Beane: A's should have a manager by week's end

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Athletics general manager Billy Beane
plans to announce Oakland's new manager by week's end, saying
Tuesday he had yet to choose between the three remaining candidates.

They are A's bench coach Bob Geren, Colorado Rockies bench coach
and former Oakland utilityman Jamie Quirk and ESPN baseball
analyst and former Texas Rangers pitching coach Orel Hershiser.

"We're still moving along," Beane said Tuesday in his first
public comments about the search for Ken Macha's successor. "I
would expect, assuming nothing unforeseen, we should be able to
bring it to a conclusion at least by the end of the week. That's
our idea now."

Oakland officials have watched several candidates leave for
other jobs: Longtime A's third-base coach Ron Washington was hired
as the Rangers' manager, and former Los Angeles Angels pitching
coach Bud Black took over as San Diego's skipper.

Former New York Mets third-base coach Manny Acta, hired Tuesday
as the Nationals' new manager, withdrew his name from consideration
for the A's job on Friday. And the team announced Monday that it
eliminated from the mix Nippon Ham Fighters manager Trey Hillman,
who was headed back to Japan.

Beane said the A's have been encouraged through the process that
any of the men they've met with would be a good fit for the

Would a speedy decision have given Beane more options to choose

"It's easier to say in hindsight. I don't think we could have
done the process justice had we done that," he said. "We were
aware that all of these things were possibilities. It validated the
list, to be honest with you."

Beane, who has relationships with both Geren and Quirk, is
dealing with an illness in the family and might have to travel to
Alaska in the coming days -- the only thing that would hold up a

He has been criticized for taking his time, but there has been
more to it than baseball, he said. Beane didn't even attend the
general managers' meetings in Naples, Fla., this week and sent
assistant GM David Forst to represent the club.

"It's in no means any attempt to be stealth," Beane said. "If
in fact we don't by the end of the week it won't be because of
professional reasons, it would be because of personal reasons."

Macha was fired 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, who played against Beane in high school in San Diego and
is friends with the GM, was promoted to bench coach for the 2006
season and has the most extensive managerial experience in the
minor leagues and winter ball. Quirk played the final three seasons
of his 18 major-league seasons for the A's.

"Bobby has the most experience. It's always nice to have but it
hasn't been a requirement up to this point," Beane said. "I don't
think it's something we would necessarily use as the defining
reason. We've tried to put together a pretty interesting group and
one that's maybe a little different. It seems to have been validated."