NEW YORK (AP) -The interviews are over. Now all the New York Yankees have to do is hire Joe Torre's replacement.
That decision should come by the end of the World Series, even if the announcement has to wait.
After completing interviews with bench coach Don Mattingly, broadcaster Joe Girardi and first-base coach Tony Pena, general manager Brian Cashman and senior vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman joined Hank Steinbrenner and others Thursday at the team's spring training home in Tampa, Fla. Team president Randy Levine planned to return to New York.
Hank Steinbrenner, a son of owner George Steinbrenner, said New York will decide on a manager by the end of the World Series.
``There has been widespread speculation about who the next manager of The New York Yankees will be. The evaluation process is continuing and there will be no immediate decision or announcement,'' said Howard Rubenstein, a spokesman for the owner.
The Yankees' baseball operations executives were to come up with a recommendation for the team's top officials, which likely will carry a lot of weight.
Teams aren't allowed to make major announcements during the World Series, but if New York wanted to do so Friday, an off day, commissioner Bud Selig probably would give his permission.
``As far as making the decision, it will be before the end of (the Series). No question,'' Hank Steinbrenner said. ``As far as when we announce it, we're going to obviously honor the wishes of the commissioner.''
Mattingly, who has no managerial experience, is considered the favorite to land the job. He spent three seasons as New York's hitting coach before he became Torre's bench coach last year. A six-time All-Star, Mattingly is among the most beloved players in Yankees history.
Girardi, a former Yankees player and coach, was voted NL Manager of the Year in 2006 after keeping Florida in contention until late in the season.
Girardi was the first to interview Monday, followed by Mattingly on Tuesday and Pena on Wednesday. Pena won AL Manager of the Year in 2003 after the Royals went 83-79, their first winning season since 1994.
``We haven't made the final decision yet, really,'' Hank Steinbrenner said. ``We've got a lot of brilliant baseball people going over this process and interviews they did with the candidates. We're taking it all in.''
Pena, a five-time All-Star catcher, said he would be open to staying on the Yankees coaching staff next year if the team chooses a different manager.
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AP freelance writer Mark Didtler in Tampa, Fla., contributed to this report.
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