According to Harper, Collins has been more vocal than usual this spring, either expressing frustration with the roster (left-handed relievers), disagreeing with Alderson or not being on the same page with his front office, such as seeming unaware of elbow issues (Zack Wheeler), potential surgeries (Josh Edgin) and demotions (Noah Syndegraard).
At the same time, a source told Harper that Alderson's front office has repeatedly had issues with the way Collins has made strategic decisions in games, so much so they nudged him to fire the manager at the end of last season.
In the upcoming book, Baseball Maverick, Sandy Alderson admits that he was closer to firing Collins in 2014 than was being reported.
"Frankly, for me, that percentage (51 percemt) has been eroding," Alderson said last September, speaking to the book's author, Steve Kettman, who says a meeting with the team's hitters ended up saving their manager's job.
The contentious relationship required a clear-the-air meeting this past winter in which Alderson and Collins aired their grievances, though evidence indicates issues remain, reports Harper.
Collins, 65, has a 2016 option worth $1.2 million, which the team has yet to pick up (Heyman, Mar. 19). He recently denied reports suggesting he might choose to retire at the end of the 2015 season (Rosenthal, Feb. 25).
Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com
Alderson's view of the GM-Manager dynamic is fairly clear, since he's talked about it in public and had it covered extensively in the book Moneyball. Basically, he wants a middle manager, there is room for feedback and discussion, but, in the end, Sandy calls the shots and the manager executes the decision. I'm sure this worked fine with Collins when the task had less weight. But, now the heat is on -- jobs, options and legacies are at stake, and I'm sure that leads to a different set of reactions for everyone involved.
Collins had essentially been babysitting a transition the last few seasons. This year he, Alderson and their players all keep saying they expect to at least contend for a playoff spot. So, if they don’t do it do that, or by May look like they won’t do it, it should be much easier to point fingers and say who is or isn’t getting the job done, Terry and Sandy included. The heat is on...