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Fiery Collins addresses Mets, '16 expectations

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- A memorabilia company was at Tradition Field on Friday to fit the Mets for rings, as has become a custom in baseball.

Though championship rings have long gone to the World Series victors, pennant winners have also begun a trend of rewarding themselves with jewelry -- a not-so-subtle reminder that what they accomplished was remarkable, too.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- A memorabilia company was at Tradition Field on Friday to fit the Mets for rings, as has become a custom in baseball.

Though championship rings have long gone to the World Series victors, pennant winners have also begun a trend of rewarding themselves with jewelry -- a not-so-subtle reminder that what they accomplished was remarkable, too.

Bauman: Mets could be better in '16

For the Mets, the National League pennant was indeed a difficult goal that they now must repeat. Such was manager Terry Collins' message to his club early Friday morning, when he addressed his players as a group prior to their first full-squad workout.

"In order for us to get to the pinnacle again," Collins said, "we've got to be a little better."

As he does every year, Collins gathered all of his players -- 57 this spring, not counting late-arriving outfielder Roger Bernadina -- in a conference room prior to their first group workout. The Mets wore baseball pants and spikes and sat in folding chairs as Collins preached, telling them not to rest on last year's successes.

Video: Wright discusses his health and expectations for 2016

Matt Harvey called his manager "sparky." David Wright went with "fiery." Both added that the message was equal parts loud and clear.

"The message is the exact same that it was last year, when the outside expectations were low but the inside expectations were high," Wright said. "Now, it's the outside expectations are high and the inside expectations are high. It's no different than coming into last spring. The mindset is the same. The message is the same. I think guys come in here with a little more confidence. The organization comes in here with a little more confidence. But nothing changes.

"We were an excellent team last year. We were a great team last year. That doesn't mean anything this year."

Video: Harvey on learning from playoff run, ready for 2016

Wright went on to say that on paper, at least, the Mets are better than a year ago. Unlike last February, when a clear lack of offensive thump had most pegging them for a second-place finish in the NL East, the Mets have beefed up that area and others. Team defense may be its biggest deficiency at the dawn of camp, and Collins pointed also to a lack of experience on his bench. But those are mere quibbles compared to the types of issues some other teams face.

Still, Wright speaks often about 2007, when the Mets -- again, on paper -- entered Spring Training with perhaps the best team in baseball. They missed the postseason that summer and again in '08, and they didn't return until last October.

Thus, Friday's sparky, fiery message.

"Last year is over," Collins said. "We got to enjoy it for a period of time. Now we've got to focus on … getting ready for the next year, and what we've got to do. We certainly realize that there are going to be a lot of people after us. We get that. And I'm of the mind that we need to embrace it as opposed to ignoring it."

Added Harvey: "There are a lot of expectations. The only way to come through with those is to perform."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

New York Mets, Matt Harvey, David Wright