Though the “decision” did not have as much hype as that of LeBron James’ over the summer, it’s official: Terry Collins is the 20th manager in New York Mets team history.

As a fan, I find myself cautiously optimistic about this hiring. To be honest, I had no true preference among the four candidates for manager. Each one brought interesting qualifications to the table, but also had some drawbacks.

Then again, at least for me, I am cautiously optimistic heading into every season. But for some reason, 2011 seems different.

Unlike years past, it seems that the Mets have some direction. Their front office can be placed in the conversation of one of the best in the game, at least based on reputation. And now they have an experienced manager taking the helm.

Regardless of the decision, it will be nice to see some new faces around the clubhouse. Personally, I liked Jerry Manuel as a baseball mind. But his methods just didn’t cut it in New York. Granted, he was dealt a poor hand with the amount of devastating injuries this team suffered during his tenure. But he eventually lost the respect of the team.

So now we have Collins, a man who managed the Houston Astros and Anaheim Angels as well as the Chinese national team during the 2009 World Baseball Classic. The experience is there, but hopefully the results will be different.

According to reports, Collins had his share of mishaps as a manager. One player in Houston almost got into a fist fight with him, and the Angels, led by former Met Mo Vaughn, signed a petition to have him fired.

Now, these instances might be, and probably are, true, but they also could have been blown way out of proportion due to the hotly contested race for Mets manager.

I don’t know. But I do know that Collins is now the manager, and I’m excited for his tenure to begin.

He is described as fiery and intense, which is something the Mets could use. Maybe we will see Reyes stay more focused or Beltran show a little more fire. Maybe we’ll see Wright be more disciplined and even K-Rod get his act together.

All these and more lie on the plate for Collins. With Thanksgiving approaching, how much more room will there be on Collins’ plate for his turkey dinner?

In his press conference today, Collins said all the right things. Fans need to be patient with him as he adjusts to the New York media. Though he was in the organization last season, it by no means compares to his new job.

I wish Terry lots of luck as we embark on (hopefully) a new era of New York Metropolitans baseball.

I hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving holiday!

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