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Mets Manager Terry Collins: 'I Respect The Fans Immensely'

NEW YORK (WFAN) -- Mets manager Terry Collins made some troubling remarks on Monday evening regarding the Jordany Valdespin controversy that took place this past weekend.

His comments turned some heads and left many with a sour taste in their mouths.

"I don't answer to fans," Collins said before the Mets' 10-4 loss in St. Louis. "They don't play this game. They have no idea what goes on. They have no idea what goes on in there. They have absolutely no idea what it means to be a professional teammate at this level."

Terry Collins

On Friday night, with the Mets down a sizable margin to Pittsburgh, Valdespin admired his ninth-inning home run. We all knew what was coming on Saturday: The outfielder was sent up as a pinch-hitter and promptly got drilled by Pirates pitcher Bryan Morris.

"I don't care what the perception is," Collins added. "All I know is what goes on here. I've been doing this for 42 years. I don't care what anybody on the outside thinks. I know how to get it done in the clubhouse. I've been getting it done a lot longer than a lot of people. (Valdespin) is fine. He handled it great."

The skipper took an opportunity to amend his earlier comments when he spoke with WFAN host Mike Francesa on Wednesday.

"The New York fans are maybe the most knowledgeable fans that I've ever been around," Collins told Francesa. "When the question was asked, it pretty much was ... Look, as much as I respect everybody's opinions, it's my opinion that counts and what's best for this club. I can't be influenced by outside people who aren't here, and that's pretty much all I meant. Certainly I misused the words. I shouldn't have said 'fans.' I should have just said 'people.'"

The Mets have lost five in a row and 13 of 17 heading into Wednesday night's game against the first-place Cardinals. At 14-22 and in fourth place in the National League East, the Amazin's are second-to-last in the NL in batting average and last in ERA.

In his third year as the Mets' manager, Collins admitted that he's as frustrated as anybody with the play of his team. As a veteran who has been around the game for decades, however, he's doing his best to remain optimistic about his club and continue looking ahead.

As for his comments, he wants it to be known that he has nothing but respect for the fans of the organization.

"Nobody spends more time with the fans and nobody goes out and does more with the fans than I do," Collins said. "I respect the fans immensely. I tell everybody that it's about the fans. I don't care who you're a fan of. If you're a baseball fan, you're a fan, and certainly I meant no harm, no disrespect to them. We're doing the best we can to make the right decisions here to get our team better. I hope that's cleared up."

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