By MIKE PUMA
11:28 AM, November 9, 2010
Hale, Hale, the gang’s all here.
The number of candidates interviewed for the Mets’ managerial opening will reach six today when Red Sox coach DeMarlo Hale speaks with general manager Sandy Alderson, and Don Wakamatsu and Clint Hurdle await interviews tomorrow.
The team made a significant move yesterday, hiring former Dodgers general Paul DePodesta as the head of player development and amateur scouting. The 37-year-old DePodesta, who spent the last four-plus years working for the Padres, joins new hire J.P. Ricciardi to give the Mets a dream team of sorts in the front office.
DePodesta, a Harvard grad, was just 31 when he became the Dodgers’ general manager before the 2004 season. He is known for his use of statistical analysis in Billy Beane’s “Moneyball” front office in Oakland, a movement initiated by Alderson, who hired DePodesta in San Diego.
“I am thrilled to reunite with Sandy during this exciting time for the Mets,” DePodesta said. “I know first-hand the type of vision and leadership he brings to a franchise. This is a tremendous opportunity to help develop a winning culture for the Mets and our fans.”
Alderson called DePodesta “one of the top analytical minds” in baseball.
DePodesta could have a hand in selecting the new manager. As Dodgers general manager, he wanted to hire Terry Collins as manager before he was fired by owner Frank McCourt.
Collins, who previously managed the Astros and Angels, was interviewed by Alderson over the weekend and can be considered a slight favorite in the Mets’ managerial derby because of his experience and ties to DePodesta.
But Alderson soon will hear from other experienced former managers. Wakamatsu, whom the Mariners fired during this season, will have a strong shot, even after accepting a job yesterday to become the Blue Jays’ bench coach. As part of his agreement with the Blue Jays, Wakamatsu can leave if he is offered a job managing.
Hurdle, the former Rockies manager who played for the Mets in the 1980s and then managed in the organization’s farm system, is a finalist for the Pirates’ managerial opening. Hurdle spent this past season as the Rangers’ hitting coach.
Alderson also spoke over the weekend to Wally Backman and Chip Hale — no relation to DeMarlo Hale.
DeMarlo Hale played in Oakland’s minor-league system in the 1980s, when Alderson was the Athletics’ general manager. Hale spent nine seasons managing in the minor leagues and joined the Red Sox coaching staff before the 2006 season. He was Terry Francona’s bench coach last season.
Alderson’s list of candidates also includes Bob Melvin and Dave Jauss. The ninth and 10th candidates to interview, perhaps by the conclusion of this week, figure to be Mets Triple-A manager Ken Oberkfell and Double-A manager Tim Teufel.