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Pirates' pool of manager candidates in flux

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Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010

The list of candidates for the Pirates' manager job is shrinking.

On Monday, the Seattle Mariners hired Eric Wedge, who was the first person the Pirates interviewed the day after they fired John Russell.

Also, there are indications that Bo Porter is the top contender to become the Florida Marlins' next skipper. Porter was the second candidate the Pirates interviewed.

If Porter is off limits, that would leave five names on the Pirates' list: Dale Sveum, Jeff Banister, Ken Macha, John Gibbons and Carlos Tosca. No one has interviewed since Thursday, when Tosca was at PNC Park, but it is likely the Pirates will talk to at least one or two more candidates.

The Milwaukee Brewers, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets and Chicago Cubs also are seeking managers.

Wedge's hiring could trigger a chain reaction of moves by the other clubs. But general manager Neal Huntington does not seem to be rushing to select the Pirates' 39th manager.

"I haven't heard a word since my interview," said Gibbons, who met Oct. 11 with Huntington, president Frank Coonelly and other front office executives.

Gibbons, 48, managed the Blue Jays from 2004-08 and went 305-305. He has been the Kansas City Royals' bench coach the past two seasons.

Familiar with the small-market approach to roster building, Gibbons is encouraged by what he knows of the Pirates.

"They have some good, young talent," Gibbons said. "The future looks bright."

Gibbons said he was somewhat surprised when the Pirates called to ask if he'd be interested in their position.

"It came out of the blue," said Gibbons, who had never before interviewed for a manager job. "I'd read that John Russell got let go, so I knew there was an opening. I was kind of hoping I'd get considered."




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