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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Terry's Jubilee

Clearly the Terry Collins era should be sponsored by an energy drink. Let’s hope it’s not Four Loko.

I watched our new manager’s literally bouncy introductory press conference and came away with one overwhelming impression: “This dude is into it.” If he was worried about being identified as laconic, I think he’s got that licked. A little vigor won’t be a bad thing for the Mets, though when he’s setting positive examples by running through walls, he should only remember to ease up before storming into 126th Street traffic.

While he bounced, Terry (we’re on a first-name basis already) said all the right things. Of course he said all the right things. If he used the occasion of his coronation to say the wrong things, then we’d really be in Blackout in a Can territory. There were some clichés about pitching and teaching. He handled the now requisite limited-perspective question about Chinese ballplayers skillfully (given his WBC experience, he is the right person to ask). He complimented the young Mets as some of the most polite fellers he’s ever had the pleasure of encountering on the diamond. He indicated he’ll communicate better than he did during his infamous stint with the Angels. And, in that vein, he declared he’s not the devil.

Didn’t seem devilish, though as Albert Brooks suggested in Broadcast News, the devil probably won’t have a long, red, pointy tail; rather he’ll look like William Hurt. Terry Collins doesn’t look like William Hurt, which is neither here nor there except to note that when you stick a baseball jersey over a suited 61-year-old man and top him with a baseball cap, it’s hard to concentrate on anything he’s saying, even about polite young Mets, talented Asian ballplayers or his non-devilish tendencies. All you can think is, ”Why do they make these guys wear suits if they’re going to pose them in jerseys?” and “Connie Mack had the right idea about eschewing the uniform when he was managing the Philadelphia A’s.”

The ritual of the offseason press conference seems to be evolving before and away from our eyes. The only non-broadcast reporter who asked anything for the cameras was the Chinese Media Net lady. All the usual wise guy print suspects (if you read the beat writers’ Tweets, you know what I mean) remained silent until they conducted their own mini press conference after Collins left the podium. Not being on-site for this event, I assume this arrangement is beneficial for the working media, though it makes for pretty deadly TV. I’m far more interested in hearing what Adam Rubin and David Waldstein — to name two dedicated Mets reporters — might tease out of Collins than listening to Russ Salzberg make certain Russ Salzberg’s voice is properly recorded for Russ Salzberg’s sportscast tonight.

Sandy Alderson spent valuable face time with Kevin Burkhardt for the benefit of those of us in the SNY audience. He is surely a different breed of cat from every general manager I’ve experienced in my Met lifetime. Everybody since Bob Scheffing — even lugubrious Steve Phillips — seemed like a Baseball Man. Alderson no doubt knows his baseball, but in his standup he mostly came off as a CEO who pencils you in for fifteen professional, reasonably substantive minutes and will forget about you before he’s onto his next meeting. He looks like he handles people in a way Omar Minaya never could have had he wanted. Definitely gave me the impression he has better things to do than talk to Kevin Burkhardt. It’s the same sensation I’ve gotten from interviewing corporate titans who have definitely given me the impression they had better things to do than talk to me.

Like any savvy bigwig, Sandy indeed has loads of pressing business on his plate. He’s got to fill out that coaching staff (HoJo’s gone) and tend to the bullpen (Valdes is a Cardinal and Feliciano will be offered arbitration) and, if we’re fortunate, work a miracle or two. Collins, meanwhile, can lose the suit, adjust his cap, tuck in his No. 10 jersey — chosen to honor erstwhile Met nemesis Jim Leyland though it’s eerily reminiscent of deep-seated Met nightmare Jeff Torborg — and bounce toward the east coast of Florida with a spring in his step.

Traditionally when I watch the Mets in official newsmaking mode, I find myself somewhere between inconsolable and queasy when it’s over. Today I’m modestly energized and unusually undisgusted. This could very well represent progress.

7 comments to Terry’s Jubilee

  • 5w30

    The Los Mets era is officially over and out. No deje que la puerta que falta a la salida.

  • March'62

    It wasn’t just a Hispanic problem. The Mets sucked in 70 different nationalities.

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by You Gotta Believe!, Greg Prince. Greg Prince said: Terry's jubilee was a mighty bouncy affair. Perhaps this new #Mets era should be sponsored by an energy drink. http://wp.me/pKvXu-1VY […]

  • Scott G

    “Today I’m modestly energized and unusually undisgusted. This could very well represent progress.”

    Great line and close to my sentiments.

  • Dak442

    I’m wondering – is there a NON-evil devil? Maybe New Jersey hockey players, or the cartoon guy on the Underwood can? A curious qualifier.

  • Matthew

    I watched the Terry Collins presser and thought “I had no idea that 61-year-old guys smoked coke.” Collins’ freebase is clearly laced with a potent cocktail of rambling baseball cliche. I thought he was vaguely absurd, and not in any slight way confidence inspiring, until my 3rd viewing, when I thought, “I guess he’s making some sense…” I think this guy was invented for the Latin players’ amusement. Just my guess. A lot of them will start faking deteriorating English skills, fast. “No understand you, Road Runner papi. Slow down.”

    Greg, I really lke your Alderson analysis. He looks like the guy who fires you and keeps taking about what a good thing it is.

    • Anybody who ever built an empire, or changed the world, sat where you are now. And it’s because they sat there that they were able to do it. Now, HoJo, I suggest you read over that packet carefully…