Clark interviews for full-time job

HOUSTON -- Dave Clark wants to be a major league manager and the Houston Astros are his first choice.

Clark met with the team Wednesday, the first of 10 candidates the Astros say they will interview as they search for a full-time skipper.

Clark, 47, was the Astros' third-base coach in 2009 and took over as interim manager when the team fired Cecil Cooper on Sept. 21. Clark was eager to interview for the full-time position and met with the team's brass for about two hours.

"I don't like to talk about myself that much, but this was about me, not about anyone else," Clark said. "It was about me, my energy and what I bring to this ballclub."

Clark managed the Astros' Double-A affiliate in Corpus Christi from 2005-07 and Triple-A Round Rock in 2008 before he was promoted to third-base coach this year. He said he stressed his familiarity with all levels of the franchise in his interview.

"I know this organization, I know the players that are here, I know the players that are up and coming," Clark said. "I think that helps, just being a part of this organization."

General manager Ed Wade said Clark has been guaranteed a spot on next year's staff, even if he's not hired as a manager.

Clark said he has not been personally contacted by other teams but was open to exploring other openings. He played for Cleveland from 1986-89, and the Indians recently fired Eric Wedge.

"A big league managing job is a big league managing job," Clark said. "It doesn't matter where it's at. Of course, I'd love to be here because I know this organization."

Another Astros coach, Al Pedrique, was scheduled to meet with the team later Wednesday. He was the minor league coordinator and was promoted to third-base coach when Clark replaced Cooper.

Pedrique, 49, said he was asked how he would handle the team's star players.

"I like to treat everybody the same," he said. "The superstars have earned the right to be where they are and be considered superstars. They will be responsible for being the leaders of the club. The superstars will be responsible for showing the kids how it gets done the right way."

Pedrique managed Arizona in the second half of the 2004 season after Bob Brenly was fired. The Diamondbacks went 22-61 under Pedrique and finished 51-111.

Also Wednesday, general manager Ed Wade announced that hitting coach Sean Berry will return next season, but pitching coach Dewey Robinson has taken a job with the Tampa Bay Rays. First-base coach Jose Cruz has been offered a new position in the organization and has yet to accept it.

Wade said the job that Cruz was offered is a hybrid position that included on-field instructing at spring training, an on-field administrative role at home games and community relations in Houston when the Astros are traveling next season.

Cruz has worked on Houston's coaching staff since 1997. Wade said the Astros want to alter the culture in the clubhouse after Houston went 74-88 last season.

"We felt that overall, from the standpoint of communication in our clubhouse, that change was necessary," Wade said. "Different voices, a different way of operating. We felt that simply changing the manager was not the appropriate way to go at this point in time."

In other changes, bullpen coach Mark Bailey has been named hitting coach at Corpus Christi and bench coach Ed Romero is now manager for the rookie-league affiliate in Greeneville, Tenn.