Life Without Terry Collins: 5 New York Mets 2018 Managing Candidates 7
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 24: Terry Collins #10 of the New York Mets comes onto the field before a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on July 24, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

With New York Mets manager Terry Collins likely to retire at the end of the year, it’s time to start thinking about his replacement.

As the New York Mets continue to trot a minor league-caliber team out onto the field to play meaningless September baseball, the focus for Mets’ fans everywhere is 2018. While many questions remain pertaining to how this team will look next year, perhaps the most intriguing question of all is this:

Who will be the manager of the 2018 New York Mets?

Current manager Terry Collins, who has led the team to an underwhelming record of 65-84, celebrated his 68th birthday this season and is on the last year of his contract. Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reported that the Mets expect him to retire.

There are currently glaring issues with this team, as lackluster fielding and injuries led to their demise this year. However, if the Mets are able to stay healthy and fill some holes in their lineup, adding the right manager could be the icing on the cake in terms of returning this team to playoff contention, or better yet, World Series contention.

Here are five potential candidates to manage the 2018 New York Mets

Bob Geren

PHOENIX, AZ – JUNE 05: Bench coach Bob Geren #15 of the New York Mets before the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 5, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Mets 7-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Bob Geren, formerly the Mets’ bench coach, is currently serving in the same position on the west coast with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Geren has managerial experience, as he was the Oakland Athletics manager from 2007-2011, compiling a record of 334-376. Many executives seem to think that Geren is the favorite to land his second managerial position in Queens.

Chip Hale

OAKLAND, AZ – JUNE 03: Third base coach Chip Hale #4 of the Oakland Athletics in the dugout before the MLB game against the Washington Nationals at Oakland Coliseum on June 3, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Chip Hale also has ties with the Mets, as he was the third base coach for two years. Currently the third base coach for the Oakland Athletics, Hale was a finalist for the Mets’ vacant managerial position when Jerry Manuel was fired—Collins was hired instead—and very well could be in the mix for a second chance at snagging the job this time around.

Kevin Long

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 21: Closer Jeurys Familia #27 of the New York Mets celebrates with coach Kevin Long #57 after the Mets defeated the Washington Nationals 7-2 at Nationals Park on July 21, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Kevin Long is one internal candidate that is very intriguing, although he has no managerial experience. Long has been the Mets’ hitting coach since 2015 and has a good rapport with all of the players in the clubhouse. He seems to be on the outside looking in as far as his candidacy is concerned, but he could provide some much-needed enthusiasm in the clubhouse.

David Wright

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 19: Manager Terry Collins #10, right, of the New York Mets talks with David Wright #5 in the dugout during the ninth inning of a game against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field on May 19, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Most Mets fans salivate at the thought of the captain hanging up the cleats and returning as the manager in 2018. This seems like a longshot, as it’s clear that Wright isn’t ready to call it quits as a player just yet. But think about the positives. He’s a young, down-to-earth guy with an immense baseball IQ who certainly has the respect of every player in the clubhouse. After his latest injury setback and fruitless attempt at getting back on the field, maybe Wright decides that although he can’t be in the lineup, he can certainly construct the lineup.

Keith Hernandez

NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 17: Former Major League Baseball first baseman Keith Hernandez gets readt to throw out the first pitch prior to game one of the 2015 MLB National League Championship Series between the Chicago Cubs and the New York Mets at Citi Field on October 17, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

When you’re finished laughing at the prospect of Keith Hernandez managing the Mets, just consider the…okay nevermind. Hernandez is beloved, not only for his role on the 1986 World Champion team but also as a color commentator for SNY telecasts.

Yes, we all know Keith as a jokester with a bubbly personality. However, he doesn’t sugarcoat anything. He’s never hesitant to point out the flaws in this team while broadcasting, and boy there are a lot of them. Maybe Keith can step into this role and teach these guys some “good ole fundies”. Seems that the team doesn’t currently have any.