Mets pick Terry Collins to manage
NEW YORK -- Eleven years after he last served as a major league manager, Terry Collins again holds that title.
The New York Mets have selected the 61-year-old Collins as the 20th manager in franchise history. He will be introduced Tuesday at an 11 a.m. ET news conference.
"We've made our decision and we're working on the terms of a contract," said Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz, who declined to confirm the selection of Collins on Sunday.
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Collins served as the organization's minor league field coordinator this past season. He previously managed the Houston Astros from 1994 to 1996 and the then-Anaheim Angels from 1997 to 1999, compiling a 444-434 record.
He emerged from a field of 10 managerial candidates, including fellow finalists Wally Backman, Chip Hale and Bob Melvin.
Collins most recently managed the Orix Buffaloes in Japan in 2007 and 2008, then China's entry in the World Baseball Classic last year.
He had appeared in line to succeed Jim Tracy as Los Angeles Dodgers manager five years ago, but that unraveled when Paul DePodesta was pushed out as general manager during the managerial interview process. DePodesta recently joined general manager Sandy Alderson's staff with the Mets as vice president of player development and amateur scouting.
"I was the minor league director and the field coordinator over there," Collins recalled last week. "I knew the young players, and they were starting to go young. So I thought I had a real good chance there. Certainly when Paul got let go, I was probably as disappointed as anybody."
Collins had been one of three finalists the last time the Mets cast a wide search for a manager. Instead, Willie Randolph was hired by then-general manager Omar Minaya to lead the team into the 2005 season and beyond. Then-Texas Rangers hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo was the other finalist.
DePodesta recently heaped praise on Collins, calling him an "absolute star in player development," and suggesting Collins' experience in Houston and Anaheim would be an asset in his third stint as a major league manager.
"I think any of us who have been in these jobs in various organizations learn a lot every step of the way," DePodesta said. "I've been through four organizations now. I'm hopeful some of the things I've been exposed to over that time will be helpful to the Mets, and I think the same could be said for Terry. He's been a major league manager a couple of different times. You learn an awful lot from that. He's been in the Far East. I think, again, he's had a lot of success in player development. So I think there are a lot of things about his experiences that are worthwhile. Everyone likes different personalities. I really like Terry's intensity. I think he's a tremendous organizational guy."
Collins inherits a team that has suffered consecutive losing seasons, including a 79-83 record in 2010, in Jerry Manuel's final season as skipper.
With roughly $130 million committed to payroll for next season before any offseason acquisitions, and with ace left-hander Johan Santana not expected to be ready for the start of the season while recovering from shoulder surgery, Alderson and Collins may face a two-year process in rebuilding the team to contention.
Collins, meanwhile, last week praised the other finalists, all of whom may have roles in the organization next season.
"Chip Hale played for me. I think the world of Chip," Collins said. "Bob Melvin has been very, very successful. And I think Wally Backman proved this year that he's -- if not this year -- going to be a very, very, very good major league manager."
Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.
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