ST. PETERSBURG — Barry Larkin's credentials are impressive and obvious, a stellar 19-year playing career with the Reds leading to 2012 induction into the Hall of Fame.
Doug Glanville didn't stand out as much during his nine years on the field, but he showed then, and in 10 years of retirement, a sharp, analytical baseball mind and impressive communication skills.
Both work as ESPN analysts but now have something much more intriguing in common, named Monday as the final two candidates of what is now a 10-man field for the Rays managerial job.
Triple-A manager Charlie Montoyo on Monday was the sixth to interview, talking in person with team officials in Phoenix during the GM meetings, with Indians bullpen coach Kevin Cash, Giants bench coach Ron Wotus, Larkin and Glanville still to go. The Rays then will cut the field and bring some — there is no set number — in for second, longer interviews.
"We are still in the early stages of what's going to be a deliberate process," president of baseball operations Matt Silverman said from Phoenix. "We're going to complete the first round of interviews before we take any inventory on the next steps."
Glanville and Larkin are the first black candidates, joining a field that includes four of Hispanic descent (Manny Acta, Raul Ibanez, Martinez, Montoyo) and one Asian-American, Don Wakamatsu.
Larkin's only managerial experience came in leading the Brazil team during the 2013 World Baseball Classic, which he said he greatly enjoyed. Larkin, 50, expressed interest in the vacant Reds job two years ago and was a candidate last offseason for the Tigers job but withdrew his name because he felt it wasn't the right time in his life to make that type of time commitment, though his youngest child is now out of high school. His son Shane plays in the NBA for the Knicks.
Glanville, 44, called the Rays' interest "a somewhat flattering surprise" given that he hadn't "set his compass" to manage, but he felt he has the necessary leadership and communication skills and "always had that analytical approach."
And, though he has no coaching or managing experience, he said he became even more intrigued when he considered the creativity, analytical minds and outside-the-box thinking the Rays are known for.
"When you sort of deconstruct it, you think about how the fit can work, so I'm working hard, studying hard and preparing," he said. "I want to put my best foot forward and match the sense they had this could work."
Glanville has written extensively, in his own book, The Game From Where I Stand: A Ballplayer's Inside View, and for several publications plus his website dougglanville.com.
Meanwhile, Major League Baseball has started to look into the Rays' allegations of tampering by the Cubs in hiring Joe Maddon, per ESPN. The Cubs and Maddon's agent have strongly denied any impropriety.
Contact Marc Topkin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @TBTimes_Rays.