The New York Mets need confidence, communication and renewed passion to turn a talent-heavy roster into a playoff team once more, new manager Terry Collins said.
“The lines of communication have to be open on a daily Basis,” Collins said today at a press conference. “The players have to realize my passion for the game and my passion for excellence. I know they have the same passion.”
Collins was introduced at Citi Field after signing a two- year contract. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
The 61-year-old former manager of the Houston Astros and Anaheim Angels takes over a team that hasn’t made the Major League Baseball playoffs since 2006 or a World Series since losing to the New York Yankees in 2000. The Mets went 79-83 last season and fired manager Jerry Manuel and general manager Omar Minaya in October.
When Collins received his No. 10 Mets jersey, he accidentally put a button in the wrong hole. As team executives helped fix the slanted jersey, Collins joked that it had been a long time. He hasn’t managed in the major leagues since being leaving the Angels late in the 1999 season, after his fiery style frustrated many of the team’s veterans.
“When there’s dual respect on both sides, the players do take on the personality of the manager,” Collins said. “If that happens, there will be energy in Citi Field on a nightly basis.”
Collins is well known for his development of young players. The Mets relied heavily last season on youth, including Ike Davis, Josh Thole and Chris Carter, and newly hired GM Sandy Alderson called Collins’s player development a “significant factor” in the team’s choice of manager.
Back to Basics
Collins said that the team would go back to basics. After managing for two seasons in Japan, Collins said fundamentals -- fielding, bunting, manufacturing runs -- will be emphasized next season.
“It’s going to be a new day, a new year,” Collins said. “When we get to spring training, we are going to start talking about confidence. You have to be confident to play this game.”
The Mets finished in fourth in the NL East each of the past two seasons. Falling attendance in the team’s second season at $850 million Citi Field forced the team to lower ticket prices by an average of 14 percent for 2011.
“I love this job, I love this team and I will do whatever it takes to bring success to the New York Mets,” Collins said. “We want to be the last team standing next October.”
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