"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Execute or be Executed

You know you’ve just taken a tough job when, in your introductory press conference, you feel compelled to clarify that you’re not “an evil devil.” Here is new Mets manager Terry Collins, earlier today:

“I’m full of energy, full of enthusiasm but I’m not the evil devil that a lot of people have made me out to be,” said Collins, the 20th manager in team history.


“I’ve learned to mellow a little bit…but my love for the game itself leads me to want the game to be played correctly.”

“This is a very proud day for me. I love this job, I love this game, and I will do whatever it takes to bring success to the New York Mets. The personality is there, the energy is there. All we have to do is execute.”

Yeesh… managing. I certainly wouldn’t go so far as to call it a “thankless”job – the pay is good enough – but it’s sure a tough one. Everything you do and say is scrutinized and criticized; you’re ostensibly the boss of people making many more millions a year than you but have limited power to hire or fire anyone; even if you do every single thing perfectly you’re unlikely to add more than a handful or wins to your team’s total, but every move that doesn’t work out is considered the main reason and a game is lost. And it’s an even tougher job with the Mets right now, a team whose fanbase has utterly exhausted all its patience in the last four years. It’s hard to see how the Mets would be able to dramatically turn things around in 2011, and it’s hard to see that going over well with the crowd at Shea.

Better him than me.

(Which always gets me wondering… think there’ll ever be a female manager? Maybe one day, but I have to say, it’s hard to imagine how it would happen – not because a woman couldn’t do the job, but because the managerial pipeline is almost entirely former players. You don’t have to have been a good player, but the vast, vast majority of managers throughout major league history played professionally, even if just in the minors. I can see the path a female GM might take, and I’d think that will happen one of these years – or decades – but manager is tought. And of course, there’s a reason most managers are former players — presumably that gives them insight into the game and their personnel that others wouldn’t have. But I have to believe that if women can be neurosurgeons, rocket scientists, and Secretary of State, then probably there are women who can figure out when to hit-and-run).

Anyway, the situation Terry Collins finds himself in makes me think Joe Girardi has it pretty good, even though Yankee manager has to be one of the country’s ultimate ulcer-inducing positions. And I wouldn’t want to be the guy who eventually, one day, has to sit down with Derek Jeter and tell him he’s batting seventh. Those guys get paid well, but the more I think about it? Probably not enough.


1 Bruce Markusen   ~  Nov 23, 2010 7:33 pm

Managers have never had it tougher than they do today, from spoiled players who, on average, make far more money than their bosses, to general managers who treat them as nothing more than caretakers
(ala the Billy Beane philosophy).

Part of a manager's job is to say no, but most players today just don't want to hear the word, 'no.' I guess when you've had 'yes' said to you your entire life...

I know that there's a strong appeal to being a manager of a major league club, but at some point these guys have to ask, is it worth it? For some, they love the game too much to give it up, which I guess is an admirable quality.

2 OldYanksFan   ~  Nov 24, 2010 6:59 am

One of my favorite Political talk shows in 'Morning Joe', with Joe Scarborough. So I'm watching now, and in their very brief 'Sports Review', the subject is Derek Jeter. The panel, which includes Yankees fan Willie Geist, are unanimous in thinking Jeter is crazy. It's pretty weird listening to Pat Buchanan weigh in, who also thinks Jeter needs to take the 3/$45m and run.

One said the offer already includes a $5m/yr bonus fo'r Being Derek'. Another said the offer is twice his onfield worth.

Something that hasn't been discussed that much is what Jeter is doing to HIS own 'Brand'. As one of the panelist pointed out, Jeter has a Brand and career far past the extra year or 2 he wants as a Yankee, and that if he jumps to another team, he will seriously hurt his future.

I spend an unhealthy amount of time on Yankee Blogs. Last year, quite a few, if not the majority, were in the 'GIVE HIM WHATEVER HE WANTS!' club. Now, one year later, the majority of comments I read feel that the Yankees offer is VERY fair, and that Jeter is screwing up. The number of 'Let Jeter Walk' opinions is growing daily. There is even blasphemous talk that the Yankees are BETTER letting Jeter walk and using the $45-$50m savings elsewhere.

It's quite stunning how fast things have turned around.

I think the bottom line here is Jeter's ego and his issues with ARod. I believe 'ARod's contract' is driving Jeter's boat, and that he is so consumed with it, that he is not seeing straight.

When Jeter resigns (for 3/$50m) all of this will be forgotten. But in the meanwhile, Jeter is losing a lot of respect. And while I highly doubt it will happen, if for some bizarre reason he doesn't re-up as a Yankee, he is going to destroy his legacy.... which whether he will admit it ir not, is built as much on the fact that he is a NEW YORK YANKEE, as he is Derek Jeter.

3 Boatzilla   ~  Nov 24, 2010 7:34 am

[2] Well stated. This whole thing seems so unlike Jeter, but then again he has never really let us get to know him. Another fascinating aspect of this process is Cashman, who has gradually (before our eyes) grown into a focused, unblinking power broker.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver