Roundup: Randolph set to interview

The Mets are set to meet with Willie Randolph, Al Leiter is mentioned as a potential candidate for the Yankees' rotation and former Met Chuck Hiller dies, in Thursday's Mets roundup:

Newsday reports that if all goes well with Willie Randolph's upcoming interview with the Mets, the managerial position may be his.

Randolph is scheduled to meet with the Mets on Monday following the Yankees' stunning 10-3 loss to the Red Sox on Wednesday evening. It wasn't thought that there would have been any serious carryover from the defeat, but Randolph and Mets GM Omar Minaya agreed it might be best if the meeting was held off for a few days.

Managing in the majors has been a position Randolph has been gunning after for years -- he interviewed to fill Bobby Valentine's shoes in 2002 -- and he fits numerous criteria that the Mets appear to have constructed. The former infielder is a well-known name in New York, has had experience around major league clubs and is a proponent of clubhouse discipline.

Of course, Randolph's lack of managerial experience -- save for serving as the Yankees' interim manager this season while Joe Torre served a suspension in October -- could wind up working against him in the interview process, which has already welcomed Carlos Tosca, Rudy Jaramillo and Terry Collins to Shea Stadium for looks.

Leiter to Yanks?

The New York Times mentions Al Leiter in passing as they examine just what George Steinbrenner might do to shake up the Yankees over the winter.

Obviously, starting pitching was the Achilles heel of this powerhouse Yankees club, as new acquisitions Kevin Brown and Javier Vazquez fell flat on their faces.

Leiter, who could be a free agent if the Mets turn down his $10 million option for 2005, was a Yankees farmhand in the late 1980s and made his major league debut in pinstripes.

Hiller dies

Former Mets infielder Chuck Hiller, who worked for 24 seasons in the Mets organization, died Wednesday in St. Pete Beach, Fla. at the age of 70.

A major league second baseman from 1961-1968, Hiller played parts of three seasons with the Mets beginning in 1965. He had worked in the organization as a coach, manager and instructor, including a brief stint as the major league third base coach in 1990.

This past season, Hiller served as an advisor to the minor league director.


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