It’s being reported by Fox Sports baseball guru, Ken Rosenthal, that the Mariners are down to just four managerial candidates.
The four remaining candidates are Joey Cora, which most Mariners fans should be familiar with from the 90’s, Tim Wallach, Lloyd McClendon and Chip Hale.
Apparently the front office hasn’t completely ruled out bringing in Dave Valle and Rick Renteria for a second interview.
A look at the four finalists:
• McClendon: The Tigers‘ hitting coach possesses two advantages over the other candidates. He has a previous relationship with Zduriencik, having played for the Pirates while the GM was the team’s scouting director from 1991-93. He also is the only one of the four with previous managing experience, having managed the Pirates from 2001-05.
Though many in baseball would like to see McClendon get a second chance at managing, the Tigers snubbed him for Brad Ausmus when they replaced Jim Leyland. Ausmus had no previous managing or coaching experience at the professional level.
• Cora: He played for the Mariners from 1995-98 and served as Ozzie Guillen’s bench coach with both the White Sox and Marlins.
The Mariners’ past two managers, Don Wakamatsu and Eric Wedge, were “outsiders” who ultimately proved poor fits. The team’s top executives, Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong, already are familiar with Cora from his playing days.
• Hale: The Mariners interviewed him before hiring Wakamatsu for the 2009 season, and club officials are impressed by his growth since then.
Hale, the Athletics’ bench coach, also comes strongly recommended by A’s manager Bob Melvin, who managed the Mariners in 2003 and ’04 and remains well-regarded by the club.
• Wallach: The Dodgers’ third-base coach is the least familiar of the four to the Mariners, but he was a successful manager at Triple-A for the Dodgers and could become the team’s bench coach if he does not land a managing job.