Terry Collins was hired as manager of the New York Mets to try to help revive the franchise, which finished 79-83 last year with Major League Baseball’s fifth- highest payroll.
Collins, 61, a former manager of the Houston Astros and Anaheim Angels, has a major-league record of 444-434 and has been effective in leading teams through rebuilding phases, while never reaching the playoffs. The Mets finished below .500 each of the last two seasons and haven’t made the World Series since losing in five games to the New York Yankees in 2000.
His hiring was confirmed by the Mets in a release announcing an introductory news conference tomorrow at Citi Field.
Collins spent parts of 10 seasons playing in the minor leagues, never recording a major-league at-bat. He then managed in the minors before being hired by the third-place Astros after 1993.
Collins led Houston to a 224-197 record and three consecutive second-place finishes in the National League Central. He was fired after the 1996 season with one year remaining on his contract, and was hired by the Angels after Anaheim lost 91 games the previous season.
Collins led the Angels to second-place American League West finishes in 1997 and 1998. In 1999, after starting the season 51-82 and losing the support of a number of his veteran players, Collins was fired with 29 games remaining. He hasn’t managed in the major leagues since.
Collins replaces Jerry Manuel, who had a 204-213 record with the team and was fired on Oct. 4 along with General Manager Omar Minaya. On Oct. 29 the team named 62-year-old Sandy Alderson as Minaya’s successor.
Manuel’s tenure as manager was marked by injuries to All- Stars Johan Santana and Carlos Beltran and two consecutive fourth-place finishes in the NL East. The Mets have made the playoffs once since the 2000 World Series, in 2006 under then- manager Willie Randolph. The Yankees have made the playoffs in 15 of the last 16 seasons and won five World Series titles in that span.
The on-field struggles led to falling attendance rates in the Mets’ second season at $850 million Citi Field, leading the team to lower ticket prices by an average of 14 percent for 2011. Attendance this year was 2.6 million, down 600,000 from 2009.
The Mets’ 2010 opening day salary was $132.7 million, the fifth-highest of baseball’s 30 teams. The club finished 18 games behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East and one game behind the Florida Marlins, whose opening day payroll was $55.6 million.
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