Mets hire Terry Collins as manager

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The search is over.  The pick is in.

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, the Mets are set to introduce Terry Collins as the franchise’s 20th manager.

Collins, 61, played professional baseball for 10 years and compiled a .255 career batting average over 671 major league games before turning to the coaching and front office side of the industry.  He began his managing career in 1981 with a Single-A affiliate tied to the Dodgers and was promoted a few years later to Triple-A Albuquerque.  Success at that post led him to the Astros’ managerial gig in 1993.  He lasted only three years, but never had a losing record and led the team to three straight second-place finishes before being fired in 1996.

The Angels quickly scooped Collins up in 1997 and enjoyed a short run of success, but Collins resigned with 29 games left in the 1999 season and tried his hand in Japan during the middle part of the 2000s.

Collins has been everywhere and done everything in the game of baseball.  He’s known best for player development and that’s exactly what the Mets need as they look to revamp their major league roster and farm system.

Four candidates were interviewed for the opening down at the GM Meetings in Orlando, Florida last week: Collins, Bob Melvin, Wally Backman and Chip Hale.

FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal was the first to report that Melvin did not get the gig and the other two were basically thought of as secondary options from the start.

UPDATE: SI.com’s Jon Heyman says Collins will get a two-year contract.

A.J. Hinch responds to Ken Giles’ negative comments about Astros

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On Sunday, Blue Jays closer Ken Giles spoke to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star. Giles said, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston.” Giles won a World Series with the Astros last year, but talked about communication issues with the Astros and compared them unfavorably to the Blue Jays. Giles described the communication as having been “lost” and credited the Jays for staying patient with him.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch responded to Giles’ comments on Monday. Per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Hinch said:

I think he’s wrong and I’m disappointed that he would go down that path given how much work and time and energy and communication that our front office, our coaching staff, me, we all went through this with him. And I understand, there was some disappointment in his tenure as an Astro because of the turbulent way things went about. We gave him every opportunity, we communicated with him effectively, we have an incredible culture where every single player will tell you it’s one of the best cultures they’ve had, one of the best communication envrionments they’ve had. They all know their roles. They all know their situations. To have one person out of all the guys in our clubhouse come out and claim otherwise is flat wrong.

While Giles certainly could be embellishing or deliberately misconstruing his time there, Hinch’s rebuttal doesn’t actually disqualify anything Giles said. Giles certainly could have had a negative experience in Houston even if everyone else was enjoying the “incredible culture” and “one of the best communication environments.”

Given how the Astros — including Hinch — responded to criticism about their acquiring an accused domestic abuser, they’re not in the best position to boast about an “incredible culture” anyway.

At any rate, this is a he-said, he-said situation. If anything more comes of it, it will be Giles further torching a bridge.