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Terry Collins cracks down on the Mets pregame card playing

Feb 21, 2011, 8:15 AM EDT

Mets Playing Cards

Great, there go the Mets chances of signing Rickey Henderson and Bobby Bonilla again …

Manager Terry Collins told The Post yesterday his team rules, many of which will be unveiled today when he addresses his full squad for the first time, will include a limit on card playing in the clubhouse.

“It’s my understanding [card playing] was an issue last year,” Collins said. “They will be allowed to play cards, but there is going to be a cutoff time before the game.”

That’s from Mike Puma of the New York Post, who adds, from the “I didn’t know that” department, that hitting coach Howard Johnson apparently went ballistic on the team during a road trip last season, saying that they were paying more attention to cards than they were baseball.  Of course, this wasn’t long after a bunch of “the Mets are gonna fire Howard Johnson” speculation began swirling around, so maybe HoJo was just a bit irritable.

David Wright is quoted in the article and it’s implied that he was one of the main card-playing offenders last year.  He’s fine with the rule, but he plays the “if cards are really a distraction you’ve got bigger problems” card, which suggests that he thinks the rule is kind of silly.

For what it’s worth, I imagine this is like anything else: if your team wins a lot you can have virgin sacrifices ten minutes before the National Anthem and no one is gonna care. If you lose, you have to expect someone — especially a new someone like Collins — is going to single out small things that can be easily changed in the name of tone-setting.

  1. BC - Feb 21, 2011 at 9:09 AM

    Good. The team needs a collective kick in the rear. Hope there’s a bunch of other silly little rules implemented to make these guys straighten up and realize who’s in charge. Lazy chipwiches.

    • Old Gator - Feb 21, 2011 at 9:14 AM

      How much of this kind of shit did it take before the Angels petitioned their GM to can this yokel? I’ll just repeat here what I wrote yesterday about l’affaire Castillo: if Collins thinks this is the way to manage a bunch of grown men (albeit a bunch of prima donnas and spoiled brats into the bargain), he’ll be punching his ticket to an early vacation at Disney World and all the Mickey Mice he needs pretty soon after the sun sets on this season. Does this idiot really think that guys who quit on a class act like Willie Randaloph won’t quit on him?

      • BC - Feb 21, 2011 at 9:30 AM

        Yeah, but he’ll be more fun to watch. And as far as I’m concerned, the Mets collectively need a butt wuppin’. Go Terry Go!

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 21, 2011 at 11:00 AM

        Please don’t curse.

  2. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Feb 21, 2011 at 9:14 AM

    Collins is just sending a notice that things are going to change. And that is a good thing for the Mets.

    • Old Gator - Feb 21, 2011 at 9:21 AM

      Well, change is good. Usually. You know, like “Knowledge is Good,” on the pedestal of that statue in the middle of the Faber College campus. There are ways to change things, and then there’s picayune horseshit. Like this.

      In some cases, though, change (not) is better – and the Mutts could use that more, like not changing their underwear during long winning streaks.

  3. mrznyc - Feb 21, 2011 at 9:20 AM

    Do they play cards any better than they pitch, field and hit?

    • yankeesfanlen - Feb 21, 2011 at 9:39 AM

      They’re playing against each other, so who can tell?

  4. 12strikes - Feb 21, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    You go Terry Collins! Who needs pitching and clutch hitting… We think you found the missing piece to beat the Phillies.


    All Phillies Fans.

  5. phukyouk - Feb 21, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    this just in… David Wright wants to play in the WSOP main event which takes place in july. the bad news is it means he will have to miss a lot of games. the worse news is the Mets will already be eliminated by thats point.

  6. The Rabbit - Feb 21, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Card playing is a major issue?? With this pronouncement, Terry Collins doesn’t appear to be different than many corporate managers and government officials, i.e., give the appearance of doing something rather than actually solving a problem. Examples: TSA confiscating lip gloss and mascara (not in plastic bags) as a means to stop terrorism; Elected officials in cities with high murder rates cracking down on jaywalking.

    If Collins wants to be effective, there exists a list of rules that might be helpful to the Mets. A few rules from that list: Rule 15-Always work as a team; Rule 8- Never take anything for granted; Rule 7-Always be specific when you lie; Rule 1- Never screw over your partner; Pitchers Rule 9-Always carry a knife

  7. larryhockett - Feb 21, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    If your personnel are so low quality as to require a rule about card-playing in the clubhouse, you have already lost. You can’t take a bunch of losers, institute some strict rules and turn them into a bunch of winners.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 21, 2011 at 3:58 PM

      He’s the manager, he can institute whatever he sees fit. This isn’t news and this isn’t representation of any team fate.

      • larryhockett - Feb 21, 2011 at 4:30 PM

        I disagree in the sense that this story tells a lot about the Mets and their fate over the last 4 or 5 seasons and their likely fate this season. Of course he can institute whatever rules he wishes. And there’s nothing wrong with clubhouse rules per se. But if card playing in the clubhouse is an actual impediment to your success on the field, then your team lacks the drive to win or some other intangible hard to describe quality. There’s always been something about this Mets team that’s perpetuated its legacy as underachievers. It’s hard to describe and even harder to quantify. But stories such as this outlining that card playing in the clubhouse is a huge distraction describe the problem about as well as it can be described.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 21, 2011 at 4:33 PM

        I don’t recall this being anything more than Collins giving a cutoff time to stop playing cards. I don’t think this factors into the team lacking a drive to win, or underachievement. Pretty sure it simply means he wants to limit how much time they spend hanging out and playing cards.

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