Terry Collins manages his way back

With new manager Terry Collins, the New York Mets are hoping that the combination of age, time away, and near-misses brings with it championship-level wisdom.

Sources told ESPNNY's Adam Rubin that Collins is the choice of new general manager Sandy Alderson and his front office staff. A press conference is likely for Tuesday.

Collins is 61 and will be the second-oldest manager in Mets history at the time of his hiring. The only one older was the Mets first manager, Casey Stengel, who was 71 when tabbed by the Mets prior to the 1962 season.

Stengel brought with him the experience of a successful playing career and a successful managerial tenure with the New York Yankees.

Collins actually doesn't bring either of those traits. He's the first manager in Mets history to have never played a major league game. And his last stint as manager ended with a fractured Angels clubhouse in 1999.

Collins did manage his teams to second-place finishes in each of five straight seasons prior to the struggles he had in his last year in the majors. The only other manager to do that is Jimy Williams, who managed his teams (the Red Sox and Astros) to second place in six straight seasons from 1998 to 2003. But given the fate of the Mets with their struggles the last two seasons, they'd be quite satisfied with a second-place finish in 2011.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Collins will be the fourth manager hired since 2000 to have been out of the major league managing fraternity for at least 11 years.

The three others:

Larry Bowa, who managed the San Diego Padres in 1988, returned as Phillies manager in 2001. Bowa posted winning records in three of his four seasons, finishing 337-308 during that tenure.

Frank Robinson took over the Montreal Expos in 2002 after not managing since his stint with the Baltimore Orioles ended in 1991. Robinson managed the Expos to winning records in each of his first two seasons before running into some struggles. He finished 385-425 in five seasons.

Most recently Cito Gaston brought the Toronto Blue Jays up a level in terms of respectability during his three-year stint, which began when he was brought out of an 11-year retirement in 2008. Gaston finished 211-201 in three seasons, though his teams could never crack the top level of the brutally difficult American League East.