Terry Collins opened his tenure as the manager of the New York Mets by saying he looks forward to "the tremendous opportunity and responsibility of leading this team." And indeed the Mets selected him over fellow finalists Wally Backman, Chip Hale, and Bob Melvin for that task. "I love this job, I love this game, and I will do whatever I can for this team," Collins said.
Collins, who served as the Mets' minor-league field coordinator last season, believes success awaits the major-league club. "Knowing the personalities that are coming down the road, there's a bright future here," he said. "But you've still got to catch it, you still have to throw it over the plate, and you still have to run the bases. That will never change."
But Collins values the present as well. "There shouldn't be any doubt," he said regarding the Mets' chances of winning the World Series this season. "It can happen. You have to believe it." He cited the mid-'90s Atlanta Braves as an example of a team that managed to win through hard work and consistency even though it didn't have the best talent. He also invoked the San Francisco Giants, saying that last year at this time no one believed they would win a World Series either. It appears as though he will use the Mets' underdog status to motivate his club.
Collins said he will emphasize fundamentals and confidence when his players arrive for Spring Training this year. Explaining this remark, Collins said, "You don't take for granted that they know exactly what they should be doing." One way the game has changed over the last several years, he said, is that "teaching can't stop anymore." It used to be that a player received a lot of thorough instruction in the minor leagues, and was therefore "polished" when he arrived in the majors. That isn't the case anymore, however, as the best prospects advance through the minors very quickly, and consequently don't have the same level of refinement their predecessors did once they reach the big leagues.
The new manager also made it clear he believes the Mets have great talent, mentioning David Wright, Carlos Beltran, and Jason Bay among his top players, and saying the team can succeed "if the backs of the baseball cards" of those three players "don't change."