Indians OF Jay Bruce enjoyed his time playing for Terry Collins, but he is not surprised to see the Mets looking for new leadership, he told reporters Wednesday in Cleveland.
"I don't think it was hard to see," Bruce explained, according to Newsday. "I think that a lot of times in sports they feel like a shakeup needs to happen. The old saying is you can't fire 25 guys, so a lot of times managerial changes happen. I wish Terry the best in whatever he does next."
Bruce, who was traded in August to the Indians for low-level reliever Ryder Ryan, also said he was disappointed to see anonymous teammates being critical of Collins.
"Terry and I had a great relationship," Bruce concluded. "You would like to see people, if they do have a problem, approach him about it, talk to him about it, and not let it out through the media. But losing causes a lot of that stuff. If they're back in the playoffs this year, have a good season, no one's talking about any of it. It's an unfortunate situation, but the reality is it's kind of part of the game."
Sep 24, 2016; Bruce (19) talks with Collins (10) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Penner-USA TODAY Sports
In the aftermath of the last week's anonymous quotes, I heard from a few veterans on the current team, including David Wright, all of whom were pretty annoyed that teammates were trashing their manager behind his back. I have no idea if these men agreed or disagreed with the content of what was being said, but they were all clearly upset with the statements.
Whether you think this matters or not, MLB players take the privacy of their teammates and coaches and the things that occur in and away from the clubhouse very seriously. And -- while nobody believes every player should get along and be best friends -- I've never met a baseball player that doesn't believe it's important for teammates to trust each other.
Wright once told me that, while Spring Training is about getting physically loose and creating a routine, it's also about establishing trust and comfort between teammates. The bond the players make off field when the game isn't being played will often transfer to when the game is being played, he said.
"If you can trust that guys aren't going off to reporters and ruffling feathers, that they're going to put me and him and that guy first, if we have one another's backs, then I know they're probably going to back up second base or be in the right place for the cutoff," he explained. "If we're consistently working together and we're there for each other off field, even if we're not all hanging out at dinner or listening to the same music, I can trust that we're all working together and there for each other between the lines as well."
Sandy Alderson told reporters he wasn't just disappointed with the anonymity of each reported statement, he was also bothered by the timing and content of what was being said about Collins.
Jun 2, 2015: Collins looks on behind Wright during BP at Petco Park. Credit: Roth-USA TODAY Sports
"To the extent that the information came from players, I was extraordinarily disappointed in their willingness to talk without attribution," Alderson said in a serious tone. "To the extent that their information reportedly came from anywhere in the front office, I was exceptionally disappointed. Were I to know who that person was, that person would be terminated."
In the end, Alderson acknowledged that he is responsible for every aspect of what goes on with the team, "especially in those areas where we fall short."
Early in Spring Training, I bet we hear a lot about Alderson and his new manager, Wright, and other leaders in the clubhouse spending a lot of time talking about and recreating a level of discipline, respect and a hierarchy that has slowly disintegrated during the last 12 months. Again, while respect, trust, and openness will not be the determining factor between being a winning and losing team next year, it does matter and is clearly important to these guys.
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is the host of SNY's MetsBlog Q&ACast and the lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!