The Mets interviewed Bob Melvin and Chip Hale on Wednesday for their managerial opening. On Thursday, they’ll interview the other two finalists — Wally Backman and Terry Collins. Assuming all goes according to plan and there’s no need for an abrupt schedule change, the Mets will then announce their new new skipper at a press conference Tuesday.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson relayed this all to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin late Wednesday evening.
Alderson and Co. went on an extensive search for Jerry Manuel’s replacement this fall, interviewing over 10 candidates in all. They settled on four finalists this week at the GM Meetings in Orlando, Florida and by Thursday evening all four of those men will have met and spoken with Mets officials.
As of now, there isn’t a clear front-runner, but SI.com’s Jon Heyman and a few other New York-based writers suspect that Melvin will win the job. He certainly seemed confident after his interview Wednesday, telling reporters that “we have the pieces to compete.”
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.