Monday, November 15, 2010

Terry Collins and Gerald Ford

Metsblog has unearthed video of Mets' managerial candidate Terry Collins that is disturbing on a couple of levels. It took place on a notorious date in Mets' history and it made me think of an ill-fated campaign from the Ford administration.

The video shows Collins being introduced as manager of a Japanese team, the Orix Buffaloes, on October 19, 2006, which coincidentally was the day that things started to go sour for Omar Minaya's Mets - Game 7 against the Cardinals. The video is mostly in Japanese. We don't get much from Collins other than this:

"The goal is very, very simple. In English, W-I-N, it's spelled. That's my goal."

The video repeats the statement later, in case we needed a refresher on the spelling.

Collins doesn't come across all that well in the video, but considering that he is addressing a group of people for whom English is not their first language, it's not fair to use this clip to judge him on this side of the Pacific.

Overall, I'm not all that excited about Collins, or the other apparent frontrunner, Bob Melvin. It was just a few months ago that Melvin was said to be the boring in-house choice to replace Jerry Manuel. It may not be fair to Melvin, but Sandy Alderson needs to go in another direction if he wants to establish from the start that he's his own man.

As for Collins, there's a lot of talk that he has inspired player revolts at places where he's managed. But when a leader of one of those revolts was Mo Vaughn, it's hard to get too worked up over that.

But if Collins does become the Mets' manager, I hope he leaves W-I-N behind. I know I'm dating myself, but it made me think of President Gerald Ford's 1974 campaign to "Whip Inflation Now." Ford unveiled his strategy on October 8, 1974, complete with red and white "WIN" buttons.

As it turned out, inflation was not whipped at that time. The following month, Ford's Republican Party, still reeling from the August resignation of Richard Nixon, failed to WIN at the polls, losing 49 seats in the House of Representatives.

No manager should need to announce that his goal is to W-I-N. What else would his goal be - to H-O-P-E F-O-R T-H-E B-E-S-T?


Our condolences go out to Alderson on the loss of his father.

Image from Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.


Jonmouk71 said...

"I don't see anyone in this auditorium, not one, wearing a button that says 'lose'."

Gerald Ford speech 1974

Uncle Mike said...

Gerald Ford lost in 1976. Jimmy Carter won. Ford turned out to be the lucky one there.

Any manager who is available for the Mets job who doesn't get it... may be luckier than the man who does.

I can just hear George Steinbrenner from the ultimate skybox: "Buttons? Buttons don't win championships! My pep talks do!" To which Billy Martin would say, "Sure, George." And to which Gil Hodges would say... nothing. Worked in 1969, when his opponent was Earl Weaver, one of the biggest loudmouths in baseball history.

Hint, hint, Sandy Alderson: Find a manager who is more Hodges and less Martin. That's what the Mets need right now: Cooler heads filled with baseball know-how.

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