I Still Believe Collins Is The Front-Runner

Sandy Alderson will have his second round of interviews today with Wally Backman (noon) and Terry Collins (2 p.m.) then deliberate with his staff.

A decision could come as soon as Sunday or Monday.

“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,’’ Alderson said Wednesday night at the GM meetings. “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.’’

Alderson’s planning and organization is coming through with these interviews, and he’s been open enough to give the fans a glimpse of what is going on. The sense of secrecy that was before isn’t there.

Don’t get me wrong, there will be times – during trades and in the free-agent process – where Alderson will play it closer to vest, but his overall openness has been refreshing.

One thing coming out of these interviews is with the four finalists all having Mets ties, they should all likely remain with the organization despite the outcome so that should ease in the transition.

I still believe Collins is the frontrunner, with Bob Melvin slotting in as the bench coach, Chip Hale remaining in the coaching staff and Backman staying in the minor leagues. Candidates Ken Oberkfell and Dave Jauss will also remain with the organization.

“I’m happy to say that everybody does have a Mets tie, which is a very good thing,’’ Alderson said. “I think. It speaks to the quality of individual we have in the organization currently.’’

In all fairness to Omar Minaya and Jeff Wilpon, these candidates were all brought on board pre-Alderson, so there was some movement in rebuilding the organization. A lot of the rebuilding in the minor league system came in the wake of the Tony Bernazard fiasco.

What’s next after the managing decision is tweaking the roster because all indications there won’t be an overhaul.

With the belief Johan Santana won’t be back, and Hisanori Takahashi gone and Pedro Feliciano likely to follow (both the Yankees and Phillies have expressed interest, so bet on him leaving), the Mets need to address their rotation and bullpen.

Help will have to come from within or on the cheap because the Mets already said they won’t be big players in the free-agent market. They’ll spend more than the $5 million reported they have available, but not by much. As it is, they already have $130 million earmarked in 2011 salary, with $18 million belonging to Oliver Perez ($12 million) and Luis Castillo ($6 million).

About John Delcos 577 Articles
I am an active member of the BBWAA and have covered Major League Baseball in several capacities for over 30 years, including 18 in New York working the Mets' and Yankees' beat. I also covered the Baltimore Orioles and the Cleveland Indians before that. Today I am a freelance writer and social director for several media outlets and a Senior Editor for Metsmerized Online.