The team has yet to make an official announcement — they’re still negotiating the terms of the contract — but the Mets have reportedly chosen Terry Collins to be their next manager. In the end, the team opted for the fiery Collins over the low-key Bob Melvin (and for that matter, over Wally Backman and Chip Hale, as well). Ten men in all interviewed for this job — none of them perfect candidates, really — but it’s Collins who survived the process and earned a two-year deal.
Collins hasn’t managed in the majors in eleven years, and at 61, he’s the second-oldest manager in Mets history at the time of his hiring. And though he had modest success managing the Astros from 1994 to 1996 and the Angels from 1997 to 1999 — his teams would finish second in five of those six seasons — he’d lose a clubhouse full of big personalities and resign with 29 games remaining in the 1999 season. (Though if that raises a red flag, Jason Fry points out at Faith and Fear in Flushing that people tend to change over the span of eleven years, and reminds us of Mo Vaughn’s presence in that clubhouse.)
Alderson could have picked Melvin, and the front office could have worked him like some sort of Moneyball puppet. Instead, they went for the more intense Collins — a manager who’s drawn comparisons to former Mets skipper Bobby Valentine, and the man Paul DePodesta had supported all along. It’s not a slam-dunk hire, but really, none of the options would have been, either. The Mets have their new manager, and they’re another step removed from the days of Omar Minaya, of Jerry Manuel, and one hopes, of meddling from the Wilpons. There’s work to be done still, for sure, but these are increasingly becoming Sandy Alderson’s Mets — and now they’re Terry Collins’s Mets too.