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Pirates GM interviews ex-Dodgers skipper Tracy

Jim Tracy, back on the managerial market after he and the Los Angeles Dodgers parted ways earlier this week, was interviewed for
two hours by phone by Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield on Wednesday.
But the Pirates may have a new and unexpected candidate to
compete with Tracy: Ken Macha, who won't return to the Oakland
Athletics
after he and the team couldn't reach terms on a new
contract.
Littlefield said he couldn't comment about Macha, who remains
under contract to the Athletics. Until the Pirates receive
clearance from the Athletics to talk with Macha, Littlefield said
major league baseball's tampering rules prevent him from
commenting.
However, Littlefield is believed to have talked with Alan Nero,
Macha's agent.
"We [Oakland] offered a three-year deal with a club option and they
countered with a three-year deal without a club option," Athletics
general manager Billy Beane said. "I don't think we were ever
going to be able to bridge the gap. It was a significant gap."
Beane said the sides exchanged proposals last weekend because
both sides wanted to come to a resolution quickly, leaving Macha
time to explore other jobs -- no doubt, the Pirates' job among them.
Macha, a Pirates player in the mid-1970s who still lives in
suburban Pittsburgh during the offseason, has long wanted to manage
his hometown team. He was a candidate when former manager Lloyd
McClendon was hired in 2000 and was disappointed when he didn't get
the job.
Macha's entry into the Pirates' managerial derby complicates what
appeared to be a one-man race. Tracy and Littlefield have long been
friends dating to their days together in the Montreal Expos'
organization, and Littlefield said the two discussed a number of
topics during their two-hour talk Wednesday.
"He's a sharp guy," Littlefield said. "I've stayed in touch
with him over the years and know him fairly well ... we talked
about [managerial] philosophy, his views on staff and players --
things that are always part of the interview process."
With three other teams seeking managers -- Oakland, Tampa Bay and
Florida -- Littlefield there is a "competition element" for the
top managers, thus creating "a certain sense of urgency to get
something done."
Littlefield and Tracy have not yet arranged a face-to-face
meeting, but, Littlefield said, "We'd like to get together at some
point."
Littlefield said he hasn't interviewed any other candidates,
though he flew to Atlanta and met Monday with Braves coach Fredi
Gonzalez before the start of the NL playoffs.