Tigers managerial candidate Lloyd McClendon also interviewed for the Mariners' manager position this week. (Elizabeth Conley / Detroit News)
Detroit — Now, things aren’t always as they appear.
But things sure appeared to be quiet on the Tigers’ front Tuesday as they continue searching for the manager who will succeed Jim Leyland.
After meeting with candidates each of the three previous business days, there was no word that anybody had interviewed Tuesday.
However, one of those candidates, Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, confirmed he interviewed for the Seattle Mariners job Monday and told The News that “went extremely well,” while emphasizing so did his conversation with the Tigers. Los Angeles Dodgers third-base coach Tim Wallach and San Diego Padres front-office executive Brad Ausmus also have interviewed in Detroit, and it’s the Tigers are believed to have interest in talking to Padres bench coach Rick Renteria, as well.
Renteria also is in the Chicago Cubs’ radar, and Ausmus now might be, too. Wallach, meanwhile, acknowledged he has a Thursday interview with the Mariners.
But the Tigers — given the team’s immense talent, compared to the Cubs as well as the Mariners, both in rebuilding projects — figure to have their pick of available candidates. It just doesn’t appear they’ve picked one yet.
“Not sure what our next step will be,” Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski told The News in an email, when asked if anybody would be brought in for a second interview. “It may depend upon our initial phase.”
That’s not to say the initial phase is complete, mind you.
There’s still Renteria, 51, and there remains the distinct possibility Dombrowski will want to talk to Torey Lovullo, too. One high-ranking baseball official told The News he expects that to be the case. Lovullo, though, is the Boston Red Sox bench coach, and thus won’t be available to interview until after the World Series is complete. Game 6 is scheduled for Wednesday, and Game 7, if necessary, on Thursday.
Lovullo, 48, like Ausmus, 44, is touted by many as one of the game’s next good, young managers. It’s why he's believed to be on the Mariners' radar, too. The former Tigers infielder managed one year in the Red Sox system before joining John Farrell’s staff in Toronto and then again in Boston.
Lovullo was not available for comment Tuesday.
There’s no timetable for the Tigers to make a decision, though Leyland did tell WDIV on Tuesday that he’s returning to town early next week for four days of organizational meetings. Theoretically, the Tigers would like the next manager involved in those discussions — given that free agency starts just days after the end of the World Series.
Wallach, 56, and McClendon, 54, both told The News they have heard nothing from Dombrowski, one way or another.
Bigger names such as Ozzie Guillen, Eric Wedge, Dusty Baker and Manny Acta don't appear to be targets of the Tigers.