NEW YORK -- Over the past week, without doing much of anything, Sandy Alderson has risen from a potential general manager candidate in Flushing to the odds-on favorite for the job. Local media has lauded his work in Oakland, the Dominican Republic and everywhere in between; national media has concurred. And perhaps Alderson is the favorite.
Either way, for the sake of fairness, it is the charge of the Mets to combat that perception.
Alderson on Thursday became the fourth general manager candidate to interview with the Mets at Citi Field, following former Royals GM Allard Baird, current White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn and former D-backs GM Josh Byrnes. Dodgers assistant GM Logan White will interview on Friday, and the Mets may add additional candidates to their schedule next week.
Chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, who has led the interview process since former GM Omar Minaya's dismissal last week, insisted on Wednesday evening that all of them have a chance.
"Fully open mind," Wilpon said of both himself and assistant general manager John Ricco, who has a central role in the interview process. "I don't think either of us have any preconceived notions."
That said, the Mets do have reason to be impressed with Alderson.
The architect of the late-1980s Athletics teams that won three American League pennants and one World Series title, Alderson also served as chief operating officer of the Padres from 2005-09, helping construct the roster that fell a game short of the NL Wild Card this season. In between those posts, he served a stint in Major League Baseball's front office.
Since leaving San Diego early last year, the Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School graduate has worked as a consultant for Major League Baseball's interests in the Dominican Republic, aiming to curb age falsification and the use of performance-enhancing substances amongst the country's MLB prospects.
It is Alderson's resume -- along with the fact that MLB commissioner Bud Selig personally approved his candidacy by granting Alderson permission to interview -- that has led many to view him as a favorite for the job. But the Mets have not yet completed the first round of this two-round interview process, and may not do so until the end of next week. Until that happens, they must consider every candidate equally.
"It's still open," Wilpon said. "I think it would be unfair to characterize it in any other way at this point, in fairness to the other candidates."
Though the Mets remain hopeful that they will name a new general manager by the end of the World Series, they are not beholden to that timetable.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.