While president David Samson wouldn't divulge any of the other candidates, the Herald names Yankees bench coach Tony Pena and Padres bench coach Ted Simmons likely among the finalists. Ex-manager Jim Fregosi and current ChiSox manager Ozzie Guillen could also be considered.
What's for certain is Florida won't dilly-dally around when it comes to finding the next permanent skipper.
"Obviously, we'd like a manager hired as we head into the offseason, as the team takes shape, as we head into the new ballpark,'' Samson said Sunday.
Pena skippered the Royals for four seasons, taking over partway through 2002 and then helming the team to an improbable winning record of 83-79 that caught many by surprise in '03, but fell to 58-104 the next season and was dismissed in 2005 after tarting 8-25. He has been with the Yankees since.
Simmons is a long-time minor league manager who is becoming a very popular candidate to take over a team while Fregosi, a 15-year managing veteran, hasn't led a dugout since after the 2000 season.
-- Evan Brunell
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