Twice Buck has been fired, and the team won a WS the next year. I think the "Buck is a great manager" has been overblown somewhat.
When did George stop screaming so much in the papers? Wasn't it after the suspension (I'm going back to years where my memory gets fuzzy because I was young). Even some of the Torre years he was talking too much crap. Didn't he bash Jeter for partying too much and called Irabu a "fat ***** toad"? To Torre's credit, I know he diffused a lot of the George stuff...he mentioned that in stories since his retirement. I'm sure that helped some.
Collins has no responsibility in that way. The Mets don't talk. The GM talks like Jeter in which he says nothing, ever, when he does talk. Ownership doesn't talk. If you want to blame Collins for not being able to get Ike out of his funk and the team freezing with RISP? Eh. Maybe. At some point, it's on the players. From what I hear, Collins constantly encourages his players, is the guy who coddles you when you need it, and kicks you in the *** when you act like a jackass. I don't think Ike's troubles are on Collins. Talented teams win games, untalented teams don't. And sometimes talented teams get unlucky, and untalented teams get lucky.