Carter, who turns 52 in April, was the hit of the Gulf Coast League last summer, taking a batch of high school and college signees to a 37-16 record and a showdown with the GCL Yankees for the league title.
The Hall-of-Famer will try to replicate that success this season in the Florida State League, taking the managerial reins of the club from former teammate Tim Teufel.
"It's known to be one of the best minor leagues," Carter said. "The travel is not awful bad, as far as bus rides, and it's a great league. It's a great developmental league and I know we're going to have a lot of great players.
"We're just trying to have a fun season - a winning season - and get these guys up to the big leagues."
Though wins and losses are important in the minor leagues, most would agree that the final outcomes of contests fall secondary to player instruction and development.
Carter's approach is a blend of the two. The gregarious backstop of the '86 Mets club, Carter's smile was a familiar sight around Shea Stadium, but a deep hunger for winning was never far behind.
"I love the game and have a great passion for the game," Carter said. "I try to instill that in the players as well to prepare them for the Major Leagues. Development is one thing and it's very important, but the other thing is to try to teach them to win, too."
"He has knowledge of the game and truly understands the game," said Darryl Strawberry. "Carter's been through it and he knows what it's all about. I think he's going to be a very, very positive influence on the kids."
A resident of Port St. Lucie who literally lives just around the block from Tradition Field, the commute won't be a problem for home games.
Along with coaches Nelson Silverio and Ricky Bones, Carter also plans to be heavily involved in the Florida community, representing the Mets at local events all summer long.
"He's going to be great to have," said Paul Taglieri, the Mets' director of Florida operations. "We're looking forward to working with him and his staff here. We're very excited."
Carter Takes Charge At St. Lucie
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