The Mets have started to interview candidates to fill their empty manager’s seat. On Friday, current hitting coach Kevin Long interviewed for the position, with Houston bench coach Alex Cora set for an interview tomorrow. Former Met utility player/current Chicago White Sox bench coach Joe McEwing is also scheduled for an interview this week.
These three names are among the eight or so names that have been floated for the past few weeks, joining Sandy Alomar Jr., Robin Ventura, Chip Hale, Brad Ausmus, and Bob Geren. All of the candidates, aside from Ausmus, have some sort of connection to the Mets, either as a player or as a former member of the coaching staff.
Cora will be in New York for game three of the Yankees/Astros American League Championship Series, and is currently considered the front runner for the managerial opening in Boston, joining the aforementioned Alomar, Ausmus, Ron Gardenhire, and Jason Varitek as the rumored candidates. Cora played for the Mets in 2009 and 2010. Cora has no managerial experience, and no coaching experience beyond his current bench coach position, of which he is finishing his first year.
Long, who has only managed in Class A ball, has been the Mets’ hitting coach since 2015, after seven years in that position for the New York Yankees. Former pupil Curtis Granderson recently praised Long’s communication skills, which Granderson says is the most important skill a manager needs to possess. Granderson worked with Long as both a Met and a Yankee.
McEwing played for the Mets from 2000-2004, before being released prior to the 2005 season. He has worked in the White Sox organization since 2008, acting as hitting coach for their Triple A affiliate, manager for both their Class A and Triple A teams, and bench coach for Chicago since 2012. McEwing was named 2009 South Atlantic League manager of the year for his work with the Class A Winston-Salem Dash.
The Mets have also been rumored to be interested in Joe Girardi, should the current Yankees manager be let go after this season.
Update: According to Jon Heyman, Ausmus has declined an interview, and Ventura has not shown interest.