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The Four Names on the Mets’ Managerial Short List

Sandy Alderson met with ten men during his first round of managerial interviews, and now he’s (officially) whittled that down to the final four: Terry Collins, Bob Melvin, Chip Hale, and Wally Backman, all of whom currently work within the organization. The next manager, in fact, could be in place by Thanksgiving. A reminder of who we’re dealing with, after the jump.

Terry Collins: The Mets’ minor-league field coordinator, he’s considered one of two favorites for the job, and reportedly has strong supporters in Jeff Wilpon and Paul DePodesta. With a hard-nosed style, he managed three seasons with Houston and led the Angels to second-place finishes in the first two of his three seasons in Anaheim. He’d lose a clubhouse filled with strong-willed personalities in the third, though, and resign with 29 games remaining. That was 1999, and he hasn’t managed in the majors since. Among his jobs since then: He served as player-development director under DePodesta in Los Angeles, managed two years in Japan, and helmed China’s World Baseball Classic team in 2009.

Bob Melvin: Currently a major-league scout for the Mets, he’s the other leading candidate for the job. The low-key Melvin managed two years in Seattle (winning 93 games in the first and 63 in the second), then took over the Diamondbacks, where he’d be fired 29 games into his fifth season. In 2007, he won the National League Manager of the Year award and guided Arizona to the NLCS, where they’d get swept by Colorado.

Chip Hale: Played parts of seven seasons for the Twins and Dodgers (and while playing for the Portland Beavers in 1991, hit the ball in the famous blooper clip of the minor-league outfielder running through the wall). He served as the Mets’ third-base coach last year (and before that, spent three years as Arizona’s third-base coach). He’s managed in the minors, but has no big-league managerial experience.

Wally Backman: Last year led the Cyclones to the New York–Penn League finals; like Hale, he has experience managing in the minors, but not in the majors. Was hired as manager of the Diamondbacks in November 2004, then fired four days later after the Diamondbacks learned not only of serious financial problems but also that he’d been arrested twice (he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment following a 2001 altercation at his home involving his wife and one of her friends and was convicted on charges of driving under the influence in 2000). Arizona’s eventual manager for the 2005 season? Bob Melvin.

The Four Names on the Mets’ Managerial Short List