The Mets will not be interviewing John Gibbons for the manager’s job

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Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reported earlier today that the Mets have not yet really gotten into filling their managerial vacancy yet. Which makes sense, because they haven’t formally announced their new GM yet, and you have to assume Sandy Alderson will drive that train.  Rubin nonetheless listed a handful of “logical candidates” for the job, including John Gibbons, Chip Hale, Clint Hurdle, Lee Mazzilli, Bob Melvin and Ken Oberkfell.  If Alderson stays true to form and wants, for lack of a better term, a company man in the dugout, those are all logical choices.

Except you can take Gibbons out of the mix. Andy Martino of the Daily News just tweeted that Gibbons will not interview for the job.  It’s unclear whether the Mets just aren’t interested in talking to him or if Gibbons has taken himself out of the running. Which is what he did in Pittsburgh recently.

Martino mentions a new name, though: Pete Mackanin, current Phillies bench coach.  Mackanin has had a couple of stints as an interim manager but has never gotten a full time gig.  His presence on a Mets short list might give Phillies fans some indigestion. They’re already not happy that the Mets have made a good choice for a GM, so they might just go bonkers if they poach their own Little Cholly from them.

Straight-away center field will be 385 feet at London Stadium

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Marley Rivera of ESPN has a story about some of the on-field and in-game entertainment, as well as some aspects of the field conditions, for this weekend’s London Series.

The fun stuff: a mascot race, not unlike the Sausage Race at Miller Park or the President’s race at Nationals Park. The mascots for London: Winston Churchill, Freddie Mercury, Henry VIII and the Loch Ness Monster. I suppose that’s OK but, frankly, I’d go with Roger Bannister, Shakespeare, Charles Darwin and Guy Fawkes. Of course no one asks me these things.

There will also be a “Beat the Streak”-style race which had better use the theme to “Chariots of Fire” or else what the heck are we even doing here.

They’ve also taught ushers and various volunteers who will be on-site to sing “Take me out to the ballgame,” which is a pretty good idea given how important that is to baseball. As a cultural exchange, I think some major league team should start using “Vindaloo” by Fat Les during the seventh inning stretch here. It’s a banger. It also seems to capture England a bit more accurately than, say, “Downton Abbey” or “The Crown.”

That’s all good fun I suppose. But here’s some stuff that actually affects the game:

The end result will have some interesting dimensions. The field will be 330 feet down each foul line, and it will have a distance of 385 feet to center field, which will feature a 16-foot wall. Cook also said it would have an expanded, “Oakland-like” foul territory, referencing the Athletics’ Oakland Coliseum expanse.

Those dimensions are unavoidable given that the square peg that is a baseball field is being shoved into the round hole that is a soccer stadium. As Murray Cook, MLB’s senior field coordinator tells Rivera, that sort of thing, while perhaps less than ideal, is at least in keeping with baseball’s strong tradition of irregular field conditions. It will, however, be one of the shortest dead center distances in baseball history.

Oh, and then there’s this:

Protective netting was also an important issue addressed when building the ballpark, with Cook stressing that his team has implemented netting that “is the largest you’ll ever see in any major league ballpark.”

[Craig makes a mental note to bookmark this for the next time MLB says it won’t mandate extended netting in the U.S. because doing so is too difficult]