Mariners Insider Blog

Seven interviews down, with more to go - here's a guess on who the next Mariners manager will be

The Magnificient Seven candidates on GM Jack Zduriencik's list to become the next manager of the Seattle Marines have completed their first round of interviews – and now they may morph into the Great Eight or Noble Nine.

Simply put, Zduriencik said he may add a couple of candidates to that first list, and might bring them in as soon as this weekend for interviews.

"We're close to the end, in terms of candidates. There may be one, two more guys we bring in," Zduriencik said. "We might call a couple of guys back for second round. I think it's possible we'll have guy in place by next weekend."

The first list included Boson coaches Brad Mills and DeMarlo Hale, Arizona third base coach Chip Hale, Athleetics bench coach Don Wakamatsu, Portland Beavers manager Randy Ready, Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo and White Sox bench coach Joey Cora.

It's way too early to pick a winner in this horse race – but why should that stop anyone from wildly speculating?

An early guess: Chip Hale.

An early exit: Joey Cora.

A week from now, we should know for real. Zduriencik, meanwhile, likes all his candidates.

"These guys have worked for this, earned the right to get this opportunity. They all have qualities that are going to be pluses. They were direct, and proud of where they've come from and where they're going to be," Zduriencik said.

Asked specifically what he was looking for in a manager, Zduriencik embellished a bit on what he's said over the past week.

"I was looking for a fresh face, someone that could embrace this organization and someone that has a background that brings consistency, a presence, a demeanor – someone the community and the players can embrace," Zduriencik said. "All the things I've been saying – leaders, winners, someone who understands his role and see the big picture and cares about players and wants to win.

"That's the criteria."

None of the seven men interviewed has ever managed in he big leagues. Their numbers will surely be cut for Round Two.

"Say, hypothetically, we'd narrowed it down to three guys. Sometimes that third guy deserves a second interview to make his case, to show that he's No 1," Zduriencik said. "If we have second interviews, bring a couple of guys, my preference would be to spend a day with each. They need to be fresh, I need to be fresh."