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Adam Rubin, Mets reporter for ESPN New York, told me in an exclusive interview that the “playing the game the right way” montra may have been overblown by fan perspective.
“People presumed that when the Mets didn’t play fundamentally well under Jerry Manuel, Willie Randolph or Art Howe that there wasn’t any concentration on it. And then suddenly Terry Collins comes in and will take the players back to school,” Rubin said.
Rubin went as far as saying, every manager’s, throughout his tenure as a reporter, Spring Training looks about the same. “I have watched spring training for ten years now, and I can assure you that every one of [the managers], some of the methods may have been a little bit different, some of the intensity may have been a little different from year to year, but everyone concentrates on fundamentals in Spring Training,” Adam Rubin said.
It seems as though Terry Collins has built a expectation in which fans bought into that the players will be flawless. He in his introductory press conference explained how he wants fathers to leave the ballpark telling his son, “that’s how you play baseball”. Yet, these players are not that good.
The [blame] falls on the players! Sure it can be a reflection of the manager, but most of the time it falls on the players. It’s their baseball I.Q. And in a lot of cases, and in the Mets case this year, sometimes its when the team is struggling , when each player is struggling, instead of staying within themselves, they try to do to much. For example, Daniel Murphy in Atlanta tried to steal third base and was thrown out. That doesn’t mean he isn’t a fundamentally sound player, just in that moment he was trying to make something happen and that’s when poor decisions happen,” Rubin said.