INDIAN WELLS, Calif. - With momentum growing toward Walt Weiss' hiring, the Rockies paused after Matt Williams' impressive interview for the manager's job.
The Rockies have narrowed the search for their next manager to those candidates, a major-league source confirmed Tuesday.
Weiss remains the favorite, the source said, but Williams captured the Rockies' attention, prompting the team to take more time to make a decision that is expected sometime this week.
Rockies owner Dick Monfort, general manager Dan O'Dowd and senior vice president of major-league operations Bill Geivett traveled to the annual general managers' meeting, hosted at Monfort's Hyatt property, to make the call on the team's next field boss.
Weiss said Tuesday afternoon that he had not been informed of a final decision.
"I'm just waiting to hear any word," said the former Rockie.
He coached last season at Regis Jesuit High School, where his son Brody is a star shortstop, and was prepared to continue in that role until the Rockies called him after Jim Tracy's resignation Oct. 7. What started out as casual conversations turned serious quickly.
"It ended with me in a suit at Coors Field (interviewing)," said Weiss, who confirmed that his family is on board with him returning to the big leagues if the opportunity presents itself.
Williams, a five-time all-star slugger, is the third-base coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Regarding his interview with the Rockies on Monday, he told The Denver Post: "I think it went very well. I felt very comfortable, and it was a great experience. Hopefully I came across well. I think I did. We'll see where it goes from here."
Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers was not surprised that the Rockies were seriously considering Williams. Towers outlined Williams' strengths Tuesday night from the GM meetings.
"He's a blue-collar guy who loves the game," Towers said. "We call him the 'Animal' because everything he does is with such intensity. I have no doubt he would do well."
Williams was the fourth candidate to formally interview. The others were Rockies bench coach Tom Runnells and veteran slugger Jason Giambi, now out of the competition, and Weiss. Giambi and Weiss were similar candidates in that neither has coached in the minor leagues. Giambi interviewed well, but there are some in the organization who prefer he begin his coaching career as the team's hitting instructor. Giambi has said he's not prepared to retire for that role, knowing it would likely be available for years to come.
"He's a good man. I didn't know if he wanted to go into coaching, but I could see it," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said of Giambi.
Williams is managing the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League, a team that includes a number of Rockies prospects. He won a World Series with the Diamondbacks in 2001 and played against Weiss in the Fall Classic in 1989 when the Giants faced the Athletics.