OAKLAND — For a second straight off-season, the A's will have mixed feelings as their best and most indispensable coach will interview to be a manager with another team.

Not just any team, in this case, but American League West rival Texas.

Infielders and third base coach Ron Washington is one of four finalists for the Rangers managerial opening, according to the mlb.com and The Fort-Worth Star Telegram, which reported a fifth candidate could be added.

A's general manager Billy Beane said after Game 2 of the American League Championship Series that he's talked to Rangers GM Jon Daniels and granted permission for them to speak with Washington, but no interview date had been set.

Washington interviewed last year for the Florida Marlins opening and the A's brief opening, before Ken Macha was rehired.

Macha and numerous A's players have consistently lobbied for Washington and raved about what a great manager he would make.

But they've also acknowledged what a huge blow it would be for the organization because he's been so instrumental in making poor infielders adequate, good infielders great, and great infielders the best.

"I don't care where he goes, Wash deserves a shot," injured second baseman Mark Ellis said. "I'm just glad he's getting an opportunity. Obviously, we'd like it to be somewhere else, so we don't have to face him. But for him to get a shot anywhere is exciting.


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I know he's going to interview well. I hope he gets the job. He deserves it, and hopefully he'll get it."

The other candidates, according to the paper and mlb.com, are Texas bench coach and Hayward High graduate Don Wakamatsu (considered the front-runner), Mets third base coach Manny Acta and Japanese manager Trey Hilman of the Nippon Ham Fighters. Buck Showalter was fired as Rangers skipper last week.

PLAYING FAVORITES: Since Detroit manager Jim Leyland revealed that his wife's favorite has always, and will always, be Mark Kotsay, it was only natural to wonder who is the favorite player of Macha's wife.

"I think she likes (Marco) Scutaro," Macha said. "She would say that because of what he means for the team. My daughter liked Mark Mulder. Well, her and maybe 100 million other young ladies like Mulder."

ONE-HOPPERS: The Game 2 first pitch was thrown out by John "Blue Moon" Odom, who threw a complete-game shutout to beat the Tigers in Game 2 of the 1972 ALCS. ... Jay Payton has an 11-game postseason hitting streak, which is seven from the record held by Boston's David Ortiz. ... A's pitching coach Curt Young was often the odd-man out of the playoff starting rotation for the A's in the late 1980s, so he knows the importance of staying sharp. ... It was Young's idea to give the A's relievers who didn't pitch in the division series a simulated inning Monday afternoon, and it paid off for Chad Gaudin and Joe Kennedy as neither has allowed a run in relief in Games 1 or 2. ... Milton Bradley became the third player to homer from both sides of the plate in a postseason game, joining Bernie Williams (1995 division series Game 3) and Chipper Jones (2003 division series Game 4). ... The two home runs matched the A's ALCS record, done three times, most recently by Rickey Henderson in Game 4 of the 1989 series at Toronto. ... Bradley's four hits matched an Oakland ALCS record, done twice by Jerry Browne and Sal Bando.