Interview process intensifies this week in manager hunt
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It should be homestretch time now for Pirates general manager Neal Huntington.
The baseball season has ended and Huntington should be free to seek permission from the Boston Red Sox to interview pitching coach John Farrell for the Pirates' manager job.
Cleveland third base coach Joel Skinner's name probably also is on Huntington's interview list. As is that of Trent Jewett, who managed the Pirates' Class AAA team in Indianapolis.
It is believed Huntington has conducted one interview -- and perhaps a second -- so far. For ethical reasons, he did not seek to interview Farrell while the Red Sox were playing in the postseason.
"Now, there are no restrictions -- ethically or otherwise," Huntington said last night. "Everything could align quickly. The process is under way."
A reporter in Denver asked Farrell about the Pirates' managerial position moments after Boston won the World Series late Sunday night.
"No offer has been made," Farrell told the Providence Journal. "But this is a day and night for this organization to celebrate -- not about any one person."
Farrell did not return a telephone call from the Post-Gazette last night.
It could be that Huntington, now free to seek permission from any team to interview candidates, could be in position to make a managerial announcement by Friday.
"It's possible," Huntington said. "Improbable, but possible."
Meanwhile, former Pirates shortstop Jay Bell is no longer interested in the job.
Huntington had sought to name an assistant general manager before interviewing managerial candidates, but his focus has shifted.
He also must hire a scouting director and a minor-league director, and it's believed his attention is more on filling those positions before naming an assistant general manager.
NOTES -- Former Pirates bullpen coach Bobby Cuellar will manage Minnesota's Class AA New Britain affiliate in the Eastern League next year. Cueller was the Twins' Class AAA pitching coach from 2001-05 before joining the Pirates. ... Former Pirates third base coach Jeff Cox has been officially named the Chicago White Sox third base coach. ... Former Pirates first base coach Rusty Kuntz, who last season served as a roving outfield/baserunning instructor, will be Kansas City's first base coach under new manager Trey Hillman.
First Published October 30, 2007 12:00 am