ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The New York Mets hope to select their next manager as early as Sunday.

New general manager Sandy Alderson conducted second interviews Wednesday with Bob Melvin and Chip Hale, accompanied by chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon and three other front-office staff. Wally Backman and Terry Collins are due for their second chats on Thursday, the last day of baseball’s meetings this week in Florida.

“I don’t think this is one of those love-at-first sight scenarios in the sense that I think we want to be a little more reflective than that,” Alderson said. “On the other hand, can somebody win it in the room? Yes, but I think we also have to recognize that the job over 162 games is not to have a good interview. There are practical requirements and so forth that are going to make this an important decision as it stretches over 162 games year after year as opposed to an hour-and-a-half in the room. But, some people can create a positive impression that causes one to say, ‘Wow!'”

Alderson will attend a memorial service for his father on Saturday in St. Petersburg, delaying a decision slightly. He suggested the choice will be made Sunday or Monday.

“I don’t think there’s any reason why we can’t do that,” Alderson said.

Asked whether a news conference to introduce the choice could take place Tuesday, he said that was a possibility.

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. Collins and Melvin have previous big league managing experience.

“We did want to be over-inclusive with respect to internal candidates, just to make them feel as if they’d all gotten an opportunity,” Alderson said. “But I think at the same time we anticipated that some of them would interview very well. I mean, it’s a little surprising we don’t have any external candidates, but I’m happy to say everybody does have a Mets tie, which is a very good thing, I think. It speaks to the quality of individual that we have in the organization currently.”

Assistant GM John Ricco, vice president of player development and scouting Paul DePodesta, and special assistant J.P. Ricciardi also attended the interviews.

Alderson said the organization wants to retain Hale even if he isn’t chosen. The Mets hope to keep Dave Jauss and Ken Oberkfell, internal candidates eliminated after their first interviews.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

pixy Alderson: Mets Could Decide On Manager By Sunday

Watch & Listen LIVE