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O'Neill said to be discussing Reds' skipper vacancy

Club denies report of meeting with former outfielder about managerial post

CINCINNATI -- Former Reds and Yankees outfielder Paul O'Neill has been talking to the Reds about their managerial opening, according to a report that surfaced Wednesday evening.

Michael Kay, a Yankees television broadcaster on the YES Network, cited sources in a tweet indicating that O'Neill spoke to Reds chief executive officer Bob Castellini about the job to replace deposed manager Dusty Baker.

Through a team spokesman late Wednesday evening, the Reds denied that they contacted O'Neill about their managerial vacancy.

Other than two internal candidates, pitching coach Bryan Price and Triple-A manager Jim Riggleman, the Reds are not naming any candidates for their managerial job.

"I would love to sit down and find out what their thoughts are," O'Neill told ESPN New York on Wednesday evening. "There are basically two organizations in my life, the Reds and the Yankees. Any time you live in the city, you understand and see what happens in an organization.

"It is not a rebuilding situation. They are a very, very good team. I think anybody would be interested in taking a good team and winning a World Series."

According to the ESPN report, O'Neill said he had not sat down with Castellini yet but had been in touch with the organization over the years "about numerous things."

O'Neill, 50, spent 17 seasons as a Major League right fielder, including 1985-92 with the Reds and '93-2001 with the Yankees. He won five World Series rings, including in '90 with Cincinnati.

A Columbus, Ohio, native, O'Neill has spent the past 12 seasons working as an analyst for YES. He has no prior managerial experience, but several Major League teams haven't been afraid of inexperience in recent years. The White Sox hired Robin Ventura as their manager before last season, and two years ago, the Cardinals hired Mike Matheny. Neither had previously managed in professional baseball.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon.
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