Terry Collins will bring plenty of optimism and fire to the meeting room today, but may avoid trying to paint the Mets as underdogs this season.
In a rite of February, the manager will address his team before it takes the field for its initial full-squad workout of spring training.
“I have about three pages of things I want to say and I’m ready to condense it down to a half-page,” Collins said yesterday. “I will make a final judgment [this morning] of what I really think needs to be said.”
The last two years, Collins used the underdog card — pointing to the fact the Mets weren’t highly regarded by outsiders — as a motivating message.
The manager could certainly go that route again, given the team’s outfield and bullpen questions, but indicated he would like to keep his talk more positive.
“I want to treat them like good major league players, which they are,” Collins said. “And not make it sound like we have guys in the room that don’t belong, because that’s not true.”
* Jeremy Hefner will prepare as a starting pitcher in camp, as an insurance policy, but eventually could be considered for a bullpen role.
The right-hander went 4-7 with a 5.09 ERA in 26 appearances for the Mets, split between the bullpen and rotation.
“It was kind of a roller coaster for me — I had good outings and not so very good outings,” Hefner said. “But I think I have the ability to do that role, where I kind of can go back and forth. My arm is rarely sore.”
Hefner would most likely begin the season at Triple-A Las Vegas, in a home ballpark — and league — conducive to scoring outbursts.
Collins set to address Mets today
New York Post | Feb 18