The Big C: There’s no need for Wright to be the “Official Captain”

Yesterday, Terry Collins told reporters that his third baseman David Wright need not wear a “C” on his jersey, citing Derek Jeter as an example as someone who just implicitly acts as his team’s leader without all the fanfare of having some extra stitching on his uniform.

This is his team. He’s the face of it. He’s the captain.

To me, that’s the beginning, middle, and end of the discussion. For the sake of not hitting submit right away, here’s a little more discussion anyhow. 

Over the past 9 years, we’ve all watched as David Wright’s grown up on the baseball field. There were ups, there were downs, and there were those times when he’d get all up in Mike Pelfrey’s business (for example).

Outside of the 2011 season when David had injuries to contend with, he’s been the picture of consistency. He says all the right things after every single game, regardless of which of the W/L columns it was to be filed under. He’s always the first one to run out of the dugout while the PA announcer at Citi Field introduces the squad. Those are all things that a captain does. If you’re a fan of the Mets, and certainly if you’re a member of the Mets, you already knew all of this. But it bears repeating anyway: David Wright is the captain of the New York Mets.

Look, if all parties involved decide that, yes, let’s go ahead and slap that “C” on the guy’s chest, then so be it. I would not object, and honestly? I’d probably get a little thrill out of seeing it for the first time, myself. It’s been a while since John Franco was around, after all. As it is now though, it’s my opinion that they just save the trouble of stitching it onto his uniform. It’s far from a crucial thing to do.

Now, if we can get past calling him the “Mets’ Jeter” so that one day some other fanbase can call one of their key players “this team’s David Wright,” or better still, Mets fans call someone “this generation’s David Wright,” I’d really be happy.

How Much Longer for Thole?

How much longer will the Mets continue to trot out Josh Thole as their starting catcher? It’s not an easy question to ask - especially as a guy who roots hard for him - but the player is seemingly forcing the question into play. 

The organization doesn’t have a plethora of options, so starting him everyday and letting him work out his issues may be the best course of action for a little while longer - but when does he stop getting the nod on a daily basis? 

It’s frustrating because Thole is a very likable player. His approach? Gritty. His effort? Unwavering. His passion? Palpable.

But, we’re over two months into this young season when he’s had the starting job and the numbers don’t lie. 

Entering last night, 31 catchers accumulated more than 100 ABs. Here are some of Thole’s offensive stats and where he ranks among those 31 catchers:

  • .593 OPS (28th)
  • .234 BA (21st)
  • 0 HR (T-30th)
  • 7 Extra-base hits (T-26th)
  • 17 RBI (T-17th)
  • 9 Runs (T-28th)

So, it’s pretty clear that it hasn’t been good on the offensive end. Defensively? It doesn’t get much better:

  • 7 Passed Balls (Most in MLB)
  • 8/38 CS (21%)

And then there is the question of how he is as a “receiver” - how he calls a game and works with a given pitcher. Some people don’t put a ton of weight into the statistic of a pitcher’s ERA with a given catcher, and if you’re one of those people, ignore the below. I don’t know how much they mean, especially given the minuscule sample size over two months, but here’s a quick Thole vs. Ronny Paulino ERA comparison with four Mets SPs. (Note: this does not include Dillon Gee because he’s only thrown one inning to Paulino).   

  • Mike Pelfrey: 9.56 vs. 4.28
  • Chris Capuano: 5.70 vs. 3.93
  • R. A. Dickey: 4.07 vs. 6.57
  • Jon Niese: 4.19 vs. 1.50

But, what bothers me more than any statistic or split is the way he looks. The passed balls are bad passed balls - moments where his immaturity as a defender hemorrhages through the television set. He chokes up at the plate, but still looks overmatched on too many pitches. He’s had a few decent hits for RBIs, but it seems like the best case scenario of most of his at-bats would be a slap the other way for a single.

And to be that type of player you have to be at least a passable defender (which he hasn’t been thus far) and very good at slap hitting (a skill not supported by a .234 batting average). 

Furthermore, what’s frustrating is despite all the injuries the Mets are getting decent production from everywhere in the lineup but catcher and left field. And, whether or not we like it, Jason Bay is in it for the long haul. 

If Thole doesn’t begin to turn it around soon, how much longer do Terry Collins/Sandy Alderson give him? 

True to his word, Mets manager Terry Collins has the air horn working today so no one is standing around.

@KBurkhardtSNY

(via sportsnetny)

If only there was some sort of job position for that. Who wouldn’t be on the first flight to Florida to be the Mets’ “air horn person?”

The Mets have, somehow, out-The Apple’d The Apple, which is a hilarious, The Onion-esque satirical website that’s all about our favorite baseball team. Can we be honest here and say that the MVP of the Mets so far this offseason is hilarity?

So what are we even talking about here? Press play and see. You’ll enjoy quite the promotional video for 2011 Citi Field tickets, that was produced to look like a piece of SNY Breaking News. It even has a “press conference.” Talk about your red herring! So the burning question: who’s the best actor in this… piece? Is it Kevin? Sandy? Terry? Or is it anybody who doesn’t laugh while they watch this?

You have to hand it to them: they really are trying with this PR stuff. Most of it has been completely spot-on, but this? A tad silly.

I bet that’s not even Sandy’s office! But that’s just a nitpick. Enjoy, folks.

(Source: readtheapple.com)

Not only does Collins have major league experience as a manager, he’s spent the past year as the Mets’ Field Coordinator. In that role, Collins pretty much was responsible for knowing and structuring every last detail of the club’s farm system, from coordinating teaching methods to evaluating staff.

And man oh man, if there’s a team in the majors that needs structure, teaching and coordinating right now, it’s the “Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game” gang.

This is an organization that desperately needs to be steam-cleaned, detoxed and spit-shined.

By putting an adult in charge upstairs — Alderson — the Wilpons finally are giving themselves a real chance not to come off as the goofs they are.

By putting Collins in charge downstairs, Alderson swiftly reinforced the chain of command and the notion that, among other things, he intends to start remaking the Mets from the inside out.

Scott Miller

You want to know what Terry Collins was like as a manager? Watch the part of Full Metal Jacket with the drill seargent in basic training. Watch the Geico commercial about the guy going to therapy with a drill seargant. By all accounts, Terry Collins was a tightly wound drill seargent.

But Collins’ managerial style was not just evident in 1999. That was when it was exposed for everyone to see. Consider that in August of 1997, Tony Philips was busted for smoking cocaine in a seedy motel. The team was contending. Now these things happen, but both the 97 and 98 teams faded in the last 45 days of the season and having Napoleon 24/7 could not have helped in every circumstance.

His jersey number was “1”. Think about that. He was the kind of jerk who would wear Number One as a symbol that he was number one. No chance he could lead by example, he had to lead by jersey number. The only good thing that I can say about Terry Collins was that he got my team to its revolution a lot quicker. Maybe you think that you need that. You don’t.

Halos Heaven on Terry Collins
Hale expected to remain in organization, Melvin will not be bench coach.
Dave Wallace is a good friend of Collins and is on the short list of pitching coaches. Wallace was senior advisor to the GM with the Mets and then Mets pitching coach in 2000.
Mookie Wilson may return as first base coach per @MatthewCerrone

Hale expected to remain in organization, Melvin will not be bench coach.

Dave Wallace is a good friend of Collins and is on the short list of pitching coaches. Wallace was senior advisor to the GM with the Mets and then Mets pitching coach in 2000.

Mookie Wilson may return as first base coach per @MatthewCerrone

What You Need To Know About Terry Collins

Image: Terry Collins and Mets owner Fred Wilpon
Collins played 10 years in minor league ball for the Pirates and Dodgers organizations. His MLB managerial record is 444-434 with the Astros and Angels.
He managed the Astros from 1993, replacing Art Howe, until he was fired in 1996. The Astros finished second place all three seasons under Collins.
With the Angels, he took them to back to back second place finishes in 1997 and 1998, he resigned after 29 games in 1999. It was reported that the players petitioned that he should be fired.
Collins spent three years managing in Japan from 2006 to 2009 and was the manager of the China National Baseball team for the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Collins was the minor league field coordinator for the Mets in 2010.
Former MLB player on playing for Collins (NYBD)

What You Need To Know About Terry Collins

Image: Terry Collins and Mets owner Fred Wilpon

Collins played 10 years in minor league ball for the Pirates and Dodgers organizations. His MLB managerial record is 444-434 with the Astros and Angels.

He managed the Astros from 1993, replacing Art Howe, until he was fired in 1996. The Astros finished second place all three seasons under Collins.

With the Angels, he took them to back to back second place finishes in 1997 and 1998, he resigned after 29 games in 1999. It was reported that the players petitioned that he should be fired.

Collins spent three years managing in Japan from 2006 to 2009 and was the manager of the China National Baseball team for the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

Collins was the minor league field coordinator for the Mets in 2010.

Former MLB player on playing for Collins (NYBD)