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November 16, 2008 at 6:55 PM

Zduriencik: “By middle of the week”

Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik has had a second phone conversation with six of his seven managerial candidates and will pick a winner from that group “by the middle of the week.”
That’s what Zduriencik told me just moments ago. He isn’t planning on a second round of interviews. Nor is he leaning towards importing another candidate at the last minute.
“I’m pretty confident that it’s going to come from within that group of seven,” he said,
Zduriencik was planning to speak to one more of those candidates tonight, spend tomorrow mulling it over and possibly pick his manager by Tuesday, in time for a press conference on Wednesday, or Thursday at the latest. He said he could still have an additional phone conversation or two with some select candidates tomorrow, but not an additional interview in-person.
Mangerial candidate Joey Cora was waiting earlier today for news, having spoken with Zduriencik by phone on Saturday.
“He seemed like he knew which direction he was leaning towards,” Cora said. “It sounded like he was going to make his decision by today or tomorrow.”
Don Wakamatsu, another of the candidates, had a 15-20-minute conversation with Zduriencik by phone on Saturday as well.
Wakamatsu also said he didn’t believe Zduriencik would drag things out. Like Cora, he said the process of waiting was nervewracking.
“It is,” he said. “You want to get started, if you’re the candidate. I’m chomping at the bit.”
Wakamatsu added: “It’s a thorough process. The Mariners did their homework. I feel good about communicating what I wanted to communicate. It’s just a matter of what the Mariners are looking for. It comes down to the person they feel is best for the job.”

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