"Loyal Soldier" Quits Post Over Fredi Firing

Dave Collins: "If Fredi was still there, I would still be there"

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    JUPITER, FL - MARCH 02: First base coach Dave Collins #11 of the Florida Marlins poses during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium on March 2, 2010 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

    Saying he didn't resign on the spot Wednesday only because he felt obligated to help his replacement transition, Marlins first base/outfield coach Dave Collins confirmed this afternoon he's following fired skipper Fredi Gonzalez into the great unknown.

    Unlike Gonzalez, who was axed Wednesday, Collins was assured he had a future with the Fish -- but after the events of Wednesday morning, he told the Sun-Sentinel, he didn't want one.

    Great. Now who's gonna help Emilio Bonifacio learn to bunt? We're totally stuck with him, you know.

    "If Fredi was still there, I still would be there," Collins said. "Fredi is not there and I needed to do what I felt was right. It's not as easy thing, but I felt it was the right thing... I didn't want to come back on my principles. I needed to follow what I believe is right. What was right was for me to step away."

    Driving back home to Marietta, Georgia, Saturday when he heard the news, Gonzalez was not surprised, saying: "He's a loyal soldier and I back him on any decision he makes."

    "When I first came over here to coach I felt like my job was to help keep Fredi Gonzalez's job," Collins said. "That didn't happen and in the short time I've been in the organization I've got a great deal of respect and admiration for Fredi Gonzalez as a person and as a manager. When they let him go I was really disheartened and disappointed."

    Interestingly, Collins said he had "tremendous respect" for Marlins management, "especially" Jeffrey Loria. That makes his resignation a bit confusing, at least because it would seem "tremendous respect" doesn't really go hand in hand resigning on "principle" when one's boss is unfairly terminated. 

    But that's Collins, we suppose, who has spent more than 30 years in baseball and obviously keeps some sort of mysterious old-school pirate code. It's only a matter of time until he slips Loria the Black Spot, or gets hired by Fredi when he becomes the new Braves manager. Either one.