Peter Hyatt - Terry Collins on Leadership

         With the recent hot bat of Jose Reyes, all is forgiven. 

Yet, the last place status of April may never be erased, as Reyes piled on an already won game, declared by the NY Post to be its hero.  It wasn't Bryce Harper homering off catcher Kevin Plawecki, but it came after he should have been benched.  

The Post took to praising him.  

Never mind that Michael Conforto, who would not have even made the team out of Spring training had it not been for injury, continues to lead the the Mets in hitting.  Alderson could not have the hot bat Conforto playing over the million dollar and years long contracts his wisdom bestowed on others.  

Never mind that Curtis Granderson's good night still does not erase last place status either. 

Terry Collins had his best "I told you so" face on as the Mets teed off on a Braves nonexistent bullpen, putting a won-game into silly land, as did Washington to us a few days prior.  

Last place teams do not need swagger, or dancing or social media.  They can even be betrayed by the home run wins, lulled into complacency.

They need grit, determination, discipline and accountability.  

They need an atmosphere that fights for every inch of territory out there; every base, every bit of pressure upon their opponents and a psychological edge that says, even after a win, "we have much more than this."

Jose Reyes' defense has been awful.  He would have even more errors if not for generous scoring.  Last night he arrogantly walked, he walked, not even strolled, with his usual indifference, to second base where he was promptly tagged out in a double play. 

Collins' reaction?

He sent out Reyes to third base, rather than sending a signal to Reyes, the vets and the young players:

"You give 100% here or you do not play.  

You either live for team or we die together. 

You are privileged to play a kids' game for millions; you owe everything to the game.  Take a seat and think about that the next time you decide to not hustle or pay attention." 

This message must be sent to all, no matter the age and no matter the salary.  

To Reyes, the classic "Moneyball Reminder":  "Just how many millions is Colorado paying you to play against them?"

Manager Terry Collins credited his coaches for  Reyes’ recent hot streak.
“My coaching staff is great. Know why they’re great? Because they don’t ever get down on a guy."
Hence, the answer why vets are not held accountable, why young players think they can tell management when and where they will abide by rules, where they will rehab, and when and what positions they will play.  

When Addison Reed went face to face with Terry Collins, after being displeased pitching in the 7th rather than the 8th,  Collins said, "my fault."

Keith Hernandez said, "Hmm,  not necessary, you're the skipper."

'The manager is the boss and the rule is for all 25 players' Hernandez said. 

This subordinate stance may be a "safe space" for millennial-age athletes but it only undermines strength in leadership.  Yet, Gary Cohen countered Keith with "the expectations of today's young athletes..." being included in all managerial decisions.  Gary was not advocating for it; he was making observations.  

Players with big salaries who do not produce get to play. 
Players tell the manager when and where they play.
Players choose when and where to slide. 
Players decide which pop ups to run out. 
Players decide which rules they will keep and which they will not. 
Players who miss balls due to nonchalance and TV saturated publicity, receive no rebuke.  

Anarchy may be fun to watch on low brow ESPN, but a winner, it does not build.  

Baseball is the ultimate team sport.  What one man does impacts the others.  

When young players see a million dollar athlete so zoned on winning that nothing else matters, they fall in suit and it builds. 

When players are coddled, excused and entitled, the results are long-term predictable.  

It is not easy for any manager to bench a star player, but there is the time to not only put on the big-boy pants and do it, it is far better to establish strong lines of authority right from Spring Training.  

For those who think players should not be under authority of a manager, I have two words:

Gil Hodges.  

Credit the win against the Braves for the Mets not buckling under the crushing defeat of Washington.  

Moving forward, I would love to see a change in leadership or, in the least, a change in demeanor and players held responsible.  

Had Reyes not heated up, we might have seen Amed Rosario, batting .400 in friendly skies of Vegas, make his debut. 

We still may.  


Thomas Brennan said...

Remember what happened to long time starting players Ed Kranepool and Rusty Staub? Both became pinch hitters extraordinaire. Guys cold for long periods should fully understand it if they are benched and be ready to pinch hit.

Reese Kaplan said...

That would include pretty much everyone not named Conforto by that logic.

Gary Seagren said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again the day players started making more money than the manager and the front office they lost their power and now the results are the inmates definitely run the asylum. Gil Hodges must be looking down on all this and shaking his head "oh what have we wrought" and some people believe Marvin Miller should be in the HOF. Sorry but I used to like going to a game w/o having to take out a loan to afford it.

Thomas Brennan said...

Cost my father somewhere around $1 to get Yankee box seats partially obstructed by a girder view-wise, in the early 1960s. He slipped the usher $2 and we 3 sat around 15 rows back of the Yankee dugout for a grand total of about $5. VERY different times.

Peter Hyatt said...

Gary, Agreed. It is really tough for any manager to reign in someone making more money; it is a natural pecking order. But to roll over like Terry Collins does is not helpful.

Anyone think Cespedes could try his leg at first base?

Imagine his bat still in the line up. He is not likely to run away, so to have some more pop while not displacing someone hitting in the outfield could be interesting.

Neil Walker not in the line up tonight and Conforto still leading off against Lefty.

Peter Hyatt said...

Thomas Brennan said...
Cost my father somewhere around $1 to get Yankee box seats partially obstructed by a girder view-wise, in the early 1960s. He slipped the usher $2 and we 3 sat around 15 rows back of the Yankee dugout for a grand total of about $5. VERY different times.

May 4, 2017 at 5:13 PM Delete

We did something similar ($10 to an usher) and was brought down at a very empty Shea Stadium to see some new teenager pitch.

I got to watch him from the railing above first base and was mesmerized at the power, poise and control of the kid.


No "Dr. K" anything yet, just some kid in an almost empty ball park. Strike out after strike out.


The only thing that topped this for me?

Sitting behind home plate on the long walk that Seaver took from the bullpen on his return to the Mets.

Hockey anecdote: a free playoff ticket to the Garden where The Great One, old and slow, scored a natural hat trick against the Florida Panthers.

Those were some magic moments.

One more...though on TV: Sunday, channel 9, as a 10 year old, I think Mother's Day seeing Willie Mays come out in a New York Mets uniform after hearing my father talk about him since time out of mind.

See? I have positive things about the Mets, too!

Peter Hyatt said...

I did not trust my memory thinking Gooden struck out 16 batters and the place was empty enough for me to go down to right on the field but I looked it up:

Wednesday, September 12, 1984
Attendance: 12,876

This was the end of his fabulous rookie season and the crowd was 12k.

I'm too young to have my memory go, but old enough to remember thinking at some point, could this kid break Seaver's record of 19Ks??

He ended up with 16 and I was shocked to see how empty Shea was.

I think next year he became "Dr. K" and filled the place.


Thomas Brennan said...

The most amazing game I ever attended? Reggie Jackson's 3 homer world series game. Ticket price? $15.

Thomas Brennan said...

Peter, I think if you looked it up, you'd see he fanned 16 in back-to-back starts as a 19 year old

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