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The league needs to address Terry Collins’ comments

Feb 22, 2012, 6:35 PM EDT

Terry Collins AP

It’s one thing for a manager to be peeved that his young player decided not to report early to camp. It’s another thing when he starts airing out that grievance to the media.

Mets manager Terry Collins did just that on Wednesday. According to MLB.com, Collins was quite disappointed that shortstop Ruben Tejada is deciding to wait until Saturday’s reporting deadline to show up. He says he “pretty much suggested” during the offseason that Tejada should arrive early to camp, but “probably should have spelled it out.”

His other quotes:

I know Ruben will come in in great shape. I know he’ll be ready to go. I just wish he was here.

A lot of it’s just selfishness on my part. I take great pride in the game itself and respecting the game itself. I wish everybody had the same respect and wanted to get started as soon as possible.

And that’s just not right. MLB and the MLBPA negotiated reporting deadlines for a reason, and no player should be pressured to show up early. Besides six weeks is more than enough time for a position player to get ready for the season. Collins deserves a little fine for letting everyone know the league’s own reporting deadlines aren’t good enough for him.

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 22, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    He’s managing the Mets, isn’t that punishment enough?

    • Old Gator - Feb 22, 2012 at 7:55 PM

      To say that he’s being punished when he’s an intrinsic element of that by which he would ostensibly be punished is tautological.

      • stex52 - Feb 22, 2012 at 10:10 PM

        You weren’t ever a Jesuit, were you?

    • Old Gator - Feb 22, 2012 at 11:54 PM

      Heh heh, no, but I got my BA and one of my MAs at Fordham, so I’ve got Jesuit academic training to look back on. I studied Jesuit drinking, too, but from a safe distance; some of those crows would have gone up in a pillar of fire if they’d lit a cigarette and exhaled on the match at the same time.

      • protius - Feb 23, 2012 at 1:14 AM

        “I got my BA and one of my MAs at Fordham.” Uh oh, someone is bloviating again.

      • Old Gator - Feb 23, 2012 at 8:19 AM

        And someone is being a schmuck about a straightforward answer to a simple question again.

      • protius - Feb 23, 2012 at 5:05 PM

        And someone is a schemkel if they think zigging and zagging is a straightforward answer to anything. Oui vey is mere.

  2. whatthehellisansky - Feb 22, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    respect for the game? are you kidding me?

    A guy should leave his friends/family/home early to go to Florida to have Terry Collins watch him take swings and jog in the outfield?

    Does that mean Mariano Rivera is disrespecting the game by showing up at Yanks camp a day late?

    Terry Collins is a hard-on.

  3. rip4gehrig - Feb 22, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    This entire story is BS.

  4. SmackSaw - Feb 22, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    As an Angels fan, I’m gonna say it. Terry Collins is batshit crazy. He’s already begun to self destruct. Terry Collins does not manage, he demands. If the team is talented, yet underachieves, he’s a good fit for a couple o’ years. But, if the team lacks talent, he attempts to ‘discipline’ them into shape. He creates adversity. That approach works for the USMC, which Sandy Alderson was a part of. It ain’t gonna work for the Mets.

    • 4d3fect - Feb 22, 2012 at 8:06 PM

      Yep, this is just the opening salvo in a long batshit-crazy war that is TC. Hope you enjoyed his five minutes of sanity, Mets fans–both of you.

      • adenzeno - Feb 22, 2012 at 9:11 PM

        There are 3 of dammit!! And I WAS surprised last year that he did not self destruct…

      • adenzeno - Feb 22, 2012 at 9:12 PM

        of us…damn no typing skills…

  5. megary - Feb 22, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Matthew are you seriously suggesting Collins should be fined for this quote that you highlighted? Call him wrong (and I’m not saying he his because we don’t know the prior conversations between Collins and Tejada…maybe it was understood that Tejada would show up early?) but to suggest a fine for what are mild comments at best is WAY overboard.

    • The Baseball Idiot - Feb 23, 2012 at 3:25 AM

      Exactly. Last I heard, everyone still had a right to their opinion. Doesn’t mean their opinion is necessarily the best one, but they have a right to make one.

      Why not complain that your choice for Best Picture doesn’t win the Academy Award, because it has about the same relevance.

      What Collins is talking about, albeit in an indirect manner, is commitment to a job that Tejeda is getting paid a lot of money for. The players don’t have to work off-season jobs anymore, and should be training year round.

      The reporting date goes back in history as a cut-off time to start fining players who weren’t in camp because they were holding out. Mostly because they didn’t like the salary they were offered. Very few of them have that excuse now. It is a drop-dead date, not the beginning.

      It is more common today for players to show up early than exactly on the reporting date, because they are dedicated to their job.

      Reporting date = be here by then
      Not = this is the last possible day you should arrive.

      Lazy is as lazy does. I’ll bet you find that the guys who wait til the last day just because they want to are the same games that skip practice and dog it through out the year.

      The players are being paid millions per year to play the game. Expecting them to show up before the deadline is not unreasonable.

      Expecting everyone else to live their life according to your code of ethics is.

      • PolkaPatrol - Feb 23, 2012 at 11:55 AM

        The problem is not that Collins expressed his opinion, the problem is that Collins is a representative for an organization that has an agreement with a labor union – and part of that agreement is when you show up for work.

        Is it wrong or outlandish for Collins, or any boss, to wish his employees would show up early? Of course not. But it does start to tread on shaky ground if Collins is criticizing negotiated rules with the MLBPA, as Matthew points out.

        And as other comments have pointed out, Collins is pretty nutty. Fining him now *might* be the best way to curb something really ugly later.

  6. frankvzappa - Feb 22, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Is that you Florio? Taking over the HBT blog by subterfuge in order to pressure the relevant league into doing as you wish? Sneaky…

  7. dondada10 - Feb 22, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Didn’t the Angels sign a petition that resulted in Collins being fired mid-season?

  8. hep3 - Feb 22, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    In the words of the immortal Allen Iverson:

    “It’s just practice, man, practice.”

    • patg1041 - Feb 22, 2012 at 9:05 PM

      Not to get completely off topic, but when Iverson said that, did anyone else think “oh, so thats why you haven’t won anything”? That’s a total loser mentality. He made some comment about giving his all during games, but it’s easy to give effort during the games. Champions give championship effort in preparation for the games. That attitude is the difference between Michael Jordan and Jerry Rice and someone like Iverson.

      • adenzeno - Feb 22, 2012 at 9:13 PM

        And now he is broke…

      • conjecture101 - Feb 23, 2012 at 11:19 AM

        Nobody else who watched basketball thought that. A 6’0 guard who averaged over 30 ppg and carried his team to the finals with one of the worst supporting casts in professinal sports history.

      • patg1041 - Feb 23, 2012 at 2:20 PM

        And how good could he have been had he taken practice seriously? Not to mention his complete lack of respect for his teammates. They’re out busting their asses at practice and he literally treats it like a joke. If nothing else, he was getting millions of dollars to play a game. I really don’t think it’s asking too much to show up for a couple hours of basketball practice and at least give passable effort.

    • Old Gator - Feb 23, 2012 at 9:23 AM

      In the words of the immortal Don Corleone:

      “It’s business. Just business.”

  9. gnyj85 - Feb 22, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    Tejada is looking to make a splash this year, taking over for a great player in Jose Reyes. Get your ass to camp. If he starts sucking, his ass is getting booed.

  10. billb09 - Feb 22, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Collins is right the man and Tejada is a 21 year old player, he will be playing a marquee position, in New York, replacing a fan favorite, and down the block from a future HOF player Derek Jeter. One bad stretch and he may be back at second base or maybe Buffalo. A players union for a group of spoiled athletes. These guys get $1500.00 a day in food money during the season. So you can’t get to camp to play baseball a little early……..c’mon

    • jwbiii - Feb 23, 2012 at 2:30 AM

      $1,500 in meal money? Wow. In the last CBA it was $85. I haven’t seen all of the new CBA. You must either have great sources or you’re an imbecile.

      You are also suggesting that the should Mets play Ronnie Cedeno at SS, so I think you just answered my question.

  11. humanexcrement - Feb 22, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    What? This is a controversy? Seriously? I expected to find something that might have genuinely offended someone, like a passing reference to nationality, race, religion or linguistic group. even that often times gets overblown and causes a big stink over basically nothing, but this? This gets the all time gold metal for bullshit controversy, and that’s saying a lot.

  12. nygf - Feb 22, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Thank goodness the Giants won the Super Bowl. That will make the 110 losses I’m about to witness slightly more tolerable. Will be watching football highlights in July to forget the baseball games.

    • aceshigh11 - Feb 22, 2012 at 10:35 PM

      LOL, you sound just like my Dad.

  13. drubeatz - Feb 22, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    I’m glad Collins is bringing discipline to this team. He needs to smack Pelfrey around, that guy is soft. Don’t expect much from this group Mets fans. By June, the season will be over and we’ll be reading about what the GMen are doing in the offseason. Maybe next year for the not so amazins.

  14. belichickrulz - Feb 23, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    Isn’t Tom Coughlin celebrated for “Coughlin Time” (players are punished for not showing up 15 minutes early to team meetings)? Why should Collins bring the same passion to the Mets, especially considering how dreadful they’ve been in recent years? Hopefully Bobby Valentine will bring a little of this to the overpaid slackers on the Red Sox.

  15. rcali - Feb 23, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Last place.

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