Interview process for new Pirates manager could begin this week

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With the Cleveland Indians having been dispatched from the postseason Sunday night, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington yesterday began asking permission from teams to interview candidates for several vacant positions.

Cleveland was not one of the teams he called for permission.

"I had conversations with Cleveland," Huntington said, "but not permission [conversations]."

Huntington, after all, did work for the Indians for 10 years before becoming the Pirates' general manager Sept. 25. Perhaps he wanted to give Cleveland personnel a day to recover.

"I was obviously pulling for them [to beat Boston]," Huntington said. "A lot of great people, a lot of time there. It was disappointing."

The permission conversations yesterday dealt with teams that long ago were eliminated from the postseason.

"There's a chance we'll begin to interview later this week," Huntington said. "But more probably next week."

People who will probably be interviewed for the team's manager's job include Boston pitching coach John Farrell, Cleveland third base coach Joel Skinner and Class AAA Indianapolis manager Trent Jewett.

Former Pirates infielder Jay Bell might be interested in the manager's job. Bell, 41, was the bench coach for Arizona for two seasons before taking this year off to coach his childrens' Little League team. He did do some work for the Diamondbacks during their home games.

Former Pirate Dave Clark, who has had great success managing in the Pirates and Houston minor-league systems, remains interested in the manager's job.

A source yesterday indicated former Pirates player and former Oakland and Houston manager Art Howe is being pushed by a group of people.

And another source mentioned Colorado bench coach Jamie Quirk as a possible candidate.

Huntington said the Pirates won't make any personnel announcements during the World Series. However, it's worth noting that in 2000 the Pirates announced Lloyd McClendon as their new manager on the off-day between the second and third games of the World Series.

Huntington said he has learned a lot in his four weeks on the job.

"It's been an education," he said. "It's been humorous at times to read about who we've 'hired' or who's at the top of the list."


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