'

@zoddie @chasesimmsI would not put too much stock into words published about a sitting manager in a 38-year-old pitcher's contract year. Actions speak way louder than words in this case; the record is filled with Collins spewing venom about various players throughout the last three seasons. None of this has led to any meaningful progress or success.

jeff_nordstedt
jeff_nordstedt

@matthewcerrone jealous. I've only been to ST once in 06. Maybe that's what's been missing ever since. I watched Milledge run all over.

Starz31
Starz31

@FakeSandyAlderson @PL Worthington III  To be fair, Sandy doesn't actually lie. He's pretty upfront and honest. He just speaks like a lawyer hemming and hawing even if it's often realistic.  He usually says nothing noteworthy but he hasn't really misled us on any promises or anything. 

Amazin' Raisin'
Amazin' Raisin'

@zoddie @Amazin' Raisin'@chasesimms Listen to all of the equivocation here! A major league manager "isn't afraid" to play rookies? What a signature achievement. And I'm not just talking about Valdespin. I mentioned the example of Wheeler above as well. I agree that Terry's bullpen management isn't Ron Washington-level putrid, but it's not very good either. I admit that the Dickey thing was a bit of an exaggeration on my part, but what fun is this if I can't make unsubstantiated claims?!

zoddie
zoddie

@Amazin' Raisin' @zoddie@chasesimms  How would going out of your way to praise the way your manager positively affected your life and was a great coach for you help you negotiate a better contract?  Why say anything?  He also wrote the book well before his Cy Young year.  And he ended up getting traded, so it isn't like the book made the Mets think he was indispensible.

Terry isn't afraid to play rookies, he isn't terrible at managing a bullpen, he knows how to do a double switch, and he isn't unwilling to use a platoon.  If he talked smack about Valdespin, so be it.  Like I said, he's miles better than Howe, Randolph, or Green.  He isn't as clever as Bobby V, but I bet his bosses like him better than they liked dealing with Valentine.

zoddie
zoddie

@Ken Thall @matthewcerrone To be fair to Lastings Milledge, the dude signed a $4.4 million contract in 2013.  That's more than Collins makes.


That's also better than I did in 2013.