Last night, Jon Heyman of SI.com tweeted that he’s “hearing Terry Collins’ name more and more” in regards to the Mets’ managerial vacancy. It sounds like there’s some validity to that notion.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, a person who has talked to Mets officials in recent days believes that Collins is anywhere from “a strong candidate to the front-runner.”
“I think it is possible that all the interviews are just covering bases and they already like Collins the best.”
Mets GM Sandy Alderson is expected to interview Collins in California this weekend. Collins served as the Mets’ minor league field coordinator this past season, but has past managerial experience in the majors, something Alderson is said to value. He was 444-434 (.506) in six seasons managing the Astros and Angels, but hasn’t been a skipper in the big leagues since 1999.
When Alderson was hired last week, he said in his introductory press conference that he wasn’t opposed to hiring a fiery manager. As Sherman points out, many Mets fans took this to mean that Wally Backman was a viable candidate for the job. It’s very possible he could have been talking about Collins.
Collins, now 61, may have mellowed since his last managerial gig in the majors, but as you can see in the picture to the right, he is well known for his fiery, intense style.
Veteran hurler Jake Peavy has not signed with a team. It’s not because he’s not still capable of being a useful pitcher — he’s well-regarded and someone would likely take a late-career chance on him — and it’s not because he no longer wishes to play. Rather, it’s because a bunch of bad things have happened in his personal life lately.
As Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports, last year Peavy lost millions in an investment scam and spent much of the 2016 season distracted, dealing with investigations and depositions and all of the awfulness that accompanied it. Then, when the season ended, Peavy went home and was greeted with divorce papers. He has spent the offseason trying to find a new normal for himself and for his four sons.
Pitching is taking a backseat now, but Peavy plans to pitch again. Here’s hoping that things get sorted to the point where he can carry through with those plans.
This is fun: The San Francisco Giants recently made their last payment on the $170 million, 20-year loan they obtained to finance the construction of AT&T Park. The joint is now officially paid for.
The Giants, unlike most other teams which moved into new stadiums in the past 25 years or so, did not rely on direct public financing. They tried to get it for years, of course, but when the voters, the city of San Francisco and the State of California said no, they decided to pay for it themselves. They ended up with one of baseball’s best-loved and most beautiful parks and, contrary to what the owners who desperately seek public funds will have you believe, they were not harmed competitively speaking. Indeed, rumor has it that they have won three World Series, four pennants and have made the playoffs seven times since moving into the place in 2000. They sell out routinely now too and the Giants are one of the richest teams in the sport.
Now, to be clear, the Giants are not — contrary to what some people will tell you — some Randian example of self-reliance. They did not receive direct public money to build the park, but they did get a lot of breaks. The park sits on city-owned property in what has become some of the most valuable real estate in the country. If the city had held on to that land and realized its appreciation, they could flip it to developers for far more than the revenue generated by baseball. Or, heaven forfend, use it for some other public good. The Giants likewise received some heavy tax abatements, got some extraordinarily beneficial infrastructure upgrades and require some heavy city services to operate their business. All sports stadiums, even the ones privately constructed, represent tradeoffs for the public.
Still, AT&T Park represents a better model than most sports facilities do. I mean, ask how St. Louis feels about still paying for the place the Rams used to call home before taking off for California. Ask how taxpayers in Atlanta and Arlington, Texas feel about paying for their second stadium in roughly the same time the Giants have paid off their first.