Manager Interviews Set to Resume

After a week in the Florida sunshine to talk about the needs and wants of the organization, the Phillies front office brass are set to resume shopping for a new manager. Four more candidates have interviews scheduled this week in Philadelphia after three others had initial interviews two weeks ago.

The Phillies have said that ideally, previous experience as a major league manager will be part of the resume of their new hire, although they haven't made it a deal breaker if the person hasn't managed. Two of the four candidates to interview this week and five out of the seven that the Phillies will have talked to during the process have managed in the majors. Terry Pendleton and John Russell are the two exceptions.

First up on the list of interviews for the week is Buddy Bell. Besides being a former major league manager in Detroit and Colorado, Bell has also served as the Indians bench coach for the past two seasons. Perhaps the most interesting thing about Bell being a candidate is the fact that if he were to be hired, he would be managing his son David, who just completed his second season with the Phillies.

Both Buddy Bell and David Bell have said that they would be comfortable with the situation if the elder Bell were to be given the chance to guide the Phillies.

On Tuesday, Jim Fregosi will be back in town to interview for his old job. Fregosi guided the Phillies from 1991 through 1996, including managing the "Macho Row" team of '93 that went to the World Series. Initially, there were varying reports about whether or not Fregosi was interested in the job, but he has since become very interested in the position.

Fregosi was tough on players when he led the Phillies previously, but also gained their respect. He is still pretty popular with fans of the Phillies and consistently rates well in internet polls of fans preferences for the next Phillies manager. Since leaving the Phillies organization, Fregosi has served as a special assistant to Braves GM John Scheurholz.

Wednesday and Thursday will be the most interesting interviews of the process.

John Russell, a former Phillies player, will interview on Wednesday and Braves hitting coach Terry Pendleton will be in town for an interview on Thursday. Russell has minor league managerial experience and was twice named Minor League Manager of the Year by Baseball America while he was managing in the Twins organization. He has been working as the third base coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates and will be getting his first interview for a major league job.

Terry Pendleton, somewhat of a surprise candidate, is also getting his first shot at a major league manager's job. Pendleton has drawn rave reviews as the hitting coach for Atlanta, but has not yet been mentioned for a manager's position. Pendleton, 44, has helped Braves hitters reach franchise records in home runs, doubles, average and slugging percentage and has been endorsed by no less than Bobby Cox as a potential major league manager.

The Phillies previously interviewed Don Baylor, Grady Little and Charlie Manuel for the job. There shouldn't be any pressure on the Phillies to hire any of their particular candidates quickly, since none of them have been mentioned for other major league jobs. As far as the timing is concerned, the Phillies will likely hold second interviews with some candidates next week and make a decision sometime after the World Series.

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