Collins: 'I regret the choice of words'

May, 15, 2013
ST. LOUIS -- Terry Collins expressed remorse Wednesday for saying a day earlier: “I don’t answer to fans. They don’t play this game."

The original comment came in response to questioning of how the Mets handled Jordany Valdespin getting hit by a pitch Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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Terry Collins said he poorly worded his response when pressed about Jordany Valdespin getting plunked Saturday.

"Of course I regret the choice of words. I certainly respect the New York fans," Collins said. "They're the most knowledgeable fans I've ever been around. They know the game. They know the people.

"You know, I'm a human being. I used a bad choice of words. But I'm also frustrated. Here we are, we're scuffling, scuffling. There's one topic to talk about. And I understand that we're not playing good, so that's the story. I'm aware of that. And I'm tired of talking about it. I want to talk about getting better.

"So that was my fault. Nobody else's fault. I wasn't baited into anything. Once again, I want our fans to understand that I'm working my butt off to get better. Period."

Collins readily acknowledged he lost clubhouses in the 1990s while managing the Angels and Astros during trying times. So he has resolved to remain upbeat in his interactions with players as Mets skipper.

"It is frustrating," Collins said about the losing. "But I'll tell you what: Years ago I let it get to me, because I thought it was a direct reflection of the job I was doing. Right now I know they've got to play and they've got to be ready. My job is to make sure they stay ready. And the one way to do that is to keep them positive. They're big-league players. They're good players. They're the top one percent of players that put a uniform on every day. They're good enough. And they've got to believe in that. Because if they stop believing that they can play here, that they're good enough, we're going to have a tough time. Players that believe in themselves execute.

"To go ranting and raving, I don't know what that proves. Who do you want me to yell at? Who's not playing hard?"
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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