Sportress of Blogitude

Buck Showalter reportedly impressed Mets in managerial interview, viewed as favorite

The New York Mets are in the midst of a thorough search for the ball club’s next manager, and developments this week suggest a front-runner may have emerged.

Buck Showalter interviewed with Mets brass Wednesday, and it appears the veteran skipper made a great first impression.

Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that Showalter interviewed very well during a meeting conducted via Zoom.

“They were pretty impressed with Buck today,” said a person with knowledge of Showalter’s interview, per Puma. “It went really well.”

Current Dodgers bench coach and one-time Oakland Athletics manager Bob Geren also interviewed with the Mets on Wednesday.

Puma adds in his reporting that Pirates bench coach Don Kelly withdrew his name from consideration for the Mets’ job. Given the Mets are believed to have compiled a six-candidate list for the managerial opening — and with former Tigers/Angels manager Brad Ausmus, Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro and Astros bench coach Joe Espada already in the mix — there is now a belief in MLB circles that an unknown candidate has yet to be identified.

The team expects to announce the team’s next manager by the end of next week after owner Steve Cohen sits in on the second round of interviews.

ESPN’s Buster Olney reported Wednesday that Showalter is considered the “heavy favorite” to get the job.

The positive reviews coming out of Showalter’s interview Wednesday comes on the heels of a report earlier this week that new Mets ace Max Scherzer — signed to a historic three-year, $130 million deal prior to the MLB lockout — expressed a preference for Showalter over other reported candidates.

Showalter has compiled a 1551-1517 record (.506) in his 20 seasons as a big-league manager during stints with the New York Yankees (1992-95), Arizona Diamondbacks (1998-2000), Texas Rangers (2003-06) and Baltimore Orioles (2010-2018). The 65-year-old earned American League Manager of the Year honors three times (1994, 2004, 2014).