Beane: A's should have a manager by week's end
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Athletics general manager Billy Beane plans to announce Oakland's new manager by week's end, saying Tuesday he had yet to choose between the three remaining candidates.
"We're still moving along," Beane said Tuesday in his first public comments about the search for Ken Macha's successor. "I would expect, assuming nothing unforeseen, we should be able to bring it to a conclusion at least by the end of the week. That's our idea now."
Oakland officials have watched several candidates leave for other jobs: Longtime A's third-base coach Ron Washington was hired as the Rangers' manager, and former Los Angeles Angels pitching coach Bud Black took over as San Diego's skipper.
Former New York Mets third-base coach Manny Acta, hired Tuesday as the Nationals' new manager, withdrew his name from consideration for the A's job on Friday. And the team announced Monday that it eliminated from the mix Nippon Ham Fighters manager Trey Hillman, who was headed back to Japan.
Beane said the A's have been encouraged through the process that any of the men they've met with would be a good fit for the franchise.
Would a speedy decision have given Beane more options to choose from?
"It's easier to say in hindsight. I don't think we could have done the process justice had we done that," he said. "We were aware that all of these things were possibilities. It validated the list, to be honest with you."
Beane, who has relationships with both Geren and Quirk, is dealing with an illness in the family and might have to travel to Alaska in the coming days -- the only thing that would hold up a hiring.
He has been criticized for taking his time, but there has been more to it than baseball, he said. Beane didn't even attend the general managers' meetings in Naples, Fla., this week and sent assistant GM David Forst to represent the club.
"It's in no means any attempt to be stealth," Beane said. "If in fact we don't by the end of the week it won't be because of professional reasons, it would be because of personal reasons."
Macha was fired Oct. 16, two days after Oakland's season ended in a sweep by the wild-card Detroit Tigers in the AL Championship Series. The A's won a playoff series for the first time since 1990, ending a string of four straight first-round exits from 2000-03.
Geren, who played against Beane in high school in San Diego and is friends with the GM, was promoted to bench coach for the 2006 season and has the most extensive managerial experience in the minor leagues and winter ball. Quirk played the final three seasons of his 18 major-league seasons for the A's.
"Bobby has the most experience. It's always nice to have but it hasn't been a requirement up to this point," Beane said. "I don't think it's something we would necessarily use as the defining reason. We've tried to put together a pretty interesting group and one that's maybe a little different. It seems to have been validated."
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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