Terry Collins Also Charged with DUI

It turns out that Wally Backman is not the only fiery managerial candidate who was once charged with a DUI — Mets Field Coordinator Terry Collins was also charged with driving while under the influence / driving intoxicated / driving while impaired / drunk driving.

Hat tip to xDanTanna on Twitter, who originally notified Mark Healey of Baseball Digest via this tweet:

xDanTanna also sent the same link to SNYtv, David Lennon, and Steve Popper — but none have reported it yet (though, Popper did acknowledge it). Interestingly, xDanTanna also tweeted this:

And this is one of the reasons (other than the fact I feel he is the best choice) that I have been “campaigning” for Wally Backman, and “tearing down every other candidate”: because the majority of the press and pundits have been quick to point out all of Backman’s supposed flaws and baggage, while glazing over or completely ignoring the blemishes on the resumes of the other candidates for Mets manager.

Of course, I wouldn’t just read one tweet and assume that Collins was indeed arrested for a DUI in 2002 — even if it is published in the archives of The Los Angeles Times. But, another fifteen minutes of web research corraborated the report.

From the Augusta Chronicle (GA):

Former major-league manager Terry Collins was arrested in Augusta early Thursday morning and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, according to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. The 53-year-old Collins, in his first year as minor-league field coordinator with the Los Angeles Dodgers, was stopped by police on the 3100 block of Washington Road at around 2 a.m. Collins, who managed the Houston Astros (1994-96) and Anaheim Angels (1997-99), was also charged with operating an unsafe vehicle and driving without a license on his person. “He was driving down Washington Road on a flat tire, which is what drew our attention to him,” said Maj. Richard Weaver of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. “He just kept driving.” Collins pulled over when deputies turned on the blue lights, Collins then stumbled out of his vehicle, police said. “He was staggering,” Maj. Weaver said. “He was obviously impaired and failed a sobriety test.” After Collins was arrested, he was taken to the Richmond County Jail, where he failed a Breathalyzer test. Collins did not bring attention to his celebrity, but after a jailer recognized him, he admitted to being a former major-league manager. He remained in jail for 14 hours and was released after meeting bond requirements at 4:10 p.m., jail officials said. Collins was in Augusta to join the Waves, a Dodgers affiliate based in Albany, Ga. He did not attend Thursday’s game.

(Off-topic note of irony: Collins was on assignment for the South Georgia Waves, who played their games at Paul Eames Stadium — the same field as the South Georgia Peanuts.)

The point here is not to smear the reputation of Terry Collins; rather, it is to keep everyone on a level playing field. If the media is going to make sure the world knows about the negative parts of Wally Backman’s past history, then it is only fair that the public knows about similarly negative tidbits that may or may not mar the perception of Terry Collins, Clint Hurdle, etc.

In other words, no one is perfect — and if a journalist is going to dig up one person’s past, he has a duty to dig up EVERYONE’s past.

Let’s hope that Sandy Alderson, Fred Wilpon, and the rest of the Mets’ front office has done their due diligence and run background checks on all the candidates. It would be really embarrassing to hire a manager and then have to fire him a few days later after “new information” comes to light (I feel like that’s happened before to a Major League club …).

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. LongTimeFan November 13, 2010 at 12:12 am
    Joe, Wally is no victim of media conspiracy and unfair treatment like you claim.

    If anything, the media is going too light on him.

    In fact, in no other town would Wally even be considered managerial material, so count yourself fortunate that he’s even a candidate. The fact is, if Wally’s baseball resume and personal history were that of someone in another organization, you think you’d be pulling for an anger-laden, Low A ball manager with now AAA and major league coaching experience to manage your favorite team? I’d bet you and host of Wally supporters would be up and arms had Alderson produced another Wally from another organization to interview.

    Personally, I don’t think he’s qualified to be a major league manager in experience and disposition. His 2008 meltdown followed by intimidation of local broadcaster for hurting Wally’s feelings, is just another example of Wally’s inability to control himself, just like his mouthing off this summer about Manuel’s job as he did when both were with the White Sox. Wally thinks about Wally first and foremost.

    But like I sad, he lacks adequate experience to be a major league manager. No AAA, no MLB coaching, no nothing with major league players since he retired in 1993. That Wally thinks a broadcaster has no right to criticize him, makes him the wrong candidate in NY and another example of how out of touch he is.

    Regarding Collins, I find his 2002 behavior disturbing, but if he’s been good citizen since, he still far more qualified and experienced than Wally. Both have too much baggage and best, I think, for the Mets to pass on both. Clint Hurdle seems like the best fit.

    • Joe Janish November 13, 2010 at 12:58 am
      If there isn’t a media conspiracy then why hasn’t anyone mentioned Collins’ DUI, yet are quick to point out Backman’s?

      I agree Collins is more experienced. Similarly, Gerald Ford has experience as President of the USA — would that have been a good reason to vote for him?

      In other words, it is my opinion that Collins’ experience as manager told us that he is NOT a good candidate — he lost control of two teams and hasn’t managed for 10 years because he’s not a good manager.

      As for Hurdle, he’s been arrested too — for shoplifting. No one is reporting that, either.

      How about Jose Oquendo? His off-field record seems clean and he has plenty of experience as a 3B and bench coach.

    • Greg November 13, 2010 at 2:15 am
      Phoenix is one city that hired Wally as a major league manager. Yeah, it was short-lived due to off the field stuff, but the experience you say Wally is lacking to be a MLB manager was certainly enough for the Diamondbacks to hire him. And while I don’t buy into the conspiracy theory against Backman, I think it’s evident that some of the NY media have their own agenda. As for Wally having “no nothing with major league ball players” since his retirement, there are former players of his now at the MLB level who have high praise for Wally, like Dan Uggla saying he’d go through a wall for him. I liked Wally as a ballplayer, and I still like him today…warts and all. He is hungry to manage and is driven towin. This is a chance the Mets need to make.
  2. 86mets November 13, 2010 at 11:02 am
    Poor Sandy Alderson if he hires ANYONE but ALMIGHTY Wally Backman. After all, it seems many fans mantra this offseason has been “Wally, Wally, he’s so good if he don’t get it, no one should”. I am sick of hearing about Wally Backman and how he is the PERFECT choice to manage the Mets. Look, everyone deserves a 2nd chance Backman included. Personally, I think one season managing short season class A players DOES NOT qualify him to manage a big league team. As for Arizona giving him a shot with no MLB experience, well they replaced him with another guy with no experience and we see how that worked out didn’t we. The best thing for Backman is to be on the COACHING staff, learning the ins and outs of managing at the ML level before handing him the reins, especially in New York. Hire Collins or Hurdle on a 2-3 year deal and allow Backman to apprentice under a veteran skipper THEN talk about giving him the job.

    What’s amazing to me is how the fact that Backman is getting a 2nd interview has somehow turned into a belief among Backman’s supporters that he WILL get the job. If he doesn’t get the job, will the fans who wanted Alderson so bad then jump on him for not hiring their man, Wally Backman? I can’t wait to see the reaction when someone other than Backman is hired. Don’t get me wrong here, if Sandy Alderson decides that Backman is right for the job and hires him I will support that. My point is, people need to believe in Alderson and that he will hire the RIGHT person for the job.

    • Joe Janish November 13, 2010 at 1:27 pm
      I don’t really care who Sandy Alderson hires nor who he thinks is the “right” person for the job. What I care about is fair and balanced reporting by the mainstream media and blogosphere, who have selectively chosen to include the negatives in Backman’s history as part of their evaluation, but have not brought forward the baggage held by other candidates.

      I get the inexperience issue with Backman. But people can’t also add on off-field problems as reason he isn’t qualified, unless they also judge the off-field issues of others.

  3. aronmantoo November 13, 2010 at 11:38 am
    Would be very hard to find anyone who doesn’t have some kind of baggage 2002? Get over it
  4. Mr North Jersey November 13, 2010 at 3:59 pm
    Here is the area where i find EXCEPTION WITH.

    “And this is one of the reasons (other than the fact I feel he is the best choice) that I have been “campaigning” for Wally Backman, and “tearing down every other candidate”: because the majority of the press and pundits have been quick to point out all of Backman’s supposed flaws and baggage, while glazing over or completely ignoring the blemishes on the resumes of the other candidates for Mets manager.”

    Your taking the original reason why Backman’s past should not be used against him and spitting in it’s face by now saying hey look at Collins DUI.

    What the media says or doesn’t say should play no part in why anyone should be manager. If your going to say that one of the deciding factors in choosing pro or con for a manager is because of how the media decides what off field problems they report or not. Then your no longer evaluating a mgr based on his skill set and your doing exactly what you initially started saying you didn’t want people to judge Backman by.

  5. Rob November 13, 2010 at 11:00 pm
    Did anyone hear Jim Dumbrowski spout off on Wally during a morning broadcast of the MLB network on XM radio? He was extremely down on Wally, saying that he would be the last person he would consider hiring because of his baggage. Interesting stuff from a former GM.

    As for the media’s reporting, we’re talking NY media here. When has the NY media ever been fair or balanced in its reporting. Everyone has an agenda and previous NY GM’s and owners have allowed that reporting to influence their thinking. My enthusiasm with the hiring of the current GM is that he won’t allow himself to be influenced by the media. What they say is irrelevant. He’ll make baseball decisions because they’re good for the team, not because the media agrees with him. That’s why he’s the GM and the guys who write for the newspapers and sit in the drive time alarm chairs are not.

    So let Sandy and his braintrust make their decision based upon their years of experience and then let’s see how they rebuild this team.

  6. Rob November 13, 2010 at 11:04 pm
    And by the way, does anyone actually think that Sandy Alderson will be paying attention to any of the Mets bloggers in their campaign efforts? No offense to Joe, who does a great job on this site, but unless you get a paycheck from the Mets to sit in their general manager braintrust, no amount of compaigning is going to amount to hill of beans in the decision making process. Give us information and analysis, but leave the decision making to the paid executives.
  7. Rob November 13, 2010 at 11:06 pm
    Of course, I wrote the previous post with due respect to the fact that Joe runs this site and can write about anything he want. Keep up the good work, Joe!