Report: Apple board to discuss Schmidt replacement

The real question in the wake of is yet to be answered. And that's who will take his position as shortstop at the annual board of directors vs. Apple executive team softball game. Word is Apple's board is eyeing several prospective candidates to fill the coveted roster slot.

, Apple's board is set to meet next Tuesday to discuss Schmidt's seat. The declines to speculate on which free agents might be under consideration, other than Apple chief operating officer and man-about-town Tim Cook. Cook has been instrumental to Apple's business affairs, filling in for CEO Steve Jobs during his as well as for , a spot that requires him to hit for both power average.

But Cook's status as an Apple executive may work against him, as companies tend not to stack their boards of directors with too many insiders. The last Apple executive besides Jobs to sit on the company's board was former chief financial officer Fred Anderson, who later . The rest of Apple's board, including Schmidt, have been outsiders, not all of them even from the technology field. And Apple's board has been criticized in the past for its lack of diversity as it has just one woman, Avon CEO Andrea Jung, suggesting another direction the company might want to go in.

Mac blog 9 to 5 Mac , including longshots like Oracle CEO and former Apple board member Larry Ellison, Steve Spielberg, and, naturally, Steve Wozniak. While Wozniak's been known to swing a mean Segway polo mallet, his lifetime slugging percentage is paltry at best; Ellison, on the other hand, has already had his shot at the Apple board, and may be wary of returning for a followup act.

Of course, should Cook take the vacant Apple board spot, the question becomes: who'll take the coveted third spot in the executive board's line-up, batting above cleanup hitter Big ?