Before heading into a first-round manager interview with Jose Oquendo on Monday night at the GM meetings in Orlando, New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson expressed his intention to continue working despite the death of his father early Sunday morning.
"As long as I talk about baseball I'm OK," he said.
Alderson revealed that there still could be one or two more first-round manager interviews, although not necessarily. The second round, which will consist of three or four callbacks, still could take place this week at the meetings. Second interviews will be more about "approach and style and coaches" than the first sessions, which focused on each candidates' biography.
Terry Collins and Bob Melvin appear to be the favorites to replace Jerry Manuel, who was fired along with GM Omar Minaya following a second straight losing season. Wally Backman, Chip Hale, DeMarlo Hale, Dave Jauss, Ken Oberkfell and Don Wakamatsu also have been interviewed.
"Leadership is kind of the crux of the entire process," Alderson said. "There are different approaches to that, so I think we have to be mindful of that fact. There are some who say that lighting a fire under players generally, these players, those are all characteristics that we're going to take into account. But we're not looking for somebody who just pushes buttons."
Alderson plans to spend half-days in Orlando and commute to St. Petersburg, where his father, 87-year-old John Alderson, was struck and killed as a pedestrian while crossing a street. A memorial service is likely to be held Saturday.
Alderson's deputies, J.P. Ricciardi, Paul DePodesta and John Ricco, also are at the meetings and will help conduct business.
"By the end of the week I'll accomplish everything we wanted to accomplished," Alderson said.