Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hurdle will Manage Pirates, Three Candidates Left for the Mets Manager

By: Clayton Collier

     The Pittsburgh Pirates have reportedly hired Rangers hitting coach Clint Hurdle to manage the club. Hurdle was a strong candidate for the Mets managerial opening but instead signed a 3-year deal with the Bucs. This makes Terry Collins the clear frontrunner for Mets manager job. Other Mets suitors include Bob Melvin and Chip Hale.

     Now with former Rockies manager Clint Hurdle out of the picture, the remaining men for the Mets are Terry Collins, Bob Melvin and Chip Hale. Although all three will reportedly get second interviews, Hale appears to be the least likely candidate because he has no Major League managing experience.

  Former Astros and Angels manager Terry Collins is widely considered the favorite for the job. He has worked in the past with new vice president of player development and amateur scouting Paul DePodesta and is a close friend of Sandy Koufax, a mutual friend of Fred Wilpon. Collins has managed a career six seasons in LA and in Houston combined and has posted a 444-434 record as manager. Collins has managed a second place team five times out of six seasons but has never reached the playoffs. Collins this past season worked as a minor league field coordinator and was quite popular among the players.

   Bob Melvin is still a strong suitor for the managerial position despite all of Collins credentials. Melvin mmanaged the Mariners from 2003-2004 and the Diamondbacks from 2005-2009. In 2007, Melvin managed the Diamondbacks to a NL West division title and earned the NL Manager of the Year award. Melvin was a scout for the Mets this past season so he knows the Mets minor league system well, something that could work heavily in his favor in the second round of interviews.

    Chip Hale is considered by some not even to be a candidate anymore while others say he is still in the race. Hale has no Major League managerial experience, which works largely against him. Alderson has stressed the fact he is looking for a manager that has managerial experience in the majors. Hale served as the 3rd base coach for the Mets in 2010 and is one reason for the largely improved Mets defense this season.

   As the extensive search for a new skipper for the Mets, Alderson must choose very carefully as this crucial decision could make or brake the Mets for 2011.

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