By Hal McCoy
Dayton Daily News
There are strong indications that the Cincinnati Reds will name Jim Beattie as the team's general manager, The Dayton Daily News has learned.
Two reliable sources close to the situation said it was their understanding that Beattie, 50, is the choice to replace fired Dan O'Brien and that the Reds will announce the decision in the next few days.
Nine candidates were interviewed and several have been told they wouldn't get the job, including interim GM Brad Kullman, Reds special advisor Leland Maddox and Philadelphia assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle.
It would not be surprising.
Beattie was the first person new owner Bob Castellini hired, naming him a special advisor the same day he officially took over as the team's CEO. And he immediately named him as a candidate for the GM's chair.
In addition, Castellini has told friends he preferred a person who had been a general manager. Only Beattie and Atlanta assistant general manager Frank Wren have GM experience among the candidates.
Wren was general manager of the Baltimore Orioles for one year while Beattie has been general manager in Montreal and Baltimore.
In addition, Boston Red Sox executive Larry Lucchino is a confidante to Castellini and highly recommends Beattie.
Beattie returned a telephone call but preferred to make no comments. The Reds said they would make no further comments on the situation until the general manager is named.
Originally, Castellini said there might be a second round of interviews with two or three of the candidates, but that might not happen.
Wayne Krivsky, Minnesota assistant general manager and the No. 2 finisher when O'Brien was hired before the 2004 season, was a strong candidate this time around. He did not return phone calls Tuesday after returning all calls earlier in the process.
"I'm not surprised at all," said one source close to the situation. "Everybody thought it was curious that Beattle would be hired as a special advisor before a new GM was hired. Now we know why."
Until the end of this season, Beattie teamed in Baltimore with Mike Flanagan to run the Orioles baseball operations, a position they shared since December, 2002.
Before that, Beattie served as Expos general manager from 1995 through 2001.
Beattie also served six years as Seattle's Director of Player Development at the same time Lou Piniella was manager of the Mariners. Castellini would like nothing better than to bring Piniella in as Reds' manager, perhaps for the 2007 season.
One thing Beattle has in his favor that O'Brien didn't is that Beattie played the game. He was drafted and signed by the New York Yankees in 1975 and pitched nine major-league seasons with the Yankees and Mariners, going 52-87 with a 4.17 earned run average in 203 games.