Now that the search for their general manager is over, the Mets can now concentrate on getting a manager. At the moment, they are in the early stages. Many names are being mentioned, and we all know that only a few will become serious contenders for the job.
Sandy Alderson said in yesterday's press conference that he would like a fiery manager. That gave this whole situation new life. Now people are saying that Wally Backman has a real shot to get the job because he fits Sandy's description of a fiery guy. The truth is that there is not one front-runner for getting the job. Everybody has an equal chance right now, and interviews are just beginning to take place.
Here are 11 people who the Mets might be interested in for their new manager.
Backman is a former Met and was the manager of Mets A affiliate, the Brooklyn Cyclones last year. The Cyclones had a successful season last year with Backman. It seemed as if his toughness rubbed off on the team. The Cyclones played gritty, hard-nosed baseball all season long—it couldn't have been any better for Backman.
Due to his great season last year, he is in the mix for the Mets' open spot at manager. And the fans love him. He should be one of the first candidates to get an interview for the job.
Collins was the former manager of the Los Angeles of Anaheim and the Houston Astros. In each of his five full seasons as a manager he finished in second. He was also the manager of Team China in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Last year, Collins was brought in to be the Mets' minor league field coordinator.
At the end of the 2006 season, Collins and the Orix Buffaloes of the Pacific League in Japan agreed to a three-year deal for Collins to manage them. Collins had mixed results with the Buffaloes and resigned from the job on May 21, 2008. Now he's looking to get back in the MLB, and he's on the Mets radar.
A first-round pick of the Mets in 1980, Gibbons has been very active in the managerial market this offseason. He has already interviewed with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Seattle Mariners for their open managerial spots. Gibbons has been around the game for a decent amount of time, and it seems that some teams want him more than the Mets do.
Chip Hale served as the Mets' third-base coach last season. The Mets got Hale from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Back in Arizona, Chip managed the Diamondbacks' AAA affiliate, the Tucson Sidewinders. He led Tucson to a 91-53 record, a new franchise record. He was named the Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year. Hale went on to serve as a coach in Arizona under manager Bob Melvin. Hale is well thought of in the Mets organization, and he seems to be a serious contender for the job.
DeMarlo Hale is a fiery bench coach for the Boston Red Sox under Terry Francona. He was recently a finalist for the Blue Jays managerial opening, but John Farrell was named the manager for the Blue Jays. Hale is highly regarded, but the Mets aren't seriously considering him—but things can change very quickly.
Clint Hurdle is know for his enthusiasm. He managed the Colorado Rockies for nine seasons, bringing them to the World Series in 2007. Hurdle used to play for the Mets, and he was a coach in their farm system. He is currently the Texas Rangers' hitting coach.
Brooklyn boy and ex-Met Lee Mazzilli is rumored to be a candidate for the Mets managerial job. Mazzilli was the Baltimore Orioles manager from 2004 to 2005. Although he is a fan favorite, he is not the fans' first choice for the Mets managerial opening. It looks like a long shot for Mazzilli to make his way back to Queens.
Melvin managed the Seattle Mariners during the 2003 and 2004 seasons. He was then brought in to manage the Diamondbacks. In 2007 Melvin won the MLB Manager of the Year award for bringing the Arizona Diamondbacks to the NLCS with a 92-70 record. In 2009 he was replaced by AJ Hinch. He was brought in as a scout for the 2010 Mets, and it seems like he has a big chance for the Mets' managerial spot. He is also currently in the running for the Milwaukee Brewers managerial opening.
Joe Torre is one of the most intriguing options for the New York Mets (if he is an option). Former legendary manager of the New York Yankees, Torre spent the last two seasons managing the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also used to manage the Mets.
Torre made public remarks about the Mets managerial job before it was even vacant. He said he was interested in coming back to New York. His remarks stirred up controversy, and Jerry Manuel got angry at him, so Torre went on to apologize saying that he wasn't interested in the job. No one knows if Torre is really not interested in the job, but either way it seems that Torre will be a little too pricey for the Mets. This is definitely an interesting situation to watch unfold.
Another intriguing option for the Mets. Valentine led the 2000 Mets to the World Series as the manager. Valentine had a great stint with the Mets and should have never been fired, but let's not talk about that. Valentine has one of the best personalities in the game, but many people think that Sandy Alderson won't work well with Valentine's personality. Although it seems like a long shot for Bobby Valentine, no one is ruling him out. I would love to see him take the Mets job, and I hope the Mets see what he is capable of doing.
Former Seattle Mariners manager, Wakamatsu was fired in August due to his under-performing team. He was the bench coach for the 2008 Oakland Athletics, and he is known as a hard-working, bright man.
All of the people that I listed are smart baseball minds, and I believe that any one of them can lead the Mets to a World Series title—but some stand out more than others.
My favorite out of the bunch is Bobby Valentine. I love Bobby, and I believe that he is the best man for the job. The Mets and Sandy Alderson are not showing interest in Valentine, and I don't agree with their decision to overlook him. But we fans have to trust the organization to make the right moves.
As of now, I believe that Bob Melvin is the front runner for the job. If Valentine doesn't get the job, then my second choice for the job would be Melvin. He has a great resume and is a fantastic talent evaluator. He is already working in the organization so it won't take much to name him the manager. No matter what happens, the Mets' hunt for a manager is going to be very interesting. All we fans can do is hope that the Mets pick the right man for the job.