Roundup: Riggleman Gets His Day

Jim Riggleman gets set for his day with the Mets even as Willie Randolph's chances appear brighter by the minute, in Saturday's Mets roundup:

Willie Randolph is beginning to pull away as the favored candidate of choice even before he officially interviews for the Mets' managerial vacancy, sources indicate.

However, the Mets will continue to cover their bases in the chance that Randolph disappoints in his Shea Stadium presentation Monday, scheduling a meeting with Dodgers bench coach Jim Riggleman for Wednesday.

Riggleman has a little more than six years of managerial experience in the major leagues, which should be a notch in his favor over several of the Mets' candidates. Holding a career record of 486-598, Riggleman most recently called the shots for the Chicago Cubs from 1995 to 1999, including a Wild Card berth in 1998.

Riggleman also managed the San Diego Padres from 1992 to 1994. He will be the fifth managerial interview GM Omar Minaya has completed, with the Mets hoping to announce their new manager shortly after the end of the World Series.

By the time Riggleman heads to Queens, Randolph – the clear front-runner for the position at this point – will have already interviewed with Minaya and members of the GM's staff. Carlos Tosca, Rudy Jaramillo and Terry Collins made up the inaugural group of Minaya's interview process.

As was reported Friday, the Mets are also interested in having Jaramillo return to Shea for a second interview. Sources indicate that the return engagement may be less about the managerial vacancy, which is already leaning heavily toward Randolph, and more about becoming the club's so-called "CEO of hitting" – the batting equivalent to pitching coach Rick Peterson's grasp of control over New York's hurlers.

Jaramillo has been quoted as saying that he would not be interested in anything but the Mets managerial position.

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