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Rays interview three for their managerial post

Counsell, Ibanez, Wakamatsu are among eight announced candidates
MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- A day after announcing eight candidates for their vacant managerial post, the Rays on Friday conducted phone interviews with Craig Counsell, Raul Ibanez and Don Wakamatsu.

Others announced as candidates on Thursday were Dave Martinez, Charlie Montoyo, Manny Acta, Ron Wotus and Kevin Cash.

ST. PETERSBURG -- A day after announcing eight candidates for their vacant managerial post, the Rays on Friday conducted phone interviews with Craig Counsell, Raul Ibanez and Don Wakamatsu.

Others announced as candidates on Thursday were Dave Martinez, Charlie Montoyo, Manny Acta, Ron Wotus and Kevin Cash.

Wakamatsu, 51, is the Royals' bench coach and has Major League managerial experience with the Mariners in 2009 and '10. Prior to that, he managed four seasons in the Minor Leagues and first coached in the Majors with the Angels in 2001. Wakamatsu was the first Asian-American manager in the Major Leagues.

Ibanez, 42, played outfield and DH for the Royals this season. He has displayed leadership qualities in his 19-year Major League career spent with five teams, including 11 with the Mariners. His inclusion is the most surprising of the first group since going from the playing field directly to managing is a difficult transition.

Counsell, 44, works as a special assistant for the Brewers. As a player, he played on championship teams with the Marlins and Diamondbacks. Since retiring after 15 MLB seasons following 2011, Counsell has also worked as a part-time color analyst for Brewers radio broadcasts and as a Spring Training instructor.

The Rays will continue to interview, likely throughout the weekend, and the list of candidates could possibly grow before a manager is selected.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com.

Tampa Bay Rays