The Rays will begin interviewing managerial finalists today

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays’ managerial search — which has played out publicly and at length, akin to a game show or something, enters the lightning round today, as the teal begins final interviews with their final three candidates.

The candidates: Kevin Cash, Raul Ibanez and Don Wakamatsu. Wakamatsu goes first because he won the coin toss back stage and chose not to defer. Or whatever.

The Rays are believed to want a manager in place before the Winter Meetings. Everyone flies to San Diego for that on Sunday, so there should be news this week.