Buffalo Baseball Hall of Famer Terry Collins certainly won the press conference Tuesday when he was named the 20th manager in Mets history. Passionate, vibrant, from the heart, the whole thing. Just like we saw from the first time he came to then-Pilot Field in 1989.
We've had plenty of big winners in the dugout here, like fellow Hall member Brian Graham, Jeff Datz, Eric Wedge and Marty Brown. None are as beloved as Collins, who was the skipper in the halcyon days of one million fans every year. Here's a selection of the responses to Collins from the voracious New York City media:
Harvey Araton of the New York Times spoke to two very interested spectators at the Collins press conference -- Bisons operators Bob and Mindy Rich. No new ground broken here to us but certainly interesting reading to New York City folk. It's common knowledge here Collins was going to be the Bisons' inaugural manager in 1993 if they were selected as a National League expansion team. And it's equally common knowledge that things suddenly got right between the Mets and Bisons last year after Collins came on board as minor-league field coordinator to wipe away the disaster that was the Tony Bernazard-directed 2009 season.
New York Post columnist Mike Vaccaro, the St. Bona grad and good friend of Inside Pitch, makes it clear that hiring Collins is an upgrade for the Mets. Vaccaro also points out how refreshing it was for Collins to say he's "not the evil devil" people might think after his stint in Anaheim ended badly in 1999.
ESPNNY.com columnist Ian O'Connor wonders if Collins will follow the same career path as Joe Torre -- not much success until he arrived in New York later in life.
Adam Rubin on ESPNNY.com provides the transcript of Collins' breakout session with print reporters Tuesday.
Here's a podcast link to Collins' talk with Yankees' play-by-play man Michael Kay on ESPN 1050 AM Tuesday afternoon. It's about 15 minutes or so.
AP Photo: The Citi Field scoreboard welcomes Terry Collins to New York after Tuesday's press conference.