The list of seven finalists for the Seattle Mariners managerial job didn't come together quite as smoothly as general manager Jack Zduriencik would have liked, but then nothing in baseball is as simple as it seems.
One of the candidates originally on Zduriencik's list was Boston pitching coach John Farrell, a man whose name came up again and again as Zduriencik talked to baseball executives and scouts last week.
The problem? Farrell declined the opportunity even to interview.
Late Monday night, he issued a statement through the Red Sox:
"I have withdrawn my name for consideration by the Seattle Mariners as they search for a new manager," Farrell said. "I wish them well as they move forward. My decision is based on family reasons and being committed to the Red Sox organization. The working relationship shared with Theo and Tito and the resources provided by John Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino create a situation that is both challenging and rewarding."
And another of the Mariners candidates – former second baseman Joey Cora – all but forced himself onto Seattle's list with his dogged persistence.
According to sources in Chicago, where Cora has coached under Ozzie Guillen, Cora asked for and got recommendations for the job from Guillen and White Sox GM Ken Williams.
But he didn't stop there.
One White Sox source said Cora had team owner Jerry Reinsdorf call the Mariners with a personal appeal for an interview.
The Mariners insist Cora was a viable candidate, anyway, and will interview him today.
Farrell's withdrawl – and Cora's full court press – aren't all that important now that Zduriencik has his list of candidates.
It's just a little behind the scenes action that's always intriguing and never dull.