The Baltimore Orioles' field of managerial candidates has been reduced to three, and Eddie Murray apparently isn't one of them.
Orioles bench coach Sam Perlozzo, Brewers hitting coach Rich Dauer, and Yankees third-base coach Lee Mazzilli are the finalists, The Washington Post, citing team and league sources, reported in Thursday's editions.
None of the three has managed in the major leagues. Hall of Famer Murray also is seeking his first managing job. At this time, it won't be with the team with which he spent the first 12 of his 21 seasons.
The Orioles have been targeting Friday to announce the identity of Mike Hargrove's successor, and Orioles media relations director Bill Stetka did not rule out that timing when reached by The Post.
Orioles owner Peter Angelos will have final say on the hire and had strongly backed Murray as a candidate. According to The Post, it is clear that Angelos has let the front office navigate the search toward the final pool without interfering.
According to the newspaper, the finalists took part in separate conference calls Wednesday with Orioles co-general managers Jim Beattie and Mike Flanagan. The three had had two face-to-face interviews.
Former Red Sox manager Grady Little, Terry Francona, Rick Dempsey and Tom Foley also interviewed for the opening. Hargrove was fired Sept. 29.
Perlozzo, 52, has spent the past eight seasons on the Orioles' coaching staff.
"Having Orioles ties is not a bad thing in this [managerial search] process," Flanagan said following Hargrove's dismissal.
Mazzilli, 48, and Dauer, 51, at first thought to be long shots as the Orioles began their search, were interviewed this month and have been impressive enough to warrant final looks.
Dauer, 51, has nine years' big-league coaching experience and played for the Orioles from 1976 to 1985.
Mazzilli, 48, has been the Yankees' first-base coach the last four years. If he isn't Baltimore's pick as manager, the Yankees -- who shook up their staff earlier this week -- will promote him to third-base coach.
The Orioles want to make a hire before the general manager's meetings commence in Phoenix next week. The free agent market opens for business Monday.