Mark Grace spent all season talking about the Diamondbacks, so another 3 1/2 hours Friday came naturally. "It was five guys sitting around talking baseball," Grace said of his interview for Arizona’s managerial vacancy.
"He has a lot of passion for the game," general manager Joe Garagiola Jr. said. "That was evident whether you were watching him play, listening to him broadcast or talking to him in this situation."
Meanwhile, the D-Backs have sought permission to interview Texas Rangers firstbase coach DeMarlo Hale.
Also, Garagiola had another conversation Friday with Casey Close, the agent for first baseman Richie Sexson.
"He gave me some things that I need to go over with people on my side and think about, and we’ll go from there," Garagiola said. "It was a little more detail in terms of that they’re thinking about."
Sexson is eligible for free agency and is seeking more than one guaranteed year in an extension.
Hale, 43, has spent three seasons on the Rangers’ staff after nine seasons managing in the minors, with Boston and Texas. He was named 1999 minor league manager of the year by Baseball America, when his Class AA Trenton (N.J.) team went 92-70.
Besides Grace and Hale, other candidates include former D-Backs bench coach and Seattle Mariners manager Bob Melvin (whose interview is early next week); Al Pedrique, who finished out the season as manager and interviewed Thursday; Colorado Rockies bench coach Jamie Quirk; Anaheim Angels bench coach Joe Maddon and Class A Lancaster manager Wally Backman.
Grace spent the final three of his 16 major league seasons with the Diamondbacks and was a team broadcaster this year.
His lack of experience in coaching or managing did come up in the interview.
"We addressed questions of that nature to him," Garagiola said, "and those were obviously things that he had thought about."
Said Grace: "I think I was more of a coach and instructor last year (when he had only 135 at-bats) than I was a player."
Grace called the session a "great experience," but when asked how he thought it went, he said: "How well do you really know how you did in an interview? I’ll know in a couple of weeks how I did."