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Shapiro updates progress of filling Indians vacant managerial spot

By sstorm Published: October 20, 2009

Indians general manager Mark Shapiro met briefly with the media late Tuesday afternoon to give an update on where the team is in the process of hiring a new manager. Among a few other things, Shapiro touched on candiates Manny Acta, Bobby Valentine, Mike Hargrove and Travis Fryman.

In short, Shapiro shareed the following:

- Triple-A Columbus manager Torrey Lovullo will be in Cleveland to interview for the job Friday.

- Veteran manager Bobby Valentine is "coming in at some point, as we're working around his post-season obligations (as an analyst) for ESPN."

- One other unnamed finalst "will be coming in at some point." This is believed to be Dodgers bench coach Don Mattingly, who is in the midst of the post season.

- The team is "vetting" two other candidates that haven't been contacted. "We haven't talked to them at all, but we may consider (them) depending upon how these four finalists go."

- There are five or six other candidates who have been interviewed (by phone) "that we've talked to and told they are no longer candidates for us."

- Shared the extent to which the front office has gone to research and interview the final candidates. "The process has been far more than just meeting with these guys. If anything, that's probably been about 1/10th of the time spent on each candidate."

- He and his staff has already begun putting together a list of candidates for the other coaching roles on the big league staff.

- Confirmed that short-season Mahoning Valley manager Travis Fryman and former Indians manager Mike Hargrove are not among the final candidates.

Here are a few of the media's questions:

Q) Has your timetable for naming a manager changed?

A) I still hope that we can get it done by the end of the World Series, and I think that's still a realistic time frame. But what I did say going in, that if we still feel there's a reason to (hold off) because maybe the best candidate is not available, there's no reason to set a time limit. There's nothing this decision this is keeping us from getting done. We'll take as long as we need to make the right decision.

Q) How much say will the new manager have in selecting his coaching staff?

A) I haven't sensed that any of the people we interviewed had a line-in-the-sand guy (they wanted to bring in as a coach). I certainly would be open to it though if they said, 'There's one guy I have to have.' But no one's said that yet, and we've talked to nine guys already...It takes a collaberative approach to come up with a list of candidates. Hopefully, for me, I'll just be a sign-off for what they want to do.

Q) Because Manny (Acta) is a candidate in Houston also, does that change your timeline to hire a manager?

A) We're going to proceed with our process...I feel like it's important for us to be thourough and not to feel like there's a sensitive time period.

Q) Can you give us an update on (Mike) Hargrove and (Travis) Fryman ?

A) Mike and I talked a couple of times. He's a guy who I have an immense level of appreciation and respect for. (But) I made the decision that at this time, it just wasn't the right fit for a variety of reasons. I will say that one thing I wasn't completely sure of is that Mike has a passion for and desire to manage again. I think that energy is there and in the right situation given the opportunity, he can be sucessful again. I just didn't think that right now, here, this was the right job.

A) Travis Fryman was somewhat of an atypical candidate for us with only two short seasons of experience to interview. But based on our respect for who he is as a man and what he brings as a leader, we did spend an afternoon talking to him in Goodyear, Ariz. I came away, as I always do, impressed. Impressed by his passion for his players and for his leadership vision. The more he worked into it, it was clear that he has a desire to do it, and I think will do it in an impactful way at some point. I learned some things talking to him, without a doubt. But I think with where he is in his life and with where we are, managing more games and gaining more experience will be a positive and make him a better candidate down the road.

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