Quote of the Day: Buster Olney on Terry Collins

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I’ve read a bunch of Terry Collins reactions this morning. Most of them aren’t all that insightful, frankly, because the guy just doesn’t have a recent track record anyone can grab onto. He’s intense. Some players who are now in their mid-40s didn’t much care for him. Hard to really find any traction with that.

Of all of them, though, I liked Buster Olney’s the best.  Olney is a writer with New York experience but, since he’s not a New Yorker, has a pretty good perspective on the press scene there. At the same time, he watched Collins in the minor leagues and after he took over the Angels.  His take:

Lest there be any doubt, Collins is more than smart enough to adapt. He certainly will recognize the pitfalls as he starts out. The question is whether he’s changed enough to survive. One thing is almost certain: Terry Collins, as good a baseball man as there is, will be an overwhelming success or a complete disaster.

And that’s based on not just Collins, but the New York environment, which I think he nails: it’s not that everything is So Much More Important in New York. It’s that everything — no matter how insignificant it actually is — is treated like it’s so much more important.  And I agree with that “success or failure; no middle ground” thing.  No matter what happens, I imagine that there will be fairly strong feelings about the guy two years from now, as opposed to general, apathetic Jerry Manuel misery.

And that’s an improvement, right?

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.