Terry Collins’ relationship with the Mets’ front office has been dysfunctional as all get-out

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It’s not a secret that Terry Collins is going to be out as Mets manager when his contract is up after Sunday’s game. But we learned yesterday that he might’ve been fired any number of times before now, but wasn’t because Mets owner Fred Wilpon personally stuck up for him in defense of his son’s and his general manager’s efforts to oust him.

That comes in this fascinating Marc Carig story at Newsday, which describes the years of dysfunction in the Mets’ front office. The short version: team president Jeff Wilpon and general manager Sandy Alderson have almost no relationship with Collins, who they feel stopped carrying out their vision and stopped listening to them some time ago. On multiple occasions, Carig reports, they wanted to fire Collins, but the elder Wilpon has stepped in to protect Collins, who he likes.

As with most cases of office politics, this one is likely complicated, and as with most Mets stories, the unpopular Jeff Wilpon plays a key role. No matter what you think of him, however, Carig’s reporting suggests pretty strongly that Collins has not listened to the team’s baseball operations people.

No matter where you come down on all of that, it’s hard to deny that Collins’ time in Queens should probably be over. But, as this is the Mets, it’s not at all surprising that his tenure is ending with public sniping and drama. That’s just what the Mets do.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).