The list grows, from internal candidates Ron Washington and Bob Geren, to the Rangers' former pitching coach (whose name I cannot get myself even to type), to Bud Black and Jamie Quirk. Assuming the job is still truly open for any interviewer to win the job, you wonder what factors might become relevant in the process. An obvious one is the question of whether the A's want an "insider" or an "outsider," and how the composition of the rest of the coaching staff might, or might not, be affected.
But there are some other fundamental differences among the candidates. For example, how would Curt Young feel if he were the pitching coach under a manager who was, himself formerly a pitching coach--as describes both Black and the ESPN analyst? Could be awkward, but wouldn't be unprecedented. Actually, it might be fun to watch them take trips to the mound together--kind of like a "field trip," only with some educational value.
And are any of the candidates also interviewing for another coaching job within the organization? For example, could Curt Young's job be in jeopardy if the A's hired a manager who coveted Black, or the former Dodgers pitcher, as a pitching coach? Or could Quirk be a longshot for A's manager, but a good bet to land a gig as an A's bench or base coach?
Of course, the question I keep coming back to is whether these interviews will determine who is manager, or whether that decision has already been made. How much can the A's learn next week by interviewing people who interviewed for the position as recently as last year, or by interviewing people who are already well known to Beane and the A's organization--or in the case of Washington and Geren, both?
So to handicap it: If Beane wants a "yes man," Geren has the edge; if he wants to end the "yes man" era, Washington has the edge; if he wants an outsider, Black has the edge; if he wants a guy with "Q" in his name, Quirk has the edge; and if he just wants to irritate me, keep an eye on the sinkerballer.