The New Foundation is Set

Before I begin, I’d like to take a moment to thank all of you who supported KinersKorner despite our long absence, and I’d like to welcome our new bloggers to the fold. I’m looking forward to setting a new foundation with the past and present for a brighter future.

Oh, look at that. A segue.

The Mets finally are making some off-the-field headlines that aren’t embarrassing, but unfortunately have not been without cringes and exasperation. The hiring of the new front office, Sandy Alderson, J.P. Ricciardi, Paul DePodesta, along with incumbents John Ricco and Wayne Krivski give the Mets more experience and professionalism than I can remember at some time. (Though I will admit I have no memory of the 1986 front office, unlike the rest of these old farts on this blog I was only 3 at the time.)

Today they continued to go in the direction of experience hiring Terry Collins as manager. Rumors are swirling about his staff, with a possible surprising turn at pitching coach with Dan Warthen out and Dave Wallace returning to staff. Dave Wallace is well respected in the industry but I’d be concerned to remove Warthen with Dickey and Pelfrey claiming he was instrumental to their success, and “Rockin’ Leo Mazzone” a free agent interested in the big apple. By the way, rumors are out that Mookie Wilson may return as 1b coach.

Wait a minute. Controversial manager. Dave Wallace Pitching Coach. Mookie Wilson 1b coach. Why do I have Deja Vu?

Terry Collins's New Bench Coach?

The choice of Collins is interesting on many levels. He only signed a 2 year deal. You can read that in many ways. The anti-Collins, pro-Everyone Else, anti-hope Mets fan will look at that as a lack of confidence. I see it as prudence and a sign of the change in ownership.

Why does Collins deserve a longer deal? You can assume that the New Mets Order had no runaway favorite, and who can blame them? Each of the 4 finalists were flawed. Clint Hurdle, who I believe probably would’ve won the job had he waited, was flawed. Even Bobby Valentine has flaws beyond the asking price.

So why should they extend themselves to a longer term deal before seeing if he improved since 1999? It also gives them the opportunity to hire a different manager during what we would hope would be the end of the retool/rebuild process.

As for Collins I do not believe his ouster after 2 seasons is a forgone conclusion. He is well versed on the Mets system, is not afraid of veterans slacking, and the one thing you heard over and over was “he wants to win — perhaps too much.” After seeing the Mets under perform the last few years, I could go for a manager who wants it too much for a little while.

Make no mistake, the addition of Collins does not put them on the short list of World Series probables. It doesn’t “take back NY from the Yankees,” a fallacy mindset if I ever heard one. It doesn’t mean they’ll sip champagne in October or even play meaningful games in September.

It sets the foundation for the future. They have a guy who can handle the crap that is there now, and cultivate the few seeds from the farm system Omar left behind. Someone who won’t care what WFAN callers & Diet Coke drinkers call him.

Collins was not my choice for manager. I have no choice but to hope that Alderson and the New Mets Order saw something in him that the sportswriters, bloggers, and analysts didn’t. Next we’ll see if the new GM and team can make any changes to the roster. I don’t expect anything significant, but it would be nice to work with a 25 man roster instead of 23 like last year.

It is going to be a long two seasons, but I’m already looking forward to Pitchers and Catchers and seeing whether Collins can surprise us. Hey, Ya Gotta Believe, Right?

Posted by Robert Z

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