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Rumor Central: Kevin Long the early favorite for Mets' manager job?

Kevin Long appears to have made a favorable first impression in the New York Mets' managerial search.

Long, the Mets’ hitting coach the last three seasons, is the favorite as the front office begins the interview process to replace Terry Collins, tweets ESPN’s Buster Olney.

Bob Klapisch of The Record (Bergen County) also is reporting that Long, who reportedly interviewed for the job last week, is the early top choice.

The 50-year-old Long has drawn praise for his communication skills and is credited with helping Daniel Murphy to alter his swing and become one of baseball’s elite hitters. Long served as hitting coach of the New York Yankees from 2007-14 and managed in the minor leagues.

While Alex Cora has become the hot name for several openings, the Astros’ bench coach “is not considered high on the Mets’ list of candidates,” reports Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News.

According to various reports, the Mets will interview Cora on Tuesday. White Sox bench coach Joe McEwing, Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway and Mariners third-base coach Manny Acta will be interviewed this week.

-- Doug Mittler

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