Terry Collins isn’t much for the pageantry of Opening Day. Not this year, anyway. He’d rather address the business at hand. So the Mets manager wanted to quickly get through the pre-game festivities and hoisting of the National League championship flag before Friday’s home opener against the Phillies at Citi Field.
“It’s an honor, it’s certainly a thrill for our fans what we accomplished last year,’’ Collins said before the game. “(But) we got to get this over with. We got to get 2015 over and start getting ready for 2016. And today’s that day. It’s going to be very, very exciting, but we got to play the next 160 games. Get us back into a routine.’’
Collins penciled in Jacob deGrom to start the game even with the pitcher’s wife apparently on the verge of going into labor with the couple’s first child. “We’re hoping in the sixth inning we can get him out before the baby comes,’’ Collins said. “It’s difficult because he’s got some other stuff on his mind. And so it makes it really hard, but that’s what you got to do to be a major league pitcher. You got to be able to stay in the moment and realize what your job is. That’s to go out and pitch as well as you can for as long as you can and I think he’s got that capability.’’
The theme for this season seems to be unfinished business.
“One of the things,” Collins said. “If you talk yourself into it, you know the focus and concentration stays there. It’s a long, grinding season. But if you believe in yourself like these guys do you’d be surprised what happens in the end. The more you focus on winning the easier the workload becomes.’’