By Josh Suchon, STAFF WRITER
OAKLAND — For the better part of Paul DePodesta's adult life, the 7 p.m. hour meant it was five minutes from first pitch.
These days, that's bathing time for his 2-year-old son and 5-month-old daughter, and DePodesta is happy to spend the time with his family in their Los Angeles home.
DePodesta was the A's assistant general manager from 1997-2003, then was hired as the Dodgers general manager. DePodesta spent two controversial years running the Dodgers, then was fired this past off-season.
Because he had such a pivotal role in assembling both rosters, DePodesta would figure to be an interested observer of this weekend's A's-Dodgers interleague series. But it's doubtful DePodesta will watch any of it.
DePodesta said he's not bitter. He just enjoys the extended time he's spending with his family, because the hours required to run a baseball club made that so difficult in the past.
He's exploring what his next career move will be, and is happy to do some volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity in the greater Los Angeles area, doing mostly construction.
About once a week, DePodesta hammers nails, pours concrete, puts up dry wall, or "whatever else they tell me to do."
Nobody around him knows he used to run the Dodgers.
"I'm just like anybody else," DePodesta said by telephone from Los Angeles. "Just another guy wearing a baseball hat and safety goggles."
DePodesta said the options he's exploring are inside and outside of baseball. But also admitted, "I still have a lot of passion for baseball."
When he does watch baseball, it's usually the A's.
"I will always be a fan of the A's and all the people there," DePodesta said. "I was part of some very special years. I'll always have a fondness for a lot of people with the A's, both on and off the field. I'll never stop rooting for the A's."
By terms of his financial settlement from the Dodgers, DePodesta isn't allowed to discuss publicly any aspect of his time with the team.
Acquiring Milton Bradley from Cleveland was one of DePodesta's first moves as GM. Trading Bradley to the A's was one of the Ned Colletti's first moves after replacing DePodesta.
Bradley had a rocky two years in Los Angeles and has had an injury-plagued two-and-a-half months with the A's. DePodesta remains fond of Bradley, saying, "I think the world of Milton."
ONE-HOPPERS: Bradley was feeling discomfort in his left shoulder, so he went to have an MRI taken, which showed no structural damage. ... Dr. Jerrald Goldman concluded Rich Harden's elbow is less severe than a radiologist originally thought, but Harden won't start throwing until next Thursday, at the earliest. ... Justin Duchscherer's bullpen session went well Thursday — and if he suffers no setbacks, he'll throw a simulated game Saturday, begin a rehab assignment early next week, and could be available next weekend against the Giants. ... Joe Kennedy was finally pain-free Wednesday and wanted to play catch but was told by trainers he'll feel really pain-free today and can begin throwing that day. ... Jeremy Brown flew in Thursday morning from Tacoma, where Triple-A Sacramento was playing, as the replacement for Frank Thomas, who was placed on the disabled list, giving the A's three catchers. That allows Macha to start Adam Melhuse at designated hitter, which he was leaning toward doing tonight.