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Pirates third base coach Rick Sofield interviews for Padres manager job

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs third base coach Rick Sofield has interviewed for the Padres' vacant managerial job, Rob Biertempfel writes. (Peter Gammons was, I believe, the first to report that Sofield would interview.) The Padres requested permission to interview Sofield, and Neal Huntington granted it. Sofield then went to San Diego for a two-day interview before the Wild Card game.

"It was a dream," Sofield told the Tribune-Review on Tuesday. "It was an exciting two days with the wild-card (game) looming — the most fun I've had in my baseball career."

It isn't surprising that other teams would have interest in hiring members of the Pirates organization, particularly given Jeff Banister's success in Texas this year. On the surface, though, it is perhaps a little surprising that it's Sofield, and not, say, Ray Searage or Nick Leyva, who's getting an interview for a big-league job. Searage, for example, is widely known as a pitching coach of almost miraculous ability; Sofield is mostly known for making questionable decisions and celebrating his players' successes.

Of course, judging Sofield too harshly for getting a few guys thrown out at the plate misses the point. His judgment in the split-second decisions a base coach makes isn't necessarily the best indicator of how he'd do as a manager. He also has other duties with the Pirates, including coaching baserunning and outfield, and several years of experience managing in the minors. But of all the Pirates coaches and front-office personnel other organizations could target, Sofield's name isn't the one I expected to hear first.