CLEVELAND (AP) - Anaheim pitching coach Bud Black told Cleveland he doesn't want to be its next manager, leaving interim manager Joel Skinner as the favorite to get the job.
Indians general manager Mark Shapiro said Black, who is preparing the Angels' staff for the World Series, told him Monday that he was out of the running.
"I'm disappointed professionally and personally," Shapiro said Wednesday. "Bud would have had the ability to impact our team and organization. I have mixed emotions. But I'm still excited about our candidates."
Skinner would seem to have the inside track. He led the Indians to a 35-41 record after taking over for Charlie Manuel, who was fired in July.
Shapiro met with Skinner last week and also interviewed Eric Wedge, the manager at Cleveland's Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo.
Shapiro said he plans to interview Fredi Gonzalez, who managed Atlanta's Triple-A team last season. Gonzalez interviewed for the Cubs' managerial opening.
Black spoke with Shapiro several times Monday about the Indians' job, the GM said.
"It's a timing issue more than anything," said Shapiro, who worked with Black in the Indians' front office. "Buddy made a value-based decision. He has a daughter who is a freshman in high school and another daughter in junior high."
Shapiro plans to meet with Skinner again next week, he said. Skinner was the Indians' third-base coach under Manuel, who was dismissed by Shapiro when he demanded to know what his future was with the team beyond 2002.
Cleveland began to rebuild midway through the year, trading several veterans for minor league prospects. Despite the upheaval, the Indians continued to play hard under Skinner, who managed in the club's minor league organization from 1995-2000.
Skinner caught for three teams in nine major league seasons.
His father, Bob, managed in the majors.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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