“That was the first big, major obstacle that Collins had to deal with. They had to figure out what was going to happen in Centerfield….if [Beltran] had come in and been adamant about being in center than they could have butted heads about it…” – David Lennon on The New York Bite.
When Dave said this during the interview it reminded me a lot of Jerry Manuel’s first test as a Manager. In 2008 when Manuel replaced Willie Randolph on their inter league West Coast trip, he was immediately tested in Anaheim. Jose Reyes obtained a minor injury, and instead of allowing his star shortstop to make the call, he was intent on taking his first stand as a Manager. Although Reyes pranced around like a silly little girl, throwing a hissy fit as he made it clear to all watching the game that he did not want to come out. Jerry Manuel though, showed a decisiveness, making it clear he was in charge.
Yet if you look back now, it can be seen as just another instance in which communication was faulty. If Reyes injury was not too serious, and it turned out not to be, he was not listening to his players.
When Willie Randolph was the Manager of the team, the veteran ball players like Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado, were by many reports frequently upset, by Willie treating them as rookies.
Well new Manager Terry Collins so far is on Beltrans good side – he showed him respect. The veteran received respect from the new manger.
Terry Collins was fired in Anaheim, not by the GM’s decision, but by the decision of Mo Vaughn, who was a much respected veteran, who lobbied for Collins blood. The decision to let his veteran make the decision to play right field, worked out perfectly as Beltran chose correctly. If he had said he was ready to play center, when he called an emergency 8:00am meeting in Terry Collins office, then things may not have gone as smooth, and they may have butted heads, as Lennon suggests, however it was worth the risk, because the reward of a happy Beltran could bring some hardware back to the Citi.