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Manager Hunt: Kelly's officially out

Tom Kelly told the Minneapolis Star Tribune the following: "Same answer as the last seven years. Save it and use it."

Rick Dempsey told the Baltimore Sun the following: "I'm hearing from some people around town that I'll get interviewed, but it's not written in stone. I've learned not to trust these things. ... I know the drill."

No kidding, Rick. For an Oriole hero, Rick Dempsey sure has gotten kind of sad sack. He's just the nicest guy, but such a... he's not a manager. He has to have learned this by now. He's been interviewed three times for the O's job, and also for jobs with the Dodgers and Phillies. He's never, ever going to manage a major league team. Whatever you think of his commentary ability, he does have a good TV personality. He's friendly and fun in a goofy way. That's pretty much Rick Dempsey's ceiling, unless he wants to go back to being a first base or bullpen coach or something like that, which he probably doesn't.

As for Torey Lovullo, he interviewed for the Dodgers job before they hired Grady Little. I actually thought Lovullo was going to get that spot, but he wound up staying in the Indians minor league system and moving up to Triple-A Buffalo in 2006. He won Manager of the Year for the Kinston Indians in 2004 and the Akron Aeros in 2005. He turns 42 next month, is a Buffalo Bisons legend, and made his major league debut 19 years ago, and had 303 games in the bigs over the next 11 years. The most he ever got to play was in 1993 with the Angels: .251/.318/.354 with six homers and 30 RBI in 367 AB. That team stunk, but Tim Salmon won Rookie of the Year.

Plus, his dad was a producer on Hee Haw. I'm not against the Lovullo idea if only for that.

If I had to power rank my choices among the six reported and remaining candidates, I'd go: 1. Davey Johnson, 2. Dusty Baker, 3. Torey Lovullo, 4. Joey Cora, 5. Jerry Manuel, 6. Don Baylor.

I know Dusty doesn't say the smartest things, but his teams usually win, and he's probably the most successful minority manager this side of Al Lopez in the history of Major League Baseball, and one of baseball's most successful managers, period, in the last 20 years. Only 37 managers in history have more wins than Dusty Baker. I really do think people overlook or forget how successful Dusty has been because he's one of the ten thousand old guys that hasn't embraced new age thinking that he didn't learn about when he was learning the game.

That last season of his in Chicago was a disaster, I don't deny that. And 2005 did set it up, even though I thought he really did an OK enough job that year with a team that fell apart.

One thing I worry about with Davey Johnson is how dedicated he would be to the job, because it's going to take a lot of work to be part of this team's potential turnaround. Davey won in '96 and '97, but those teams were filled with mercenaries.

He's a really great, really intelligent manager, but this might not be a job for a 64-year old guy that hasn't managed in seven years.