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Wednesday, October 16, 2002
Howe may join game of manager roulette

ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Lou Piniella is the managerial object of desire in New York and Tampa Bay. But there's plenty of other intrigue in Milwaukee, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and Cleveland as the manager roulette season kicks into high gear.

And, according to Wednesday's New York Daily News, A's manager Art Howe could be added to the mix. The Daily News says that A's general manager Billy Beane has quietly let the Mets know that they could talk with Howe and he wouldn't ask for compensation. Howe could be the second choice in New York if a deal can't be worked out with Seattle for Piniella. The Mariners are seeking compensation.

According to the newspaper, a source said: "Fred (Wilpon, the Mets' owner) doesn't want to be left without a chair when the music stops."

If Howe went to New York, the paper says, the A's would like to promote Ken Macha, their current bench coach. However, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark says that Macha and the Cubs could come to an agreement as soon as Thursday.

"A situation in Oakland does not exist at the moment, and I think it would be completely inappropriate to discuss the possibility," Macha told the Daily News on Tuesday. "They have a manager and he has a good chance of being named manager of the year."

The Mariners reportedly have set their sites on Baker, who's contract in San Francisco runs out after the season. Brett Boone and Jeff Nelson told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on Wednesday that they'd like to see Baker in the Pacific Northwest.

"If they go and get Dusty, I'd love to play for him," Nelson said.

"Players talk, and I've never heard one player say anything bad about Dusty," Boone said.

Mariners bench coach John McLaren and pitching coach Bryan Price are also reportedly candidates.

In Tampa Bay, general manager Chuck LaMar has interviewed Bill Evers, the manager of the Durham Bulls, and has a Friday meeting with Macha. On Monday LaMar talked with Yankees third base coach Willie Randolph.

In Chicago, Stark reports that Macha and the Cubs are close to an agreement, though there is still some sentiment for Baker. Bob Melvin, the Diamondbacks' bench coach, also has been interviewed, as was Fredi Gonzalez, a former bench and third-base coach for the Marlins and currently a Triple-A manager.

In Milwaukee, Ned Yost interviewed for the Brewers' job Wednesday, hoping to return to the team he helped win the 1982 AL championship. Yost, Braves' third-base coach. met with general manager Doug Melvin, and afterward he said, "`This is it for me. This is the job I would like." Arizona coach Bob Melvin, Yankees coach Willie Randolph and Brewers coach Cecil Cooper have made their pitch, and the team plans to interview Oakland bench coach Ken Macha on Thursday. Another candidate believed to be in the early running was Jerry Narron, whom the Texas Rangers fired as their manager, but Melvin said Wednesday night that Narron isn't scheduled for an interview.

In Cleveland, Joel Skinner is expected to continue as manager, especially after Angels pitching coach Bud Black pulled himself out of consideration.

Indians general manager Mark Shapiro said Black, who is preparing the Angels' staff for the World Series, told him Monday that he was out of the running.

"I'm disappointed professionally and personally,'' Shapiro said Wednesday. "Bud would have had the ability to impact our team and organization. I have mixed emotions. But I'm still excited about our candidates.''

Two jobs have been filled: Buck Showalter in Texas and Alan Trammell in Detroit.

Information from the Associated Press is included in this report