Ok, just got off the conference call with today's interviewee Brad Mills and Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik. Some quick notes which I'll update with a transcript from it.
Let's get to Zduriencik first ...
Right now the seven finalists appear to be the only ones. Zduriencik did say that he could add to the list of candidates if he felt the need, but said he was pretty satisfied with the group he has now.
"We'll see at the end of the process how I feel," Zduriencik said. "If it is one of these guys then it will be fine with me. This is a good group of guys. If I feel there is another person or two I need to reach out to, I'd be open to that."
The fact that none of the seven have any prior major league managerial experience before is more or less a coincidence according to Zduriencik.
"I guess you could say it's probably a coincidence because it wasn't by design," Zduriencik said. "I can tell you I've had extensive conversations prior to this process with managers that have managed once, twice and some cases three times before this. As I narrowed the list down, I was open to anybody. I think it is a coincidence that these guys haven't managed. But, they come from winning organizations, they have very good track records, they have been successful where they have been, they've either been players or coaches at the major league level. I think this group of guys through my initial conversations with them were guys that I thought were very intriguing."
One person who will not be added to the list or considered for the job is Jim Riggleman, who finished up the season last year.
"I had a conversation with Jimmy and told him he wasn't a candidate for this position," Zduriencik said. "As you know he's accepted a position with the Washington Nationals. It was a very good conversation, but he was disappointed obviously. He certainly understood. I've known him for a long time and I wish him the best."
And some of the other candidates mentioned earlier, like Willie Randolph and Ned Yost, are seemingly out of the picture.
"In terms of Willie Randolph, I haven't talked to Willie," Zduriencik said. "I did sit in on his interview with Doug Melvin so I had an opportunity, in essence, to interview Willie without interviewing him for this position."
"I have not talked to Ned as of the last two weeks or so," Zduriencik said.
So the likelihood of Zduriencik reaching out to someone like Yost or Bobby Valentine doesn't seem likely.
"At this moment in time I don't intend to reach out to anybody else. I could, but I don't intend to," he said.
Let's get to Mills, who interviewed for about two and half hours today along with having lunch with Zduriencik.
This is the first major league managerial job he's ever interviewed for. He's been contacted about being in consideration for jobs and possibly being interviewed, but never made it into the interview process. So he admitted he was a bit "nervous" coming in.
Mills had no prior relationship with Zduriencik coming into the process.