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First Base Coach Dave Collins Resigns out of Loyalty to Fredi Gonzalez

   Dave Collins wanted one thing made clear. He has the highest respect for Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, president David Samson and president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest. But he also felt a strong committment to Fredi Gonzalez, and after the manager was fired on Wednesday, Collins felt he should step away, too.

   Collins resigned -- unexpectedly -- on Saturday.

  The reason: "Just basically, when I first came over here, my commitment was to Fredi, and I thought my job was to help Fredi keep his job. When Fredi was let go, I was really disappointed. Initially I told them I wasn't going to leave."

  But the more Collins thought about it, the more he came to the realization that it would be better for everyone, including the new manager, to resign. Collins said his departure has nothing to do with reports that Bobby Valentine is expected to get the job.

  "Bobby and I were teammates in '75 with the Angels," Collins said. "I have great respect for Bobby Valentine as a teammate and as a manager. But I certainly didn't want to be in a position where Bobby doesn't have the flexibility and freedom to bring in the people he wants. That was another reason to step away."

   Still, the overwhelming influence to leave the Marlins was a feeling of duty to Gonzalez.

   "My reason was my respect and commitment for Fredi Gonzalez," Collins said. "That means more to me."