is first out of the gate to handicap the 25 horses who may or may not be vying for the winner’s circle that is Frank Bruni‘s gig as restaurant critic for the New York Times. OK, forget my tortured metaphor, but I’m not sure half the people on Eater’s list would darken the Times doorway for all the Kobe beef in the Big Apple. The job, at least from my little perspective here in Adams Morgan, carries a ton of influence but earns the country’s most powerful critic the ever-lasting enmity of readers and restaurateurs alike.

Just why the hell would Steingarten or Gold or Buford give up their comfortable positions for the abuse of half of New York? Or to work for a debt-ridden paper that’s a potential takeover target of the man who gave us the Eagles. The Eagles, for chrissake.

Anyway, I think Eater’s Inside Track list includes at least a couple of people who actually might be interested in the job, including the Post‘s Tom Sietsema whose odds are posted at 5-1. I sent Sietsema an e-mail yesterday, following the news of Bruni’s departure, and asked if he could comment on his interest in the Times gig. His response is after the jump.

Sietsema’s e-mail response:

All I have to say is, I’m happy to be writing about restaurants for the Wash Post at a very exciting time for the city. And I bet the next critic comes from within the ranks of the NYT.