MILWAUKEE -- Brewers bench coach Willie Randolph said he would listen if the Astros came calling about their managerial vacancy. Houston on Monday dismissed manager Cecil Cooper amid a seven-game losing streak that included a trio of weekend losses to the Brewers in Milwaukee. Third-base coach Dave Clark will manage the Astros on an interim basis for the rest of the year before team officials conduct their search for a permanent replacement. He wasn't happy about the circumstances, calling Cooper "a good baseball" man, but Randolph is interested in the job.
"I think everybody knows I'm interested in any job," Randolph said. "I want to manage again. I won't actively solicit that kind of thing, but I feel like if they feel I'm a fit and they're serious about it, they'll give me a call and we can talk." He stressed that his priority is the Brewers, who interviewed Randolph as one of three finalists for their own vacancy last fall before selecting Ken Macha. In a somewhat surprising move, Macha picked Randolph as his bench coach and Randolph accepted, with the mutual understanding that he would be free to seek managerial opportunities elsewhere should they arise. Randolph signed a two-year contract that runs through the 2010 season. Macha has a similar deal. Another name to keep in mind for Houston's opening is Dale Sveum, who managed the Brewers for 12 regular-season games and four National League Division Series games in 2008 after Ned Yost was dismissed. Sveum also interviewed for the full-time job before joining Macha's staff as the hitting coach, and is considered a strong candidate to manage again in the Majors. Sveum played for the Phillies in 1992, when current Astros general manager Ed Wade was Philadelphia's assistant GM. Randolph has also crossed paths with Wade. They met at a Manhattan hotel in late 2000, when Wade was the Phillies' GM and Randolph interviewed for a job that ultimately went to Larry Bowa. Randolph would have to wait four more years to finally get his first managerial gig, and he led the Mets to a 302-253 regular-season record and one National League East title before he was dismissed midway through 2008. He wouldn't turn down the opportunity to meet with Wade again. "I've been in this process a long time," Randolph said. "There's no real time frame on when you're going to get a call, if you do at all. I'll just sit tight."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.