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Mets interview Kevin Long for managerial opening, source says

New York Mets hitting coach Kevin Long (57)

New York Mets hitting coach Kevin Long (57) during batting practice against the Atlanta Braves during the New York Mets' home opener on Monday, April 3, 2017 at Citi Field. Photo Credit: Newsday / Jim McIsaac

LOS ANGELES — Mets hitting coach Kevin Long has interviewed for the club’s open managerial job, a source told Newsday on Friday. Long, 50, was among the first wave of interviewees to replace Terry Collins.

General manager Sandy Alderson has said that Long would receive serious consideration for the job even though he’s never managed above the Class-A level. The Mets expect to interview first-round candidates through next week.

Dodgers outfielder Curtis Granderson praised Long’s communication skills from their time together, both with the Yankees and the Mets, where Long has served as hitting coach since he was hired following the 2014 season.

“If that were to happen, obviously he’d be up for the challenge,” Granderson said. “He’s always energetic, he communicates, which I think is the biggest thing a manager needs to have . . . So many things can be resolved if people just communicate.”

Aside from Long, Bob Geren, Alex Cora, Robin Ventura, Joe McEwing, Brad Ausmus and Sandy Alomar Jr. have been linked to the opening. But a source said that neither Geren nor Cora have yet to be interviewed, with their teams competing in their respective league championship series.

Geren, the Dodgers bench coach who previously served in that role with the Mets, declined to comment on the eve of National League Championship Series against the Cubs.

Long has enjoyed popularity within the clubhouse and familiarity may be an advantage. According to Granderson, Long has built credibility by working with players rather than trying to unilaterally revamp swings.

Said Granderson: “I think that’s what’s happened with all the players he’s had in the past.”

New York Sports