Robin Ventura responded to rumors tying him to the New York Mets by saying he is not interested in pursuing any of the current managerial openings.
Ventura had been linked to the Mets’ opening in recent weeks, but his named was removed from consideration after he showed no interest in the position. Ventura, 50, said on Tuesday that his lack of interest should not be taken as a slight against the Mets.
“I’m not pursuing any of the openings,” Ventura told the New York Post in a text message. “It shouldn’t be framed that way. It’s not true.”
Ventura spent five seasons as the manager of the Chicago White Sox, and was third in the American League Manager of the Year voting after leading the Sox to a second-place finish in the AL Central in his first season in 2012. However, he was fired in 2016 after Chicago failed to finish higher than fourth in any of the next four seasons.
Ventura has ties to the Mets, having played for the team from 1999-2001, and the front office reportedly respects his leadership skills. Former Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus turned down an offer to interview and is in contention for the Boston Red Sox’s opening.
Kevin Long, Alex Cora, Mickey Callaway, Joe McEwing and Manny Acta are the five current known candidates for the Mets’ job. Cora is also in the running for the opening in Boston, created when John Farrell was not retained after the Red Sox were eliminated from the postseason following a second consecutive AL East title.
Cora, a bench coach for the Houston Astros, did not confirm to The Post whether a scheduled interview with the Mets took place before Tuesday’s Game 4 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium.
Long is the Mets’ hitting coach and is considered a strong candidate for the job despite never having managed above the Single-A level.
McEwing, a bench coach for the White Sox, and Callaway, the Cleveland Indians’ pitching coach, were scheduled to interview Wednesday, according to The Post, while Acta could potentially interview on Thursday.
Acta was a bench coach for the Mets under then-manager Willie Randolph before leaving to become the manager of the Washington Nationals. He has spent the past two years on the staff of Seattle Mariners manager Scott Service.