Neal Huntington is ready to go.
"We're through the 'gathering' [information] process," the Pirate general manager said yesterday. "We're into the 'action' process."
Thing is, the American League Championship Series didn't end Thursday evening. And won't end until tonight at the earliest.
That impacts Huntington being able to take action.
"It sure does," he said. "Our hands are a little tied."
That indicates that Huntington might have set the wheels in motion to interview Boston pitching coach John Farrell for the Pirates manager job had the ALCS ended in five games.
A team can ask for permission to interview a job candidate with another team and be granted a window of two to seven days to do that. Huntington, however, has an ethical aversion to interviewing a person who's with a team that's still playing.
So if he's granted permission to interview a candidate and that window closes before that team is done playing ...
"We're limited," Huntington said.
Huntington said he hasn't asked for permission from any team to interview anybody at this point.
"But I don't feel like we're missing opportunities," he said. "I don't feel like we're losing [potential] staff."
Huntington acknowledged yesterday that the Pirates had Dusty Baker and Trey Hillman on their potential candidate list, but he wouldn't say how high or low on the list they were.
Baker has agreed to manage the Cincinnati Reds. Hillman yesterday signed to manage the Kansas City Royals.
Joe Torre, who won't return to manage the New York Yankees, also won't manage the Pirates, Huntington said.
Huntington said the Pirates will honor Major League Baseball's self-imposed ban on teams announcing major decisions during the World Series, which begins Wednesday.
"I know people are thinking we're taking a ridiculous amount of time on this," Huntington said. "But I think there's more anxiety externally than internally. I just want to get it right."