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Pirates bide time on manager search

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Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010

The Pirates might wait until the postseason ends before speeding up their hunt for a manager.

New York Yankees bench coach Tony Pena has been mentioned as a likely candidate for several openings. But, Pena, a former Pirates catcher, cannot talk to other teams until New York's postseason run is over.

After firing John Russell on Oct. 4, the Pirates screened seven candidates in a 10-day span. However, no one has interviewed since a week ago today.

"The managerial search is an ongoing process," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said Wednesday. "We continue to do due diligence on candidates and are considering additional interviews."

Eric Wedge dropped off the Pirates' list Monday when he was hired by the Seattle Mariners. That leaves John Gibbons, Dale Sveum, Carlos Tosca, Jeff Banister, Bo Porter and Ken Macha.

The ALCS (Yankees vs. Texas Rangers) began last Friday, and the NLCS (Philadelphia Phillies vs. San Francisco Giants) started Saturday.

Pena, 53, made his major league debut in 1980 and played seven seasons with the Pirates. He retired in 1997.

Pena managed the Kansas City Royals from 2002-05. In 2003, the Royals went 83-79 and placed third in the AL Central. His career record as manager is 198-285 and includes a pair of last-place finishes in the division.

Other possible candidates from playoff teams are Rangers hitting coach Clint Hurdle, Giants bench coach Ron Wotus and Yankees third base coach Rob Thomson.

The Toronto Blue Jays, one of five other teams also seeking a manager, reportedly were interested in Thomson.

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