After completing first-round interviews with Bob Melvin and Chip Hale on Wednesday at the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando, Sandy Alderson said he hoped to have a manager selected by Sunday or Monday, with a press conference perhaps on Tuesday at Citi Field.
Wally Backman interviews at noon Thursday and Terry Collins goes at 2 p.m.
Alderson will be unavailable to deliberate with his front-office colleagues on Friday and Saturday, since his father's memorial service will be held Saturday morning in St. Petersburg.
Here's what Alderson had to say late Wednesday ...
How did today go?
"We had two excellent meetings and are looking forward to two more tomorrow. At that point we'll be in a position to evaluate our next move. Things are going well. We will get all of these second-round interviews done here. Then, from there we will evaluate what's next. I have a memorial service on Saturday for my father, so despite the fact that we finish these interviews tomorrow, you shouldn't expect any real decision on our part until somewhat after that. ... Anything Friday/Saturday is not going to be possible."
How were the second interviews different from the first?
"Well, in Chip's case, I was the only one who interviewed Chip [in the first round]. So it was the first time Paul [DePodesta] and J.P. [Ricciardi] had a chance to talk with him. Jeff [Wilpon] knows him, of course, from last year. In Bob's case, I think it was more details, more talk about coaching staff, more detailed discussion of philosophy. Paul had not been with him the first time. Paul was not with us at that time. Again, it was an introduction for him."
"I think it is important that one have time to reflect, but I don't think we need to sleep on this for a week and a half. In fact, I think you get less effective at some point if you wait too long. I think that we should be in a position to make a decision Sunday/Monday, I would think. I don't think there's any reason why we can't do that."
So you could see a press conference Tuesday?
Did you foresee going in that all four finalists would have been employed by the Mets in some capacity this past season?
"I think it just worked out that way. I guess we had 10 first-round interviews. Six of them had ties to the Mets last year. And I think 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. 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 that everybody does have a Mets tie, which is a very good thing, I think. It speaks to the quality of individual we have in the organization currently."
Have you had a chance to get together with other GMs and talk trade, etc.?
"Not at all, basically. I haven't been in the meetings [because of the family situation]. John [Ricco] and J.P. and Paul have been here. So there have been some discussions. But, for the most part, the GMs here are alone. They've been focused on the meetings, and there have been one or two trades. But I don't get the sense that there's been a lot of organizational activity that we've missed."
Will Chip Hale have a job on the major league staff whether he's the manager or not? (Note: It's widely expected he'll remain at third base.)
"Chip's an asset to the organization. I would just leave it at that."
The organization statement earlier today mentioned first-round interviewees Ken Oberkfell and Dave Jauss would remain with the organization. Oberkfell has been the Triple-A manager. Would you envision he stays there, and Jauss does something overseeing the minors?
"Well, they're both quality Mets. So, without pinning me down, there will be something there for them. Yeah. I don't want you to conclude anything from that. Obie's going to do something else? No. It's very possible he'll be back in Triple-A. They'll be back."
The natural leap is that if Terry Collins is on the major league staff, that Dave Jauss could take over that minor league field coordinator role, which he has done with the Red Sox and Orioles.
"Those are all possibilities. Yeah."
Is it your experience that someone wins the manager's job in the interview room? Or does it take serious deliberation?
"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. On the other hand, can someone 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 a room. But, some people can create a positive impression that causes one to say, 'Wow.'"
Do you look at the same thing from all four of these finalists, or different things from different ones?
"You've got to look at their individual histories and profiles, and balance a variety of things that are not going to come in equal portions among them. Here tonight, Bob has got major league managerial experience. Chip doesn't. Those are differences. Are those differences heightened or offset by other things? Those are all issues we've got to figure out."