Pittsburgh native ART HOWE broke into Major League Baseball with his hometown Pirates in 1973. After playing for 11 years, mostly with the Houston Astros, he became a coach with the Texas Rangers. Three years later, he returned to Houston to manage the Astros, and in 1996 was named manager of the Oakland Athletics, guiding the A’s to two division titles. In October, Howe was hired to manage the New York Mets.

AW: What’s your biggest challenge coming out of the gate this spring?
Every manager wants to get off to a good start. But, it is not how you start, it’s how you finish. Last year, with the A’s, we started 20-25 and ended up winning 103 games and going to the postseason. The year before that we got off to a horrible start and won the division. You have to play consistently well during the entire season.

AW: The Mets and the A’s are certain playoff contenders. Would a series against Oakland add some spice?
We would just be excited to reach the World Series. Once you are there, it doesn’t matter who you face.

AW: Describe your career as a player and manager in MLB.
I never took anything for granted during my playing days. I played hard and was willing to work. I took pride in the fact that I was able to do the little things to help my team win. Those are some of the things that I expect from my team.

AW: How’s New York?
There is no bigger stage than New York. If you win here, fans will always remember you.