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November 12, 2008 at 7:33 PM

Zduriencik may need more interviews

There’s now a “50-50 chance” that Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik will go to a second round of interviewing candidates for the team’s managerial position. Not only that, he’s now mulling over three possible names of people he might add to his initial list of candidates.
Zduriencik said he’s been approached by two former major league managers and a third person with major league coaching experience. He wants to get through his final two interviews tomorrow — DeMarlo Hale goes in the morning and Jose Oquendo in the afternoon — before taking a day to reflect on what to do next.
If he adds names to his interview list, it won’t be as a favor to someone.
“I wouldn’t do any cursory interviews,” he said. “If I’m interviewing somebody, it’s because I’m considering them for the job.”
As for a second round of interviews involving this intial group of seven, he’s mulling it over. The one thing he wants to guard against is allowing one great interview to override everything else in who he selects.
“The one issue is, an interview is an interview,” Zduriencik said. “Obviously, a guy gets hired not just because of his interview — that he had a great interview. The ringing endorsement is his body of work.”
So, we’ll know soon enough.
Randy Ready interviewed this afternoon. He’s the only candidate who’s never been a full-time major league coach, though he did a guest stint with the Padres in September. Ready did have a 13-year major league career, so I asked him what his biggest challenge would be in making the leap up from Class AAA Portland.
“The challenge will be putting the best product on the field and winning ballgames,” he said. “It’s not something where I need shock and awe treatment.”
Fair enough. After all, Ready has been a winning manager at every minor league level — including rookie ball.
Zduriencik got roughly that answer when, to start the interview off, he asked Ready — who’d come highly recommended by good friend Kevin Towers, GM of the Padres — “What are you doing here?”
“He said ‘I am currently a successful minor league manager’,” Zduriencik said. “He told me ‘Everywhere I’ve been, I’ve been successful and that’s why you have me sitting across the table today.’ ”
Ready feels the Mariners need leadership in the dugout, from those running the team. Such leadership, he added, can solve plenty of problems.
I asked Ready about the five years he spent away from pro baseball after his retirement. He told me they were necessary for him to make the complete transition from player to the coaching ranks. I then asked him whether anything he’s learned about the game as a manager surprised or taught him something, considering all his years as a player.
“I know now that just because you go back to the major leagues, it doesn’t mean you stop teaching and developing at every level,” he said.
By the way, the Mariners bid adieu to Jake Woods today. Woods declined an outright assignment to the minors and is now a free agent.
Pitchers Joe Woerman and Jared Wells — the guy acquired in the Cha Seung Baek deal — were both taken off the 40-man roster and outrighted to the minors. As we told you earlier, minor league second baseman Yung Chin Chen was also taken off the roster and later claimed on waivers by the Oakland A’s.
So, a busy day today. More on tap tomorrow.



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