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Wade: Candidate gives 'perfect answers'

PHILADELPHIA -- When Terry Pendleton got a call from Braves
general manager John Schuerholz a day after Atlanta's season ended,
he wondered if he was getting fired.

Instead, Schuerholz told Pendleton, the team's hitting coach the
last three seasons, that the Philadelphia Phillies wanted to
interview him for their vacant managerial position.

"I was very, very surprised," Pendleton said after meeting
with the Phillies on Thursday. "In all honesty, it blew me away. I
haven't been able to relax since. It's a great honor that they've
even considered me."

Pendleton was the seventh candidate interviewed for the
manager's job since Larry Bowa was fired two days before the
Phillies finished a disappointing season in second place behind
Atlanta.

Jim Leyland, who managed Pittsburgh and Colorado and led Florida
to its first World Series championship in 1997, will interview on
Monday, with no other candidates scheduled.

Former managers Don Baylor, Charlie Manuel, Grady Little, Buddy
Bell and Jim Fregosi, and former Phillies first-round pick John
Russell already have interviewed. Only Pendleton and Russell, a
third-base coach for Pittsburgh, have no managerial experience in
the majors.

"He's very upbeat, very sincere and he showed great
instincts," Phillies general manager Ed Wade said of Pendleton.
"He gave perfect answers."

Is he ready to manage an underachieving team desperate for
leadership and direction?

"I never thought of myself as a manager," Pendleton said.
"There are born leaders. A lot of people saw leadership qualities
in me before I knew I could lead."

A stocky, switch-hitting third baseman, Pendleton spent his
first seven seasons playing for the Cardinals, before signing with
the Braves after the 1990 season.

He hit .319 with 22 homers and 86 RBI in 1991, winning the NL
MVP award and helping the Braves go from last place to first place,
beginning their unprecedented run of 13 consecutive division
titles.

"He's so down to earth and common sense-oriented," Wade said.
"I didn't sense he's a disciplinarian, but he has a way of getting
across to people."