The Willie Randolph and Jerry Manuel era is officially over and new manager Terry Collins has the Mets focused. 

If you haven’t read Collins’ letter to all New York Mets fans, you really should.

Before Opening Day, I have to admit, I was not looking forward to the 2011 season at all. The Mets added some interesting pieces, such as Chris Young and Brad Emaus, but the negatives of the offseason far outweighed any of the positives.

The Madoff scandal has been long and embarrassing, Johan Santana will be out until July at the earliest, Jason Bay is already on the disabled list with a strained ribcage and Carlos Beltran’s balky knees are always worrisome.

But after reading Collins’ letter, you can’t say that the Mets lack focus and direction heading into the 2011 season and beyond. Collins is attempting to do for the Mets what Rex Ryan did for the Jets, which is build confidence in his players and pride in its fans.

The difference between the two is the approach.

Ryan’s strategy is exuding confidence through his boisterous personality and protecting his team as their leader until the entire roster rallies behind him. Collins is more reserved, but potentially equally as effective. 

Collins may lack the swagger that Ryan has, but his motives are incredibly similar. Through the words in his letter, not only does he assure us that the Mets will play the game the right way, but he also puts his faith behind the current roster of players.

Although I wouldn’t “stack our lineup against anyone else’s in the league,” as he wrote, I do agree that, with a healthy Carlos Beltran and the eventual return of Jason Bay, the Mets can be a very dangerous lineup.

In addition, I do agree that, considering the Mets play their home games in the spacious confines of Citi Field, the rotation is “solid,” and when Johan returns to the mound, it will be above average.

It most likely won’t be a World Series year in 2011. But with young talent such as Ike Davis, Josh Thole, Jenrry Mejia, Lucas Duda, Brad Emaus, Matt Harvey and Wilmer Flores, the Mets’ future, along with David Wright and Jose Reyes, looks promising.

This season, instead of success, we should look more for signs of the attitude that Collins is attempting to bring to the Mets organization. Rex Ryan turned Jets players and fans into a much more confident bunch, and now the fanbase has a much different makeup than it once did.

For fans of the Mets and Jets, the little-brother feeling is one that we have grown accustomed to over the years—the Yankees and Giants have ruled this city.

But Rex changed that in the NFL. Now it’s time for Collins to follow in his footsteps.   

See you at Citi Field, Terry.  

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