A's down to three candidates for manager's job

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland Athletics narrowed their list of managerial candidates to three Monday, eliminating Trey Hillman from consideration.

The team said that because Hillman had a contractual obligation to give notice to his club in Japan either way, Oakland informed him earlier in the day of its decision to move forward in the process without him.

A's bench coach Bob Geren, Colorado Rockies bench coach Jamie Quirk and ESPN baseball analyst and former Texas Rangers pitching coach Orel Hershiser are the three remaining candidates to become Ken Macha's successor.

All along, Geren has been considered a front-runner for the job and the A's have long considered him manager material because of his extensive work as a skipper in the minor leagues and winter ball.

"I haven't heard anything," Geren said by phone Monday.

General manager Billy Beane, a close friend of Geren's who played against the former big league catcher during their high school days in San Diego, planned to meet with other team officials Monday at the general managers' meetings in Naples, Fla., to
discuss the job and perhaps make a decision.

The A's will probably introduce their new manager sometime this week -- maybe as soon as Wednesday. They will wait until after the club officially announces Tuesday its plans to build a stadium in Fremont, about 25 miles south of its current home in the Oakland Coliseum.

Beane fired Macha on Oct. 16, two days after Oakland's season ended in a sweep by the wild-card Detroit Tigers in the AL championship series. The A's won a playoff series for the first time since 1990, ending a string of four straight first-round exits
from 2000-03.

Geren interviewed for the A's opening a year ago when the club briefly cut ties with Macha before bringing him back about a week later. Geren then was promoted from bullpen coach.

Quirk played the final three of his 18 major league seasons for the A's.