'Energized' Doug Melvin likely would keep Mickey Callaway as manager

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

If hired as general manager of the New York Mets, Doug Melvin likely would keep Mickey Callaway as manager.

The former Texas and Milwaukee GM has his second interview Tuesday with the Mets, meeting with owner Fred Wilpon and his son, chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon. Agent Brodie Van Wagenen and Tampa Bay senior vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom are also finalists for the job.

Callaway replaced Terry Collins after the 2017 season and the team started 11-1, then was hobbled by injuries and finished fourth in the NL East at 77-85.

"My feeling is that he probably deserves a chance to do this again," Melvin said during a telephone news conference. "I want to sit down if I get this job and talk extensively with Mickey and see his philosophy and that. But I think he does probably deserve a chance because he's been a good baseball guy."

Sandy Alderson was hired as Mets general manager in October 2010 but took a leave of absence in July when he had a recurrence of cancer and said the team's poor record did not justify him returning. The team's baseball decisions have been made since by the trio of assistant general manager John Ricco and special assistants Omar Minaya and J.P. Ricciardi, all reporting to the Wilpons.

"I've been given the freedom to, if I want to bring people in," Melvin said. "But I don't want to jump to conclusions that I'm going to go and get rid of a bunch of people and go and bring in 10 people that I know."

Now 66, Melvin was general manager of Texas from 1994 to 2001 and of Milwaukee from 2002 to '15. He shifted to an adviser's role in August 2015 as the Brewers were headed to a 64-98 record, saying then: "The job has grown to the point that it's probably suited to somebody younger than me."

"That's probably how I felt at that particular time," he said Tuesday. "But now that I've taken a little bit of a break from the day-to-day activities, I'm energized and excited at the challenges."

Melvin said he showed the Mets a 2010 article in which he predicted relievers would be used as starters in the major leagues. As early as 2004, he said, he was contemplating using relievers to start games in the low minors.

He said he would increase the Mets' analytics staff, which has three full-time employees.

"I don't believe you can go 100 percent analytics and I don't believe you can go 100 percent scouting, player development without analytics," Melvin said. "I don't know the whole analytics staff, but it can be probably improved up upon and maybe staffed up a little bit."

Melvin detailed how he would fit in under the Wilpons.

"They gave me the authority that if I was the chosen one to make the decisions that I thought was in the best interest of the organization," he said. "I told them I would never allow ownership to be caught off guard with anything, pick up the paper and see that we signed somebody that they didn't know about."