The search for the next Seattle Mariners manager has begun in earnest, and there are seven names in the first round of interviews – including Joey Cora.
The others on GM Jack Zduriencik's pared down list are Diamondbacks third base coach Chip Hale, Red Sox third base coach DeMarlo Hale, Red Sox bench coach Brad Mills, Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo, Padres minor league manager Randy Ready and Athletics bench coach Don Wakamatsu.
You can read thumbnails of the candidates right here.
The interviews will be done this week, and unless Zduriencik feels the need to expand his initial group of candidates, a decision could be made within seven-to-10 days.
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The Mariners, who have had three managers – Mike Hargrove, John McLaren and Jim Riggleman – in the last 16 months, are hoping to come up with a manager and coaching staff that can establish consistency.
Coaching wasn't the reason Seattle lost 101 games last year, but three hitting coaches and three pitching coaches over the past three seasons has produced as understandable confusion.
With his hiring of a manager, Zduriencik will begin what he calls the building of an identity for the Mariners – a challenge every bit as large as transforming the 25-man roster.
In announcing the seven candidates before interviews began, Zduriencik returned to the openess of Pat Gillick's Mariners - which became far more secretive under Bill Bavasi.