Porter added as candidate for Pirates' position
The Pirates' growing list of managerial candidates apparently isn't much different than other major league clubs seeking new skippers.
Bo Porter, a candidate who interviewed in June and is considered a serious contender with the Florida Marlins, reportedly will interview soon with the Pirates, the Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) reported Wednesday. Porter, 38 a longtime Marlins coach, was the Arizona Diamondbacks' third-base coach and then bench coach under Kirk Gibson, who has since been given the manager's job full time.
He would join Baltimore Orioles interim manager Juan Samuel, contacted Tuesday by the Pirates, as candidates who would qualify under Major League Baseball's requirement for minority interviews, industry sources said. Samuel also expects to interview with Milwaukee and likely Toronto.
The Pirates met Tuesday with former Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge.
Andy Van Slyke, in town with fellow alumnus Dave Parker for a season-ticket holder event, took the opportunity to inform president Frank Coonelly about his interest in the club's managerial opening.
"I know that I'm a good coach. The players responded very well to me in Detroit [from 2006-09]. I know the game well enough, I've been on winning and losing teams," said the five-time Gold Glove-winning center fielder with the Pirates from 1987-94.
"But I've got a couple of things going against me for anyone that would hire me: For one, I've never managed in the minor leagues. But there have been very successful [major league] managers who never managed in the minor leagues. Whitey Herzog was just inducted into the Hall of Fame, and he never managed in the minor leagues."
Van Slyke, 49, was Jim Leyland's first-base coach as well as outfield and baserunning instructor with the Tigers until he left at the end of the 2009 season.
Other Van Slyke offerings:
• On the type of manager the Pirates should hire: "I think it would be absolutely arrogant for any manager to come in here and think he's going to be the difference. [As if] by his mere presence, he could be the one to turn it around. I don't care if Casey Stengel stepped out of the grave and walked into spring training, any manager would need a pitching staff with an ERA and numbers that [the Pirates' staff] didn't have this year. Everything begins and ends with pitching. Until that aspect improves dramatically ... it's an unfair expectation for anyone to expect different results here."
• On Wedge: "I can say this: When he's got talent, he obviously knows how to win. ... When they traded away his talent, he suddenly wasn't such a good manager. Which is an unfortunate reality in this business."
In his monthly chat on Pirates.com, the team president said:
• The parameters of the club's search remained hazy. "Once that complete [candidates] list is compiled, we will have a better sense of the number of candidates to move to the next step of the interview process."
• General manager Neal Huntington will focus his attention on the acquisition of pitching, namely a starter. "We will look to add starting pitching this offseason, either through the free-agent market or the trade market."
• Huntington and his staff offered advice and statistical analysis, but disputed reports that the general manager interfered with Russell's managing: "Neal did not, however, dictate who played, where they batted or where they were positioned in the field."
First Published October 7, 2010 12:14 am