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Jerry Brewer explains the thinking behind his columns and invites readers to express their views on the sports world.

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November 11, 2008 1:35 PM

About the Mariners' manager candidates

Posted by Jerry Brewer

The Mariners are rebuilding. They can call it anything they want, but they're rebuilding. And their list of seven finalists for their manager opening provides further proof.

I appreciate new general manager Jack Zduriencik for being so open about his candidates. Transparency is always a good thing, and whenever a franchise offers a look at their decision-making, it tells me the leadership is both confident it will make a good call and wanting to get ahead of the media because all the names of the GM candidates were leaked. Of course, it also means the M's are trying to prepare their fans for a manager with no major-league experience.

It's really shocking that Zduriencik doesn't have at least one proven manager on his list. It's refreshing, too, because baseball suffers from a frustrating affinity for retread managers.

Zduriencik is bold, all right. Or the franchise doesn't want to spend big money right now for a manager who will inherit a team that figures to finish last place in the AL West next season. There's something to be said for a manager who can grow with a team. Then again, there's something to be feared about a rookie manager charged with grooming a team that needs major work.

In addition, it's dangerous to put a rookie GM (which Zduriencik is) with a rookie manager or coach in sports. It's often been a formula for disaster in pro sports. With this dynamic, the Mariners must be about to unload more veterans in a full-bore youth movement, as Larry Stone suggested in his column today.

I'm willing to be patient and give this idea a chance, but there's plenty of reason to be skeptical.

As for handicapping the list of finalists, it's virtually impossible. The guys are so unproven. You'd think White Sox bench coach Joey Cora, a former Mariner, would get good consideration. But the two Boston guys -- Brad Mills and DeMarlo Hale -- might be better options right now. And Oakland bench coach Don Wakamatsu is said to be an impressive candidate, so don't count him out.

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