By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer
CHICAGO - Chief operating officer John Allen gives Dave Miley high marks for the job he's done as interim manager, but Allen isn't likely to take the interim tag away before naming a Reds general manager.
"I've been very pleased with what he's done," Allen said. "The response he's gotten has been very good. People have gone out of their way to compliment him on the job he's done."
Still, Allen is sticking with the plan: Name a GM, who will pick the manager.
"That's the plan," Allen said. "I don't see us deviating from that. You never say never, but I don't see us doing that."
Miley is 17-27 as Reds manager. But he's dealing with a roster filled with minor league players because of trades and injuries.
Only one of Sunday's nine starters was on the Opening Day roster.
Yet the Reds won 1-0, and they've stayed in most games during Miley's tenure - despite being severely outmanned.
Miley is likely to get strong consideration no matter who the new GM is based on his success in the minors (.570 winning percentage) and the impression he's made in his short time as manager.
Allen said after Jim Bowden and Bob Boone were fired that the new general manager would not be named until after the World Series.
He's backing off that.
"It could be sooner," he said.
Allen has not formally interviewed anyone. But he has asked other teams for permission to talk to their people.
Omar Minaya, the Montreal Expos general manager, has been the front-runner since the job opened, according to club insiders. But Allen refuses to confirm that. In fact, he's kept the list of candidates quiet.
Minaya is likely to be willing to come, given the uncertainty of Expos' situation. But the Reds would be well-advised to move quickly on Minaya, because he is the top GM candidate available.
Other names that have surfaced are assistant GMs with other clubs.
They include: Dan Jennings of Florida; Tim Purpura of Houston; Frank Wren of Atlanta; Ned Colletti of San Francisco; Detroit's Al Avila; Wayne Krivsky of Minnesota and Oakland's Paul DePodesta.
Allen said he and "two or three others" would do the initial interviews.
Chief executive officer Carl Lindner, Allen said, would not get involved in the process until the search is narrowed to two or three candidates.
Assistant general manager Brad Kullman and Leland Maddox are interested in the job. Player development director Tim Naehring and special assistant Johnny Almaraz could be candidates as well.
Allen declined to say if any of the in-house people would be interviewed.
The Reds are at the point in the season - 13 games remain - where plans for the winter are traditionally laid out for players.
But, as interim manager, Miley can't go to players with instructions for the offseason.
Allen doesn't see the lack of a GM or a permanent manager as a major problem.
"We still have the nucleus of our baseball department in place," he said. "Business doesn't have to stop."
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