NEW YORK -- Yankees coach Willie Randolph, Texas coach Rudy
Jaramillo and former major league manager Terry Collins were
invited back Monday for a second round of interviews by the New
York Mets, who hope to hire a new manager this week.
They were asked to meet with Mets' executives on Wednesday at
Shea Stadium. Carlos Tosca and Jim Riggleman, the other two
candidates who interviewed with new general manager Omar Minaya,
were not invited back.
New York did not call the three candidates finalists, meaning it
is possible others could join the field. Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz
said Jim Leyland, who interviewed with Philadelphia on Monday,
spoke with Minaya at the World Series and was told he should call
if he was interested, but has not.
In a roster decision, the Mets decided to decline a $15 million
option on Richard Hidalgo and pay the outfielder a $2 million
"We are open-minded to speaking to Richard about coming back
next year," Minaya said.
Hidalgo, acquired from Houston on June 17. hit .228 (74-for-324)
with 21 homers and 52 RBI in 86 games with New York. He filed for
free agency Monday along with right-handers Kris Benson and Ricky Bottalico, left-hander John Franco and first baseman Todd Zeile,
who plans to retire.
New York has spoken with the agent for Benson, obtained from
Pittsburgh in late July. The Mets have said they would like to
Franco, the 44-year-old team captain, probably won't be asked