Orioles to inteview Klein today GM candidate fired by Tigers yesterday

October 28, 1995|By Buster Olney | Buster Olney,SUN STAFF

The Orioles will interview Joe Klein today for the general manager position left vacant by Roland Hemond's resignation last week.

Klein, who lives in the Baltimore area during the off-season, was fired by the Detroit Tigers yesterday, a move that had long been expected. The Tigers likely will announce the hiring of Randy Smith as their new GM on Monday.

Klein, 53, took over as GM of the Tigers in January 1994. He never really had the chance to shape the club throughout an entire off-season -- when he took over, Detroit already had $27 million committed to seven players. Previously, Klein was GM of the Texas Rangers and the Cleveland Indians, in the 1980s.

"I think he's done a good job," Minnesota Twins GM Terry Ryan said this week. "He's worked under tough circumstances, just as we have. He's trying to make the team younger and better while cutting the payroll."

The Orioles have interviewed GM candidates Smith; Boston Red Sox assistant GM Mike Port; and former Montreal Expos GM Kevin Malone. Malone likely is the front-runner, but his hiring isn't a sure thing -- as is the hiring of Davey Johnson as manager.

The Orioles have had repeated discussions with Malone, whereas they talked to Port for two hours this week. The Orioles may want to make a decision in the next few days so that they could announce the hiring of a GM and manager simultaneously.

The Orioles also may contact former Yankees GM Gene Michael, who is now that club's director of major-league scouting, and Atlanta Braves special scout Bill Lajoie, who has, in recent years, turned down several opportunities to become a GM again.

Cincinnati Reds GM Jim Bowden reportedly is trying to find a way out of the last three years of his five-year contract, but there could be weeks, or even months, of legal wrangling before he escapes.

The Orioles asked for permission to talk to Cleveland Indians assistant GM Dan O'Dowd and were denied. It appears the only way he would re-emerge as a candidate is if Indians owner Richard Jacobs reverses his decision.

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