The fluid list

I’ve decided that “fluid” is my favorite term to describe the Orioles’ list of general manager candidates.

If only I knew how to describe the job itself. General manager. President of baseball operations. Whatever. It’s the same responsibilities previously bestowed upon Andy MacPhail.

The list keeps changing, depending on who you follow on Twitter. In fairness, it’s going to take on different looks, no matter who’s passing it along, because candidates were added and removed during this week’s meeting that included owner Peter Angelos, manager Buck Showalter and director of baseball operations Matt Klentak, and I’ve been reminded about 5,000 times that other candidates could be added later.

The latest warning sounded something like this: “I’d be careful about removing some people from the list.”

That means they might be gone now, but they’re not forgotten. If the Orioles are denied permission to interview some candidates, they could seek out others.

Here’s what I know: Diamondbacks executive Jerry Dipoto will interview with the Orioles.

Here’s what I thought I knew: It would happen this weekend.

That could still happen, but I’m told that Showalter might have to fly home late tomorrow or early Saturday morning. If that’s the case, it’s hard to imagine Dipoto being summoned for a meeting. Showalter’s opinion carries a lot of weight.

It’s possible that the interview will take place Monday. The date also is fluid. But the important point here is that Dipoto is a leading candidate and the Diamondbacks granted permission for the Orioles to contact him.

The Orioles don’t want a whiz kid who still gets carded in bars, and they don’t want a mid-60s executive who’s ready to walk into the sunset. They want a name that fans will recognize.

Dipoto is 43. He’s served as the Rockies’ director of player personnel. He’s served as the Diamondbacks’ vice president of player personnel. He moved up to interim general manager last summer after Josh Byrnes was fired, then returned to his former duties after Kevin Towers joined the front office.

Dipoto has interviewed for GM positions with the Mariners and Nationals. His background in scouting and player development are prerequisites for the Orioles’ job. There’s a lot to like about him.

I’ll repeat that the Orioles seem intent on interviewing Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava, though they haven’t contacted him yet. The Red Sox were interested in him multiple times in the past, but they already promoted assistant Ben Cherington to replace Theo Epstein.

Marlins assistant GM Dan Jennings also is on the Orioles’ list, along with Dodgers executives De Jon Watson and Logan White.

I’ve been told that Tigers assistant GM Al Avila isn’t viewed as someone who would take the job. I’d push him down the fluid list. And Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine and former Angels GM Tony Reagins appear to be out, at least on this date.

Be careful about removing some people from the list.

Former Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi, now a special assistant with the Mets, is causing the most confusion. Some outlets eliminated him a few days ago. I kept him on the list, but at the very bottom after talking to one source, and I didn’t bother to mention him yesterday. ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted last night that Ricciardi is on a very short list.

Olney went out of his way to single out Ricciardi, so I doubt that he’s referring to the very bottom.

Isn’t this fun?

I spoke to a friend on the beat who agreed that this entire process is a royal pain in the vertical smile.

We could find out today that the Orioles received permission from other teams, creating more interview appointments. Maybe Showalter’s travel plans will change.

Later on, we could find out that other names have been added to the list. Because, you know, it’s fluid.

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