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Friday, October 18
Macha a serious contender for several jobs news services

MILWAUKEE -- Oakland bench coach Ken Macha says Doug Melvin's track record of turning struggling baseball teams into winners has piqued his interest in the vacant job of Milwaukee Brewers manager.

But Macha said Friday night that Melvin, the new general manager of the Brewers, hasn't made him an offer, and he's not sure what the timeline for contract negotiations would be.

"Doug has a track record for going into a place and turning a situation around," Macha said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press from Tampa Bay, where he interviewed earlier Friday with the Devil Rays.

"When you're hiring good people like he's doing, you've got a good chance of turning it around. That's certainly exciting."

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Friday that Melvin had offered Macha, one of five candidates for the job, a three-year contract.

Melvin and Macha said the issue was discussed but there wasn't an offer.

"Toward the end of the discussion we talked about a possible framework for a contract," Macha said.

Macha, who served as bench coach under Athletics manager Art Howe for the past two seasons, is considered a serious contender for several openings. He already has interviewed with the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets.

He said his talks with the Devil Rays went well.

"I think each organization would offer a different challenge," Macha said. "And I've been intrigued by several of those challenges."

Macha said he didn't know enough about the Brewers at this point to say how he would try to fix the team that posted a National League worst 56-106 record.

But he credits Melvin with rebuilding the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers, and he said Melvin is putting together a management staff that was capable of helping the struggling team.

The other candidates for the Brewers spot interviewed this week were Arizona bench coach Bob Melvin, who is not related to Doug Melvin; New York Yankees third base coach Willie Randolph; Brewers bench coach Cecil Cooper and Atlanta third base coach Ned Yost.

The most notable omission in Doug Melvin's hunt is former Rangers manager Jerry Narron, a former colleague in Baltimore and Texas and Melvin's roommate in the minor leagues.

"I wouldn't rule him out," Melvin said, but explained that he was leery of hiring Narron just because of their friendship.

None of the five candidates who interviewed with Melvin has previous managerial experience.

Melvin dismissed a report in Wednesday's New York Post that speculated Randolph was the favorite for the job and could be announced as Milwaukee's manager before the start of the World Series on Saturday. Melvin said he hadn't spoken with anyone at the Post.

"It's going to come down to a comfort level," he said. "I'm going to hire who I think is the most qualified person, but there also has to be a real comfort level that I feel and that the manager feels."

After interviewing Macha Thursday morning, Doug Melvin had said he did not plan to bring in any other candidates. That means if Macha accepts a job with another club, the Brewers are likely to choose from one of the other four candidates interviewed.

Melvin said Friday it was unlikely he would make an announcement before the start of the World Series Saturday night in Anaheim but it was possible.

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, a former president of the Brewers, has placed a moratorium on teams making personnel announcements during the World Series.

Melvin had hoped to complete the hiring of a manager by Saturday but said the number of teams seeking new managers slowed the process.

The Brewers were one of six teams with openings at the end of the season, but only two have been filled. Detroit hired Alan Trammell and Texas hired Buck Showalter.

The Brewers, who fired Jerry Royster after their first 100-loss season, have competition for all of their candidates except for Yost and Cooper, who are not known to be candidates for any other openings.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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