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2015 could be a make-or-break season for Terry Collins's Mets career

The 65-year-old manager is entering into the final year of his contract.

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Terry Collins is the target of plenty of criticism throughout the Mets blogosphere, but it's hard to say that he hasn't lived up to expectations. Since taking over for Jerry Manuel following the ouster of Omar Minaya in 2009, Collins has won between 74 and 79 games in each of the past four seasons. Considering the talent or lack there of that the Mets have put on the field during that span, the skipper hasn't been doing a bad job.

2015 will be different though. With a pitching staff that is stacked with talent and a lineup with plenty of interesting pieces, the Mets are expected to make a push at the postseason. Could Collins call it quits after finally getting his team to October? Ken Rosenthal seemed to think it was a possibility in his Tuesday column.

A friend of Terry Collins' recently suggested to me that Collins would retire as Mets manager at the end of the season, even if the team had been successful.

Another friend found the theory plausible, considering that Collins turns 66 on May 27 and that general manager Sandy Alderson essentially picked the team's coaching staff.

However, Rosenthal expresses doubt that the energetic Collins could retire so suddenly with his club so close to contention. Then, the reporter spoke to Collins, who said that he has no plans to retire anytime soon.

He concedes that managing is difficult. He acknowledges that he is at an age when he must go year to year. Yet, when I told him of his friends' sentiments, he said, "I don't know why they would say that."

"I've really enjoyed it here, had a great time," he continued. "I get up in the morning, and you better be ready for a challenge every day in New York City. It seems like there's a fire you've got to put out, some place. You get ready for the day. You get ready to compete.

It doesn't sound like Collins wants to leave baseball after this season, but he might not have a choice in the matter. Now that the Mets have a talented roster, the fan base and front office are going to start expecting serious results. If Collins can't deliver, it could be time to find someone who can.

Mike Francesa of WFAN has made it known that he doesn't think Collins will survive even a slow start from the Mets. That seems a little extreme given how patient the front office has been with this team, but if he is on the hot seat after a respectable 79-win campaign last year, it shows how expectations have changed.

Could Collins get the Mets to October and then ride off into the sunset? It's a possibility, but more likely he's either sticking around with a postseason-bound club or getting the boot after failing to reach 89 wins.