New year, same story. Terry Collins is “disappointed” that one of his middle infielders didn’t arrive early for spring training.
Last year, Luis Castillo found himself in the doghouse, though it’s unlikely an early arrival in Port St. Lucie would have saved his job.
“I am a little surprised,” Collins said of Tejada’s absence. “A lot of it is just selfishness on my part. I take great pride in the game itself and respect the game itself, and I wish everybody had the same respect for it and wanted to get started as early as possible.”
His comments echo what he said last year about Castillo. ”In the position of Luis, where he is competing for a job – but I also know he’s in the Dominican. I know he went to the (Mets) academy. I know he’s done some other things, so I know he’s working out. I’m aware of that. I guess it’s selfishness on my part that I wish he would have been here.”
Castillo got to Port St. Lucie before the scheduled reporting date, and Tejada is still expected before he is officially due to arrive. (A few other veteran position players, most notably Jason Bay, have not started working out yet either… but they have not attracted Collins’ attention to the same degree.)
We’ve all heard veteran position players and former players who’ve gone up to the broadcast booth suggest that spring training is too long, so I really can’t see why it’s such a big deal that Tejada didn’t report early. Will a couple of days in February really make that big of a difference? Apparently Collins thinks so.
So, a bit of advice to anyone who will be playing for Collins in 2013: Plan on getting to spring training early if you don’t want to annoy your manager.