His name doesn’t have starpower — but the Mets have found the man they think can clean up the team’s act on the field.
The Mets will tap Terry Collins, the franchise’s minor-league field coordinator, as their new manager as early as this week, several news reports said Sunday.
Collins, 61, known as a firebrand from his days managing the Houston Astros and Anaheim Angels in the 1990s, was reportedly one of 10 names initially vetted by new general manager Sandy Alderson. Any contract terms were still under wraps.
Collins will replace Jerry Manuel, who was let go in October following a second losing Mets season that included a considerable attendance dropoff at Citi Field. General Manager Omar Minaya was fired and replaced by Alderson.
While some fans may have been gushing for Joe Torre and Bobby Valentine, those big names never even entered the equation. Collins was in a trio of finalists that included Wally Backman and Chip Hale, neither of whom have ever managed a major league game.
Collins had success turning around the Astros, guiding them to winning seasons for three years. But he resigned from the Angels during the 1999 season when his injury-decimated team was as woeful 51-82. Neither team made the playoffs under his leadership.
Mets blogger Kerel Cooper said Collins’ success or failure during his third stint as a major league manager will depend on how the Mets address their needs, such as starting pitching.
“I think there will be pressure [on Collins],” said Cooper, of OnTheBlack.com. “He’ll be managing in New York for a team with an unhappy fan base, plus ownership and a general manager that want to turn the organization around.”