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Source: Mets line up 6 interviews for manager

Club expects to conclude first round of meetings this week
MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

CHICAGO -- The Mets' managerial search is beginning to take solid shape, with interviews ongoing throughout this week in New York City. According to a source, the Mets plan to interview approximately six candidates in their first round of interviews, which they expect to complete by the end of the week.

Among those reportedly on the Mets' docket are Kevin Long, Alex Cora, Joe McEwing, Manny Acta and Mickey Callaway. Two candidates previously linked to the Mets' job, Robin Ventura and Brad Ausmus, are not in the mix, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman.

CHICAGO -- The Mets' managerial search is beginning to take solid shape, with interviews ongoing throughout this week in New York City. According to a source, the Mets plan to interview approximately six candidates in their first round of interviews, which they expect to complete by the end of the week.

Among those reportedly on the Mets' docket are Kevin Long, Alex Cora, Joe McEwing, Manny Acta and Mickey Callaway. Two candidates previously linked to the Mets' job, Robin Ventura and Brad Ausmus, are not in the mix, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman.

Long, the Mets' hitting coach the past three seasons, could be their lone in-house candidate. Popular with his hitters, Long is well-versed in the inner workings of the clubhouse, though his only managerial experience -- and only experience running a pitching staff -- occurred in Class A in the late 1990s. If the Mets hire Long as manager, they would also have a hitting coach replacement ready to go in assistant Pat Roessler, a close friend of Long's who has also been with the club for three seasons.

Cora, the Astros' bench coach, made plans to interview with both the Red Sox and Mets this week in New York, where Houston is playing in the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World. A Mets infielder from 2009-10 and popular clubhouse presence, Cora is reportedly one of the Red Sox' top choices to replace former manager John Farrell. As such, the Mets will have competition for the 41-year-old's services.

"Alex brings a lot to the table," Astros outfielder Carlos Beltran said Monday in New York. "He's a guy that always is looking for information that he could use against the opposite team. … He has good communication with the guys, respects the guys. He's always in the clubhouse getting to know the players, getting to know which buttons he could push on each player to make them go out there and play the game hard, which is great."

A third candidate without any big league managerial experience is McEwing, a fan favorite during five seasons with the Mets from 2000-04. Shortly after his retirement, McEwing became a Minor League hitting coach and manager in the White Sox system, eventually earning a promotion to the big league staff when Ventura -- his former Mets teammate -- became manager. McEwing currently serves as the White Sox bench coach under Rick Renteria.

Acta, 48, was the Mets' third-base coach from 2005-07, before leaving to manage the Nationals and Indians. Most recently, Acta has served as the Mariners' bench coach under manager Scott Servais. ESPN first reported the Mets' interest in Acta.

The New York Post reported that the Mets have an interview scheduled with Callaway, 42, who led the Indians' staff to the Major League lead in ERA and strikeouts this season. Callaway is the only known Mets candidate with no prior ties to the organization.

The Mets have also been linked to three other former members of their coaching staff: Bob Geren, Chip Hale and Sandy Alomar Jr. But there are no indications the team has scheduled any of those three for an interview.

The Mets dismissed manager Terry Collins earlier this month following a seven-year run that saw him go 551-583, winning one division title and one National League pennant.

In addition to the Mets and Red Sox, the Phillies and Tigers are also conducting managerial searches.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

New York Mets