Backman, Collins Among 4 Finalists For Mets Manager

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Terry Collins, Bob Melvin, Wally Backman and Chip Hale were scheduled for second interviews for New York Mets manager at this week’s general managers’ meetings.

Melvin was the first for his callback, on Wednesday afternoon, followed by Hale on Wednesday night and Backman and Collins on Thursday, assistant general manager John Ricco announced.

“Assuming all the flights are on time, we should be through the four of them by late afternoon tomorrow,” Ricco said Wednesday.

Collins and Melvin each managed twice previously in the major leagues. Backman and Hale have no big league managerial experience but have both managed in the minors.

Backman played second base for the Mets’ 1986 World Series champions and managed their Class-A Brooklyn farm team this year. Hale was New York’s third-base coach, Collins the minor league field coordinator and Melvin a scout.

“Some veteran guys and some new guys,” Ricco said. “Kind of a good mix.”

New Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, who is commuting to Orlando each day, will conduct the second interviews with chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, Ricco, vice president of player development and scouting Paul DePodesta, and special assistant J.P. Ricciardi. Owner Fred Wilpon may participate.

“As to whether that’s the end, that remains to be seen,” Ricco said. “We have to see what happens with each of them.”

New York is searching for a replacement for Jerry Manuel, who was fired along with GM Omar Minaya after the team’s second straight losing season. Alderson hopes to make a decision by Thanksgiving.

DeMarlo Hale, Dave Jauss, Ken Oberkfell, Don Wakamatsu and Jose Oquendo were eliminated. Clint Hurdle interviewed, then withdrew to become manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Collins was 224-197 as manager of the Houston Astros (1994-96) and Anaheim Angels (1997-99). He led teams to second-place finishes in each of his first five seasons, then resigned during a nine-game losing streak with players complaining about his managing style.

Melvin managed Seattle (2003-04) and Arizona (2005-09) to a 493-508 record. He was voted NL Manager of the Year after the Diamondbacks won the NL West in 2007; after sweeping the Chicago Cubs in the first round of the playoffs, they were swept by the Colorado Rockies in the NL championship series. Arizona fired him in 2009 following a 12-17 start, with then-GM Josh Byrnes saying the team lacked a positive “vibe.”

Backman was hired to manage the Diamondbacks in November 2004, then was fired four days later after The New York Times reported he had been arrested twice and had financial problems. He managed the South Georgia Peanuts of the independent South Coast League in 2007, resigned that August following run-ins with umpires and a press box argument with another team’s radio announcer, then returned three days later and managed the team to the league title. He managed the Joliet Jackhammers of the Northern League in 2008.

Before the Mets hired him a year ago, Hale was third base and infield coach for the Diamondbacks for three seasons. He managed their Triple-A Tuscon farm team from 2004-06.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

pixy Backman, Collins Among 4 Finalists For Mets Manager

One Comment

  1. Vic says:

    JMB, don’t understand what you’re crying about, Mets refused to spend $$, where have you been, in a cave with the Taliban? Mets payroll was around $150 million dollars this year and Mets payroll has been the highest in the NL for about 6 yrs now.

  2. JMB says:

    Here are the Mets ONCE AGAIN, trying to get something for nothing. No mention of interviewing Joe Toree, Bobby Valentine or Lou Pinella, instead trying to hire someone for as little $$ as possible with no REAL RECORD of producing winning baseball.

    Makes it VERY HARD to remain a fan of a baseball team that ABSOLUTELY refuses to spend $$ the right way to improve the team.

  3. Big Ed says:

    tell us how Wally has more experienced when he has only mmanaged in the minors while Collins & Melvin have both managed in the majors. And most successful, 1986 was a long, long, long time ago and Wally was then a player. Bob Melvin teams have finish in 1st and finish in 2nd twice. Collins teams have finish in 2nd a few times, not bad. Managing in the minors is far different then the majors. Good luck with whatever choice they make, your team will need it. LOL

    1. dico j. says:

      collins, melvin, backman…. the mets might as well hire buffalo bob and claribell as manager and bench coach. what difference will it make. LOL

    2. Smig says:

      Melvin took a good Diamondbacks team and drove them into the ground. Josh Byrnes did not make a good choice by hiring Melvin or A.J. Hinch.

  4. Evan says:

    Bill Buckner should be maqnager. he gave the Mets their 1986 world series title!

    1. dico j. says:

      bill buckner did not give the mets the 1986 w.s……calvin schiraldi and bob stanley were the ones who gave it up. them two clowns get a free pass while buckner takes the blame.

      1. Smig says:

        Dude, Buckner missed a routine grounded through his 5 hole. My kid would’ve gotten extra laps for that!

  5. happyjack says:

    Nice ring on Wally, maybe the other guys can go the Jared. But here again, the obligatory paragraph on Wally’s Diamondback problems and no report of Collins DUI, which was more recent then Wally’s. To be clear Collins’ players did more than complain ,they petitioned to have him fired. Also when Collins quit in Japan he said he no longer has the fire in the belly. As late as May, 2010 Collins said he he had no desire to manage again. But I have to believe if it is down to these four choices, only Wally stands out as the most experienced, most respected by his players, most successful and the peeple’s choice.

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