Flushing, NY - The New York Mets made it official on Tuesday and introduced Terry Collins as the club's new manager.
Collins, a former big league skipper with the Astros and Angels, spent the 2010 season with the Mets as the organization's minor league field coordinator. He signed a two-year contract with a club option for 2013.
"I want to win and there is no doubt in my mind we have the talent to win," said Collins in a statement. "I know from working first-hand with our prospects that this organization is filled with potential for the future. It's my job to help transform this team into the winner that our fans deserve, and I'm excited to get started."
This will be Collins' first major league managing stint since he was let go by the Angels during the tail end of the 1999 season. He has a 444-434 career record in nearly six complete seasons with Houston and the Angels.
The 61-year-old Michigan native recently managed China's World Baseball Classic team in 2009 and the Orix Buffaloes of the Pacific League in Japan.
"This is certainly a wonderful day for me," Collins said at Tuesday's press conference. "Wearing this uniform is a very proud day. There's only 30 of these jobs. They're difficult to get and difficult to do.
"I'm full of energy and full of enthusiasm. My love for the game itself leads to the fact that I want the game played correctly. We want to be the last team standing next October."
Collins replaces Jerry Manuel, whose contract was not renewed after another disappointing season. The Mets were just 79-83 in 2010 after a 70-92 finish in a 2009 season that featured numerous injuries. Manuel had taken over for a fired Willie Randolph during the 2008 campaign.
The Mets have undergone a complete makeover since October, as general manager Omar Minaya was fired and subsequently replaced by Sandy Alderson. Before selecting Collins as manager, Alderson also brought in former big league general managers J.P. Ricciardi and Paul DePodesta to assist in the front office.
Alderson then conducted an extensive search for a new skipper, interviewing 10 candidates. Other finalists for the position included Bob Melvin, Chip Hale and former Mets second baseman Wally Backman.
"Terry really separated himself from the other candidates," Alderson said at Tuesday's press conference. "We're very pleased he was willing to accept our offer to manage the Mets."
Hale is expected to be the third base coach, while Melvin and Backman could take jobs within the organization. Melvin, a former big league manager, was a scout for the Mets last year, while Backman was the manager at Single-A Brooklyn in 2010.
The Mets haven't been to the playoffs since 2006, when they lost in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series to St. Louis. After that loss, New York blew first-place leads in both 2007 and 2008 before the last two years of sub-.500 baseball.