Mets exercise Collins’ option for 2013

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NEW YORK (AP) - Terry Collins is getting more time to turn around the New York Mets.

The Mets exercised the 2013 option on their manager Tuesday, announcing the move shortly before their next-to-last game of the season.

“I’m proud of the way the players have played,” Collins said after the Mets lost to Cincinnati 5-4 in 13 innings. “We’re not happy with the wins and losses. But we hung in there.”

And that impressed Mets general manager Sandy Alderson.

“He’s done just a terrific job,” Alderson said. “He’s earned it.”

The record may not totally reflect that: The Mets are 76-85 this season after going 79-83 last year before firing Jerry Manuel.

But Alderson and Mets management liked what they saw from Collins, who came in with the reputation of having a hot temper yet never boiled over in the midst of a trying situation. The team has money woes because of the Bernard Madoff scandal, lost ace Johan Santana and other top players to the disabled list and dealt away All-Stars Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez.

After getting off to a poor start, the Mets rallied and actually were 55-51 in late July _ on the day they traded Beltran. Missing banged-up Jose Reyes and David Wright, the Mets struggled the last two months.

“He never used injuries or trades as an excuse for the performance of the team,” Alderson said.

Said Reyes: “He’s been doing an unbelievable job for all season to keep us together.”

Told that Collins had been hired through 2013, rookie pitcher Dillon Gee welcomed the news.

“He’s a real good communicator,” said Gee, a bright spot at 13-6 this season. “He tells you exactly where you stand, you don’t have to read about it before he tells you.”

“He’s fiery. He knows when to yell and not to, he doesn’t pull any punches,” he said.

Added pitcher Chris Capuano: “He creates a great, positive atmosphere.”

The Mets gave Collins a two-year contract with a team option when they hired him in November, choosing him over fellow Mets employees Bob Melvin, Chip Hale and Wally Backman.

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