The Pirates are down to Clint Hurdle and Jeff Banister as their next manager, Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated tweets .
On Tuesday, the Pirates received permission to interview Hurdle, deemed the favorite by Heyman.
The Pirates have led one of the most transparent manager searches in recent memory, announcing each of their interviews after the fact. So far, the team has interviewed Eric Wedge (hired by the Mariners), John Gibbons, Dale Sveum, Carlos Tosca, Bo Porter, Ken Macha and Banister.
Banister has spent 25 years in the Pirates organization as a player and coach on both the major and minor league levels. He played one game in the majors, for the Pirates on July 23, 1991. He pinch-hit and singled in his only big-league at-bat.
Banister has managed in the organization and served as the team's interim bench coach last season after Gary Varsho was fired.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
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