Terry Collins had a DUI in 2002, but does that mean anything?

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This is news to me. Joe Janish of Mets Today has information about Terry Collins’ 2002 DUI arrest in Augusta, Georgia.

Here’s part of the story that ran in the Augusta Chronicle, which I was also able to find on Baseball America.

Former major league manager Terry Collins was arrested early Thursday morning and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, according to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

The 53-year-old Collins, in his first year as minor league field coordinator with the Los Angeles Dodgers, was stopped by police on the 3100 block of Washington Road, a major Augusta thoroughfare, around 2 a.m.

Collins, who managed the Astros (1994-96) and Angels (1997-99), was also charged with operating an unsafe vehicle and driving without a license on his person.

Janish writes that the purpose of the post was not to smear Collins’ reputation, but to put everyone on an equal playing field. And by “everyone,” he means Wally Backman. We all know about Backman’s legal troubles by now, so to ignore Collins’ past mistakes would be pretty hypocritical, but the fact that Collins also has a DUI arrest doesn’t Backman anymore qualified for the Mets’ managerial job than he was yesterday.

As a Mets fan, I’m not leaning towards one candidate in particular here. I felt the same way back in 2004 before Omar Minaya settled on Willie Randolph. Part of this is because Bobby Valentine is the only potential candidate who would get me excited (what can I say, he’s the last manager to get the Mets to the World Series), but also because I care much more about the composition of the team on the field. But, honestly, comparing Backman’s baseball resume to that of Collins is largely apples and oranges.

That won’t stop Backman supporters from blaming the media if he doesn’t get a second interview, which is the exact reason why I decided to post this information this morning. I want everyone to be aware that Collins had a DUI in 2002. I hope the beat reporters and New York sports talk radio jump all over this story. If, despite all that, Collins comes back for a second interview and eventually ends up getting the job, it will tell you that Sandy Alderson’s decision had more to do with baseball than anything else.

Marcus Stroman named World Baseball Classic MVP

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United States starter Marcus Stroman was named Most Valuable Player of the World Baseball Classic after helping lead the U.S. to its first ever WBC title on Wednesday night in an 8-0 victory over Puerto Rico. Stroman flirted with a no-hitter through six innings, but gave up a double to lead off the seventh before being relieved by Sam Dyson.

Stroman also pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings against the Dominican Republic in Pool C play on March 11. He struggled in Pool F play against Puerto Rico last Friday, surrendering four runs in 4 2/3 innings.

The WBC MVP award understandably goes to a player of the winning team. However, Wladimir Balentien of the Netherlands deserves special mention. In 26 at-bats during the WBC, he hit a double and had a WBC-high four home runs, 12 RBI, and 12 runs scored while putting up a .615/.677/.1.115 batting line. That’s MVP-esque as far as this tournament is concerned.

U.S. blanks Puerto Rico 8-0 to win first World Baseball Classic title

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The United States handed Puerto Rico its first loss in the World Baseball Classic, winning 8-0 for its first title in the fourth iteration of the tournament.

Puerto Rico starter Seth Lugo was matching Marcus Stroman zero-for-zero through the first two innings, but the U.S. broke out for a pair of runs when Ian Kinsler deposited a two-run home run just beyond the fence in left-center at Dodger Stadium. The U.S. tacked on two more in the fifth on RBI singles from Christian Yelich and Andrew McCutchen, pushing the lead to 4-0.

Meanwhile, Stroman was dealing. The right-hander, normally seen in a Blue Jays uniform, held Puerto Rico hitless through his first six innings, giving up just a lone walk. The U.S. put together a long rally in the top of the seventh, scoring three runs on three hits, two walks, and a hit batter. Stroman came back out for the seventh but immediately served up a double down the left field line to Angel Pagan. U.S. manager Jim Leyland immediately lifted Stroman from the game, bringing in Sam Dyson who escaped the inning without any further damage.

Pat Neshek allowed a leadoff single to Yadier Molina to begin the eighth, but induced a double-play, then worked around a two-out walk by striking out Kenny Vargas to end the frame.

In the ninth, David Robertson took over. He induced an infield pop-up from Enrique Hernandez. After Pagan singled up the middle, Francisco Lindor sharply grounded out to Eric Hosmer at first base for the second out. Finally, Robertson closed it out, inducing Carlos Correa to ground out to third base, making the U.S. 8-0 victors over Puerto Rico to win the World Baseball Classic.

Puerto Rico had an admirable run, defeating Venezuela, Mexico, and Italy to get out of Pool D undefeated. Then, in Pool F, it beat Venezuela again as well as the U.S. and the Dominican Republic to move to the semifinals. It narrowly edged Netherlands 4-3 in the semifinals to get into the finals.

The U.S. lost to the D.R. but beat Canada and Colombia to get out of Pool C. In Pool F, the U.S. lost to Puerto Rico and defeated the D.R again as well as Venezuela. The U.S. took down Japan in the semifinals to advance to the finals to play Puerto Rico.

The U.S. joins Japan (twice, 2006 and ’09) and the Dominican Republic (2013) as countries to win the World Baseball Classic. The 2017 tournament was a rousing success, setting attendance records, drawing over one million fans to ballparks to take in the games. It will hopefully encourage commissioner Rob Manfred and others to make a concerted effort to make the 2021 tournament bigger and better.