The New York Mets’ managerial search is in its third week, and it looks as if things are progressing. The early favorite for the position appears to be hitting coach Kevin Long, Matt Ehalt of NJ.com reports. Long, who interviewed for the job over the weekend, has drawn rave reviews for his skills as a communicator and has received endorsements from former pupils like Yankees’ outfielder Brett Gardner and former Met Curtis Granderson. While Ehalt’s source indicated that Long is currently viewed as the favorite to land the job, but the team is currently planning on interviewing roughly six candidates. Here’s the latest on the field (thanks to this handy chart from MetsBlog):
Brad Ausmus: Declined an interview with the Mets according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Ausmus did interview for the Red Sox’ managerial position on Monday.
Robin Ventura: Ventura has shown no interest in the Mets’ job according to Heyman, so he is out of the running.
Alex Cora: Interviewed with the Mets in New York this morning. Appears to be the favorite for the Red Sox’ managerial opening and interviewed with Boston on Monday.
Manny Acta: A new name in the mix, the former Mets’ third base coach under Willie Randolph in 2005 and 2006 will interview for the manager’s job on Wednesday. Acta previously managed the Washington Nationals from 2007-2009 and the Cleveland Indians from 2010-2012, posting a 372-518 record as skipper. Acta is currently serving as the third base coach for the Seattle Mariners.
Joe McEwing: Will interview with the Mets tomorrow.
Mickey Callaway: Will also interview with the Mets tomorrow. Has previously been linked to the Phillies’ job, where he was scheduled for an interview.
Bob Geren: Previously considered, but does not appear to be a serious candidate at this time since the Mets have yet to try scheduling an interview with him.
Chip Hale: See Geren.
The Mets aim to have a short list of about six candidates for the job, so there may be one more interview after the previous five (Long, Cora, McEwing, Acta, Callaway) are completed.