PITTSBURGH (AP) – The Pittsburgh Pirates will interview former Athletics manager Ken Macha on Sunday and former Dodgers manager Jim Tracy on Monday as they seek a successor to Lloyd McClendon.

The Pirates begin their annual postseason organizational meetings at their spring training complex in Bradenton, Fla., on Tuesday, and it is possible they will have a manager in place at some point during the meetings.

General manager Dave Littlefield appears to have focused his search on Tracy from the start, but said he wants to have at least one in-person interview with his new manager and possibly two.

Tracy and Littlefield talked by phone at least once for several hours last week, but their first formal interview was delayed in part so Tracy could attend his son’s high school football game in California on Friday. Littlefield also has talked with Tracy’s agents, Alan and Randy Hendricks, possibly to get an idea of Tracy’s asking price.

Littlefield and Tracy have known each other since their days together in the Montreal Expos’ organization during the mid-1990s, and the two talked in Los Angeles last month during the Pirates-Dodgers series. However, Littlefield said there were no discussions about the Pirates’ job.

Tracy was to have made $700,000 with the Dodgers next season before he and the team decided to part ways with one year left on his contract.

He will not be paid by the Dodgers if he manages another team.

The Pirates’ search became more complicated when Macha, a Pittsburgh area resident during the offseason and a former Pirates player, left Oakland after the two sides couldn’t reach terms on a contract extension. Macha also sought the Pirates job before the team hired McClendon in 2000.

Macha made $630,000 with the Athletics last season and was seeking an extension worth $1.5 million a season, far more than the team wanted to pay.

To date, Littlefield has interviewed one candidate in person, Braves coach Fredi Gonzalez on Monday in Atlanta. The Pirates want to move quickly with the Athletics, Dodgers, Devil Rays and Marlins also seeking managers.

“There is a sense of urgency,” Littlefield said.

AP-ES-10-08-05 2100EDT


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