© St. Petersburg Times, published October 30, 2002
Eric Wedge became the youngest manager in the major leagues Tuesday at 34, while Ned Yost took over in Milwaukee and Ken Macha officially got the job in Oakland.
Two managing jobs remain open, the Cubs' and Mariners'. San Francisco and Dusty Baker still are undecided about working out a new contract. Seven managers have been hired since the end of the regular season.
Wedge, a former big-league catcher, was introduced as Cleveland's manager Tuesday and said his predecessor, interim manager Joel Skinner, will go back to his previous job as third-base coach.
"Skins and I are friends," Wedge said. "I didn't have to urge him to stay. I have the utmost respect for Joel. I'm just happy to have him."
Wedge managed Cleveland's Triple-A team in Buffalo to a 178-108 record the past two seasons.
Yost replaced Jerry Royster, who was fired after the Brewers finished a franchise-worst 56-106. Royster took over from Davey Lopes in April.
"I've been waiting to put this on for a while," Yost said as he put on a Brewers uniform, returning to the team where he was a backup catcher in the 1980s.
Yost spent the past 11 seasons on Bobby Cox's coaching staff in Atlanta. He played in 219 games for Milwaukee, Texas and Montreal, most for the Brewers in 1980-83.
"I've been sitting in my office the last couple of days looking at the old team pictures that we had from '80, '81 and '82 and Harvey Kuenn and Buck Rodgers and George Bamberger," Yost said. "And to think that I'm going to be able to come back and be able to manage the Milwaukee Brewers, it's just like being a 4-year-old at Christmastime."
Macha, who had been Oakland's bench coach, replaced Art Howe, who left to become manager of the Mets.
"You're talking about a guy with a civil engineering degree," A's general manager Billy Beane said. "He's very organized, very structured. I think Kenny's one of those guys who's matter-of-fact and easy to communicate with. He also addresses things, both good and bad."
The Mariners, meanwhile, began interviewing possible replacements for new Rays manager Lou Piniella, spending time with bench coach John McLaren and pitching coach Bryan Price. General manager Pat Gillick said each received a four-hour interview.
Interviews are scheduled today with former managers Jim Riggleman and Terry Francona.
FREE AGENTS: Jeff Kent filed for free agency two days after his Giants lost to Anaheim in Game 7 of the World Series. Atlanta's Greg Maddux, winner of four NL Cy Young Awards, also was among 32 players who filed on the second day of the 15-day filing period.
BLUE JAYS: Former Rays left-handed reliever Doug Creek signed a one-year contract.
EXPOS: Right-hander Bartolo Colon's $6-million option for 2003 was exercised.
RED SOX: Boston still is receiving names of general manager candidates and doesn't expect to hire one before mid November.
TIGERS: Former Tiger Mick Kelleher was hired as first base and infield coach, completing new manager Alan Trammell's staff.