According to Mets GM Sandy Alderson, the announcement of a new team manager may come as soon as this Tuesday. The Mets have narrowed their field of possible candidates to four names: Terry Collins, Wally Backman, Chip Hale and Bob Melvin.
Alderson conducted second-round interviews with Bob Melvin and Chip Hale on Tuesday and is expected to finish his meetings with both Wally Backman and Terry Collins on Thursday.
At the moment, the front runner for the position seems to be Terry Collins due to his relationship with Paul DePodesta, who wanted to hire Collins as the manager of the Dodgers at the end of the 2005 season before he was fired as GM. It's no secret that DePodesta has a lot of confidence in Collins and is pushing hard for his hiring.
If there is anything to be excited about while this process is going on, it is that Wally Backman is still a candidate. The majority of fans favor Backman because of his history with the Mets and his fiery attitude. Hiring Backman would definitely excite the fans the most, and while most baseball insiders dismissed the idea of the Mets selecting Backman, he's still standing amongst the finalists.
As a fan, none of the possibilities excite me. I guess Backman does, but he doesn't have any real big league experience as a manager, and the fact that I still don't expect him to be chosen as the manager prevents me from investing too much in him.
Chip Hale doesn't make me feel very confident either. I understand he has a good relationship with the players, having been the third base coach last season, but he is just another piece of the Mets' failures over the last few seasons. According to reports, Alderson was impressed with Hale during the interview process, but I wouldn't expect Hale to bring anything new to the table.
That leaves just Collins and Melvin. They are the only two candidates with past big league managing experience. Collins managed the Houston Astros for three seasons from 1994-1996, finishing in second place all three seasons before being fired at the end of the '96 season. He then managed the Angels from 1997 to 1999, but with just 29 games left in the season Collins resigned.
Why did he resign so near the end of the season? Well, because the players basically petitioned ownership to fire him and he decided to resign instead. The Angels were devasted by injuries that season, and if Collins was so unable to handle that locker room to the point where his own players wanted him out, I don't see how he could possibly handle the current state of the Mets.
Melvin should be the choice only because the other three wouldn't get the job. The state of the Mets is such that they shouldn't take a chance on the fiery Backman, the plain Chip Hale, or the player-hated Collins. Melvin is the best choice because he gives the team stability within the clubhouse so that Alderson can begin to focus on rebuilding the roster.
Melvin worked with the Mets in an advisory role last season, and Alderson said he was impressed with his ideas about what the Mets need to do.
No matter who the Mets select on Tuesday, nothing is going to make me do a backflip. Maybe it's because I've sealed myself up to prevent any further disappointment from my baseball team: There's been just too much over the last four seasons. Backman might excite me, but I don't think the Mets can afford to take on his baggage right now. If he didn't work out, then what would they do? Repeat this entire process? No thanks.
The whole process is just a yawn.