Mets general manager Sandy Alderson brought innovation to the chain of command in baseball when he was in Oakland, and he will implement the same strict policy in New York.
In Alderson's system, the manager follows the orders and guidelines of the higher-ups, with little wiggle room for on-field decisions. The manager should not be responsible for the X's and O's — he should be in charge of managing the personalities in the dugout.
With Collins, the Mets now have a manager with a proven track record. After 13 years of managing and coaching in the minor leagues, Collins managed the Houston Astros from 1994 to 1996, posting a winning record each year. He also led the Anaheim Angels from 1997 to 1999 and, in total, has 444 wins and 434 losses as a big league skipper.
In New York, Collins will take orders from Alderson and the rest of the front office on how to approach every in-game situation. He'll make double-switches, bullpen moves and decisions on whether or not to bunt, but all of those moves will be under the guidelines of management — and all will be statistically based.
But the Mets didn't hire Collins just to be a drone. He will command respect from his players, just like any office manager would command respect from his employees. He'll take orders from corporate (Alderson), but the team's day-to-day operations are his responsibility.
If the Mets start slow in 2011 — which may happen, because even Alderson probably can't turn around the disaster he inherited in just one season — Collins likely will take heat from the New York media.
But he will learn to take it all in stride, because he's part of a bigger picture. And as long as he follows the Alderson methods, he'll be successful in Queens.
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