Mets owner Fred Wilpon has lengthy meeting with Terry Collins after lopsided spring training loss

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After six straight losing seasons, the Mets have high hopes for 2015, as many see them as a realistic possibility to contend for a playoff spot. One of those believers is Mets owner Fred Wilpon, who is putting the pressure on manager Terry Collins in early March.

The Mets were knocked around by the Marlins 13-2 today, after which Wilpon held a 20-minute with Collins to discuss the state of the team. Here’s how Collins described the meeting to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York:

“He just wanted to talk about the club, which he loves to do,” Collins said. “He loves to talk baseball. But he’s not mad at all.”

Collins said the two discussed areas of concern with the team, including the high number of walks (now 36 in 61 innings) as well as unimpressive lefty relief.

“He likes to come in and just run through the roster — talk about, ‘Hey, what are you looking at right now?’” Collins said. “He’s got great passion. He wants to win so bad. … I said, ‘Listen, you’re going to like what’s going to come out of here.’

“He expects it to be a much better team. There’s no doubt about that,” Collins said. “He told me two weeks ago, ‘Look, I’m going to be here a lot — a lot,’ where, in the past, he’d come in and he’d be gone for a week or 10 days.”

Wilpon is never going to win any PR battles in New York with the way the team has slashed the payroll dating back to the fallout from the Bernie Madoff scandal — they are still in the bottom-third in MLB in payroll — but even putting that aside, it’s a little crazy to hear about a manager essentially being put on notice in the early part of spring training. It’s one thing for a fan to potentially overreact to small samples in early March, but an antsy owner is another matter altogether. In case it wasn’t obvious already, Collins could be shown the door if the Mets get off to a slow start this season.

Collins hasn’t had the best talent to work with during his time in New York and owns a 304-344 (.469) record over four seasons as manager. He’s entering the final year of his contract.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.