Collins hopes fiery personality will inspire Mets

Collins said he was pleased with how players responded during the first practice.

“I truly believe you get in baseball shape by doing baseball activities, and that’s what we tried to do today,” Collins said. “Today was the most fun I’ve had in 12 years, being out there. I loved it. I owe it to the way they went about their jobs.”

NOTES: Mets 2B Luis Castillo temporarily left practice Monday to check on his brother, who was undergoing surgery in the Dominican Republic. His brother made it through the surgery, but it is unclear whether Castillo will need to return to the Dominican to be with him. … Collins said he was pleased to see Carlos Beltran able to put his full weight on his back leg _ and repaired right knee _ while hitting from the right side Monday. He said Beltran likely will not play in the first week of exhibition games, which start Saturday.

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