A few minutes ago, Mets manager Terry Collins wrapped up his weekly spot with Mike Francesa on WFAN. Here are the highlights:
On whether the Mets want to get rid of Jordany Valdespin:
"No, we need to have him. He brings a lot to the ballclub…yesterday, he spent an hour during batting practice shagging balls. He’s electric off the bench, he loves those big situations, and it’s tough to find somebody at this level who does it."
Do they not play Valdespin because they don’t like him?
"That’s not true…his best position is second base and right now Daniel Murphy is red hot. May 5, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) watches the action from the dugout against the Atlanta Braves during the seventh inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports"
Ed Coleman (of WFAN) said there are guys on this team that are “done with Valdespin.” Is that true?
"There’s guys in every clubhouse that for some reason rub people the wrong way…"
On the team being terrible recently day in and day out:
"The one thing you cannot show is panic and I’m not gonna panic. I’m as frustrated as anybody…I make sure that the guys know I have confidence in them. They’ve got to have confidence in themselves and they’ve got to believe in themselves…as far as our pitching goes…we gotta be better and I know we are better…nobody’s more upset than Dillon [Gee]. He’s just furious with himself, he knows he’s better. I told him ‘don’t panic.’"
On Juan Lagares being over-matched at the plate:
"One of these days we’re gonna get to a point here where our minor leaguers are gonna figure out how to be here…this kid is learning how to play at the major league level, and he’s had very little AAA time, but that’s what we have right now. We gotta do the best we can to help him get better."
Was he on board with the Rick Ankiel signing?
"Yeah, I just thought he gave us a quality defender who’s dangerous when he gets hot. A veteran guy who can help out [Juan] Lagares and be a bat off the bench for us."
Does he worry that the team will tune him out?
"I’m not gonna throw my hands up. I did that before (in Anaheim), it didn’t work. In other places I’ve been, we’ve needed to make deals and we didn’t make ’em and it got to me. I walk out there every day and I worry about the guys who are out there…I got down on guys years ago and it cost me…I’m not gonna let that happen again…I’m responsible for who plays…it’s not because they’re not trying, we’ve just gotta do a better job of executing."
On him not liking Ruben Tejada’s approach at the plate recently:
"He’s gotta stay on top of the baseball…when he’s effective, it’s when he’s hitting ground balls and line drives. I told him ‘you’re either tired or you’re changing your approach.’ He’s gotta stop that."
Why hasn’t Ike Davis been sent down?
"I’m well aware that he’s gotta get going…last night, nothing to show for it, he and Lucas [Duda] hit the ball very well…I’m not asking you to get base on balls, I’m asking you to drive in runs. Therefore, when you get balls in the strike zone, you’ve gotta start putting them in play."
Can he sense that the recent poor play is wearing on his players?
"I can sense there’s a little pressing going on…the coaches, the captain of our team, we’ve gotta stand up here and be the guys that are positive…getting them ready to play every day…we haven’t changed our clubhouse..we’re not banning stuff, turning TV’s off. This is the big leagues, and it takes a special kind of person to play here and we’re trying to get that through to these guys."
On Shaun Marcum:
"Shaun told me the other day that this is the best he’s felt since he came to spring training. It (Marcum’s poor performance thus far) shows the ramifications of what happens when you don’t have spring…we need him tonight desperately to give us a good game."
On the bullpen turnover and overuse:
"I feel terrible, I know we’re wearing some of these guys out…that’s why it comes down to the starting pitching…when you go to your bullpen as much as we have and as early as we have, you’re gonna have some tough games."
On his comments yesterday regarding the fact that he doesn’t answer to the fans:
"I respect the fans immensely…certainly I meant no harm, no disrespect to them. I hope that’s cleared up."