Terry Collins introduced as Mets' new manager

(AP) - Terry Collins chased jobs all the way to Japanand China in the 11 years since he last managed a major league clubjust to

NEW YORK - (AP) - Terry Collins chased jobs all the way to Japanand China in the 11 years since he last managed a major league clubjust to find a place in a dugout. Rejuvenating the New York Mets,though, might be his toughest challenge of all. Collins was introduced Tuesday as the 20th manager in thehistory of the Mets, a franchise in the midst of an overhaul sincemissing the playoffs for the fourth straight season. Collins, theteam's minor league field coordinator last year, signed a two-yearcontract with a club option for 2013. "I love this job," said Collins, after putting on a No. 10jersey in honor of friend and Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland."I will do whatever it takes to bring success for the New YorkMets and win more ballgames, and we want to be the last teamstanding next October." New general manager Sandy Alderson chose Collins over fellowMets employees Bob Melvin, Chip Hale and Wally Backman. The61-year-old Collins succeeds Jerry Manuel, who was fired along withgeneral manager Omar Minaya in October, and will try to revitalizea club that languished near the bottom of the NL East the past twoseasons. Hale will return to his role as the Mets' third base coach, andBackman will manage in the minor league system again. Alderson alsosaid pitching coach Dan Warthen will return. Hitting coach HowardJohnson will be reassigned in the organization. Collins last managed in the big leagues in 1999, when heresigned as manager of the Angels in his third season in Anaheim.He was manager of the Houston Astros from 1994-96 and has a 444-434record overall. He led teams to second-place finishes in each ofhis five full seasons. He also was skipper of Orix in Japan from2007-08 and led China to its first win in the World BaseballClassic in 2009. "To some extent, what he has done over the last 11 years indifferent capacities actually might be a positive," Alderson said. Heading into spring training the Mets face many of the sameproblems that led them to a 79-83 record last season: injured starsand bloated contracts for underperforming players. But Collins willhave the support of a more focused front office led by Alderson andhis personally chosen top aides, Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciardi,both former GMs. Discontented fans favored the fiery Backman, a popular member ofthe Mets' 1986 championship club, but his lack of major leagueexperience likely ruled him out. In Collins, New York will begetting an energetic and feisty figure in contrast to the laid-backManuel. "A lot has been said about his intensity. Certainly that was afactor, an attractive quality for us. His major league managingexperience also came into play. But also I have to emphasize thathis time spent in player development was also a significantfactor," Alderson said. "This job is all about leadership, butit's also about teaching."

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