The Baltimore Orioles' managerial search committee has submitted its findings to majority owner Peter Angelos, and Angelos's decision is expected to come in the next few days, director of player personnel Syd Thrift said today.
The final decision will be made, Thrift said, "at the propitious moment." In the meantime, Thrift, director of scouting Tony DeMacio and director of player development Tom Trebelhorn have moved on to other matters, including getting prepared for the free agent signing period.
"We have other issues," Thrift said, "besides the manager."
Angelos could not be reached today. But Thrift indicated as incorrect recent reports that the committee had narrowed its list of nine interviewees to a select number of finalists. The committee--which included Executive Vice President John Angelos, chairman's representative Louis Angelos, Thrift, Trebelhorn and DeMacio--apparently did not reach a consensus.
From Texas to Florida to Arizona, the nine candidates bide their time.
Former Cleveland Indians manager Mike Hargrove, considered a favorite because of his experience and record, reiterated his desire to manage the Orioles, despite still drawing a salary of $600,000 from the Indians next season.
"I've never had an extended vacation, and I'm not interested in taking one now," Hargrove said from his Perryton, Tex., home, "I'm very interested in the job. I'm not wasting anyone's time."
Hargrove, whose relationship with Orioles right fielder Albert Belle had been described as rocky when both were with the Indians, said that Belle's presence in Baltimore would not be a deterrent.
"Albert may be one of the best right-handed hitters in the game today," Hargrove said. "I've never seen him half-step on the field. Once you accept that, you deal with the other things with Albert."
If the Orioles fail to reach a decision by Sunday, which appears likely, Orioles coaches Sam Perlozzo and Eddie Murray--who were interviewed for the manager's job--will find themselves temporarily unemployed. Their contracts expire that day.
Perlozzo, who did not return calls today, is believed to have the support of many key players, including B.J. Surhoff and Mike Mussina, and is one of two candidates--Orioles first-base coach Marv Foley is the other--who has interviewed with Peter Angelos.
The Orioles' other candidates are former Cubs manager Jim Riggleman, Dodgers bench coach Rick Dempsey, Reds bench coach Ken Griffey Sr., Phillies hitting coach Hal McRae and Red Sox bench coach Grady Little.
CAPTION: Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos has nine candidates from which to choose a new manager.