Oakland A's Notes: Manager Search To Be Long

Barring a drastic change of heart, the Oakland A's will be the last team to fill their managerial vacancy this offseason. Even the San Diego Padres, who couldn't officially begin a new manager search until Oct. 27 when Bruce Bochy moved north to the division-rival Giants, are expected to hire somebody before the A's.

General manager Billy Beane is in the middle of his first round of interviews, which are taking place during the week of Oct. 30-Nov. 3 in Oakland. He is expected to conduct a couple more the week of Nov. 6-10 in Arizona, then more first rounds or call back a candidate for a second interview the week of Nov. 13-17 at the GM meetings in Florida.

"There's no sense of urgency," Beane said.

"We're going to take our time. We're putting together a large list and we'll spend our time trying to get information on that list before we commit to interviews. I wouldn't expect five interviews in five days."

By comparison, last October the A's conducted their first managerial interview six days after parting ways with Ken Macha the first time. The second interview was on the seventh day, three more interviews were planned by the eighth day, and Macha was re-hired the ninth day.

The team has seven candidates right now: A's infielders coach Ron Washington and bench coach Bob Geren, Nippon Ham Fighters manager Trey Hillman, Mets coach Manny Acta, Angels pitching coach Bud Black, Rockies bench coach Jamie Quirk and ESPN analyst Orel Hershiser.

Geren and Washington interviewed last year before Macha was re-hired. Quirk and Hershiser were scheduled to be interviewed, but those appointments were canceled by the surprise return of Macha. The other candidate from last year was former manager Larry Bowa.

Washington interviewed with division rival Texas on Oct. 17, and Black interviewed with the cross-bay rival Giants before Bochy was hired. Black is expected to be on the Padres' short list of candidates.

If one of those teams is close to making a hire, Beane said it wouldn't change the A's methodical search.

"That's a risk you run," Beane said. "I think we'll try to do justice to the process. We're not going to let somebody else's clock speed us up or slow us down."

Geren, Washington and Hillman have all interviewed this week and all three thought the interviews went well.

AFL Note: Robertson Improves

It has been a rough fall season for A's relief prospect Connor Robertson, but he had a very positive outing on Wednesday. The right-hander worked one inning and struck out the side, showing more of the form he displayed for AA-Midland during the 2006 regular season. Robertson has an ERA over 12, but he has struck out 10 in only 6.2 innings of work this AFL season.

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