The Baltimore Orioles' top executives met yesterday with majority owner Peter Angelos to begin formulating lists of candidates for the team's vacant manager and general manager positions.
Executive Vice President John Angelos and Chief Operating Officer Joe Foss, who are heading the searches, did not return phone calls yesterday. Assistant general manager Bruce Manno and director of player development Tom Trebelhorn, who are part of the committee of department heads who are running the day-to-day operation of the team in the absence of a general manager, declined to comment on the meeting.
It has been nearly two weeks since the Orioles dismissed manager Ray Miller and general manager Frank Wren following the completion of the Orioles' disappointing 78-84 season.
While other teams with similar openings have launched extensive searches--and in some cases even made hires--during that time, the Orioles have kept their focus on keeping the day-to-day business of the team operating. At the team's organizational meetings in Lakeland, Fla., Foss and John Angelos outlined their vision for the team's future.
Until a new general manager is named, a team including Trebelhorn, Manno, director of player personnel Syd Thrift and scouting director Tony DeMacio will work together to handle the GM's duties.
The Orioles would prefer to hire a general manager before hiring a manager, but will not necessarily work in that order. The position of general manager likely will be renamed director of baseball operations, Foss and Angelos previously said, to better reflect the job duties of the position.
The Orioles are known to have interviewed only one managerial candidate--current third-base coach Sam Perlozzo--although the pace of their candidate-search is expected to pick up this week. Bench coach Eddie Murray and first-base coach Marv Foley are likely to receive interviews.
Two possible outside candidates--Boston Red Sox bench coach Grady Little and Atlanta Braves hitting coach Don Baylor--likely will not be permitted to interview until after their teams finish postseason play. The Orioles also might pursue recently fired managers Mike Hargrove (Cleveland Indians) and Jim Riggleman (Chicago Cubs).
In their GM search, the Orioles were denied permission by the New York Yankees to interview director of international and professional scouting Gordon Blakeley.
Baseball sources said the Orioles plan to interview New York Mets assistant GM Omar Minaya, but Minaya said Sunday that he had not heard from the Orioles. Minaya also is considered a leading candidate for both the Anaheim Angels' and Seattle Mariners' general manager positions.
Many observers around baseball have expressed the opinion that the Orioles may have a hard team enticing a top candidate for either job given the instability that has surrounded the franchise. The next manager will be the fifth in six years, and the next GM will be the fourth in that span. However, Minaya said he would not automatically rule out the Orioles.
Orioles Notes: Outfielder Derrick May, who provided the Orioles with some much-needed left-handed offense off the bench late in the season, refused an assignment to Class AAA Rochester yesterday and became a free agent. However, the Orioles likely will attempt to sign May this offseason.
The Orioles also dropped catchers Tommy Davis and Chip Alley and right-handed pitcher Julio Moreno from their 40-man roster, and added right-handed pitcher Calvin Maduro and outfielder Wady Almonte.