Padres' Bochy eyes job with SF

Giants get permission to talk to San Diego manager
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- San Diego manager Bruce Bochy now is an official candidate for the San Francisco Giants' managerial opening.
The Giants have received permission from the Padres to talk to Bochy, who has one year remaining on his contract, about becoming Felipe Alou's successor.
"If he's available and that's a reality, we'd have to go forward and interview the man," said Dick Tidrow, the Giants' vice president of player personnel.
A meeting between Bochy and Giants general manager Brian Sabean likely will happen in the coming days as Bochy is set to leave Monday for Japan to manage a group of major leaguers in an exhibition tour. He replaced Boston Red Sox skipper Terry Francona, who withdrew because of health reasons.
Bochy and Sabean already had an informal conversation about the job. A call to Bochy's cell phone was not immediately returned Thursday.
Bochy finished 12th season
The 51-year-old Bochy, who just finished his 12th season as Padres manager, has guided San Diego to back-to-back NL West titles and is the winningest manager in Padres history. He has spent the last 24 years in the organization dating to his playing days.
He is due to make $1.9 million in guaranteed money in 2007 and would be San Francisco's most expensive choice among the club's top candidates. But his experience might give him an edge. Sabean has said he would prefer someone with previous managerial experience.
San Francisco did not renew the 71-year-old Alou's contract after the Giants finished their second straight losing season and third year in a row out of the playoffs.
The Giants on Monday interviewed New York Mets third-base coach Manny Acta. Giants bench coach Ron Wotus and Los Angeles Angels pitching coach Bud Black also have interviewed. None have any major league managerial experience.
Black is expected to interview with the Oakland Athletics about their managerial opening and could become a candidate to replace Bochy if he leaves for the Giants.
Bochy's Padres made the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time ever but were eliminated in the first round for the second straight year by the St. Louis Cardinals. San Diego did win a postseason game for the first time since clinching the NL pennant in 1998.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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