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November 10, 2008 at 11:21 AM

Managerial shocker

The Mariners just put out a list of the seven interview candidates for their vacant managerial position. They are:
Brad Mills
Joey Cora
Chip Hale
DeMarlo Hale
Jose Oquendo
Randy Ready
Don Wakamatsu
DeMarlo Hale and Mills are Red Sox coaches, Cora is with the White Sox, Oquendo the Cardinals, Wakamatsu the A’s, Chip Hale is with the D-Backs and Ready manages the Class AAA affiliate of the Padres.
All will be interviewed this week, starting with Mills today. All are first-time managerial hopefuls. The Mariners say that names could be added to this list as the process goes on.
“Names may be added as the process continues,” a team release states.
That’s very interesting, because they say this could also be the final list. Makes you wonder about Willie Randolph, Ned Yost, Jim Riggleman and others. I mean, you’d think that enough is known about them that the M’s would have them on their list right away if they were serious about hiring them. It’s not like something will be discovered this week that will lead them to go “A-ha! Let’s include Riggleman on the list!”
But that’s only one way of looking at it.
Perhaps the veteran guys are already on a “finalist” list for the job and don’t have to be interviewed in this first go-around. But the way the Mariners are wording things, this could be the final list. If so, then new Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik is obviously going a far different route than anyone expected. We’ll be making calls throughout the day, trying to pin this down. Zduriencik is going to speak to us at 4 p.m., so we’ll ask him directly. I know that some of the veteran managers, like Bobby Valentine, had yet to be contacted by the team as of the weekend.
For all the headlines we saw Valentine generate during the winter meetings, that route appears to be a dead end as far as Seattle goes. Releasing the names of candidates is very unusual for the Mariners. I mentioned a couple of weeks back that the administration appears to be adopting a spirit of more openess than in the past. This list appears to be another indication of that. If so, it’s a welcome — and needed — change for this team.
“I have done a lot of work and made a ton of phone calls talking to people all around the game as we look for the right guy to manage our club next year,” Zduriencik said in the release. “I am looking forward to sitting down with each candidate and getting his thoughts on how he can help us with our goal of building this franchise into a World Series winner.”

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